Major Texas school finance fix set to clear state House

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HB 549 has been a longtime priority for the Coalition of School Board Members, which has tried for years to pass a bill including numerous measures. "I'm glad to see both the House and Senate have come to a way for us to move this forward".

Huberty applauded the lower chamber for considering the legislation even though it didn't have to - since the Supreme Court ruled the system constitutional but barely past year.

The Texas House is considering a bill that's different than one that sparked outcry when it cleared the state Senate last month.

The representatives are taking up House Bill 21 by Dan Huberty (R-Houston) to revise the school finance system.

Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, filed an amendment to the bill putting forward several provisions which bring the legislation closer to its Senate companion, SB 926.

State Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-District 20, said the bill is now in the House, awaiting passage.

It would require school districts to begin testing later in the year, eliminate requirements that students take four end-of-course tests in high school and allow students who do well enough on college-entrance and other advanced national exams to skip some state tests. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, would remove an existing financial penalty for school districts smaller than 300 square miles, which was originally meant to encourage them to consolidate.

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Doing so could cause tens of thousands of additional students to miss the mark, and increase the number of schools that receive poor grades on school report cards, according to opponents.

Legislators voted 86-59 to approve Darby's amendment, despite Huberty's opposition.

Texas has no state income tax, meaning schools rely heavily on local property tax revenue. Sean Bennett was expected to eventually reduce state revenues by more than $400 million annually. Due to San Antonio's robust tourism industry, he said the city "will be the hardest hit by the inevitable backlash" if the bill were to become law.

"You've got a different ... climate here now in the House". Aycock really set the thing in motion last session.

"We're left scratching our heads as policy makers and law enforcement as to what problem 2899 is trying to solve", Saldana said.

The committee voted in favor of the measure, Senate Bill 383, on a 9-3 vote, which will give the bill a chance to be considered by the full Senate, PennLive reported.

Texas has about 350,000 children who are home-schooled, according to state estimates.

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