Dear Alief ISD Parents, Staff and Community Members,
With the 88th Texas Legislative session underway, we are paying close attention to bills related to public education and those which may impact students and public schools.
We are asking for your immediate action to advocate for public schools today concerning two bills – (1) Senate Bill 8 and (2) Senate Bill 30.
Senate Bill 8
Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) is sweeping education legislation that includes the introduction of education savings accounts as a mechanism to divert public taxpayer funds to pay for private school education. This bill proposes using YOUR taxpayer dollars to fund private school education.
- The bill proposes $8,000 per student for an education savings account (ESA). That’s about $2,000 more than the state provides for each of your students in the current basic allotment formula (this is the money the state provides in education funding).
- The bill requires ZERO accountability or transparency for student achievement, state testing, unfunded mandates, use of funds or the like by private schools taking ESA funds.
- Private schools are not required to accept students with an ESA or ANY student. Public schools, like Alief ISD educate all students without regard to their abilities/disabilities or socioeconomic standing.
Senate Bill 30
Senate Bill 30 (SB 30), the Supplemental Appropriations Bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee, reduces funding for the Foundation School Program (FSP), the primary source of state funding for Texas school districts, by $8.2 billion.
We understand the House has set aside $5 billion for education (HB 1), which would still leave a net $3.2 billion in taxpayer funds reallocated to the state’s general fund. Either way, it is extremely unlikely the $8.2 billion, which is how much is being realized by the state from your public school property taxes, will be fully reinvested in public education.
- The $8.2 billion earmarked by the Senate is the result of property value growth and RECAPTURE exceeding projections.
- Public education tax dollars should stay in public schools.
- Legislators should reinvest at least $8.2 billion into the Basic Allotment.
- Due to schemes like the proposed SB 30, Texas ranks among the bottom 10 states in the U.S. for education funding!
- In order to bring salaries up to levels that reflect the inflation felt over the last 4 years since funding was last increased, the Basic Allotment needs an increase of nearly $1000. Without properly funding existing public educators, diversion of public funds to other parts of the State’s budget is ignoring Texas’ already underpaid and understaffed schools.
We truly believe in property tax relief and that the tax dollars you pay to Alief ISD should be used to support children in Alief ISD.
CALL TO ACTION:
Please reach out to our elected officials and the Senate Committee on Education immediately via phone or email regarding these two bills. Here is a suggested message:
Dear Representative/Senator _____________,
My child is a student at _____________ in Alief ISD. I am reaching out regarding Senate Bill 8 with opposition to any model for education savings accounts that would provide a higher level of per student funding than what is provided to public schools through the Basic Allotment. As written, the $8,000 per student allocation for education savings accounts is $2,000 higher than the current Basic Allotment provides for my child in Alief ISD. I also oppose any education savings account model that does not mandate the same across-the-board accountability and transparency required of my public school district.
With regards to Senate Bill 30, funds collected for public education should remain in public education. Please oppose the $8.2 billion reduction to the Foundation School Program, which diverts education dollars from school districts to fund the state’s bottom line. Instead, please reinvest at least $8.2 billion into public education and increase the Basic Allotment to a level that recognizes the growth (14.5%) in CPI since HB3 was passed in the 86th session. Diverting funds intended for public education to fund the state’s bottom line is unacceptable. Our children deserve better.
House Representatives representing Alief ISD
- Representative Hubert Vo @hubertvo149; [email protected]; 512-463-0568
- Representative Alma A. Allen @RepAllenTX131; [email protected]; 512-463-0744
- Representative Gene Wu @genefortexas; [email protected]; 512-463-0492
- Representative Mano DeAyala, @manoforstaterep; [email protected]; 512-463-0492
State Senators representing Alief ISD
- Senator Borris L. Miles, @borrislmiles; [email protected]; 512-463-0113
- Joan Huffman, Texas Senator, @joanhuffman; [email protected]; 512-463-0117
Texas Senate Committee on Education
- Brandon Creighton, Chair – [email protected]
- Donna Campbell, Vice-Chair – [email protected]
- Paul Bettencourt, Member – [email protected]
- Brian Birdwell, Member – [email protected]
- Pete Flores, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0124
- Phil King, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0110
- Morgan LaMantia, Member – [email protected].
- José Menéndez, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0126
- Mayes Middleton, Member – [email protected].
- Tan Parker, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0112
- Angela Paxton, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0108
- Drew Springer, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0130
- Royce West, Member – [email protected]; 512-463-0123
As always, thank you for supporting and advocating for the children and teachers in Alief ISD. We will continue to keep you informed during the legislative session and provide you information on additional ways to advocate for public education.
Dr. Anthony Mays
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