Legislative update overview
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Legislative Update & Overview. June 12, 2014. 84 th Legislature - Dates to Remember. November 4, 2014 - Election Day November 10, 2014 - Bill filing begins January 13, 2015 – 84 th Session begins June 1, 2015 – Sine Die. 84th Legislative Session. All new state leaders Governor

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Legislative Update & Overview

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Legislative Update & Overview

June 12, 2014


84th Legislature - Dates to Remember

  • November 4, 2014 - Election Day

  • November 10, 2014 - Bill filing begins

  • January 13, 2015 – 84th Session begins

  • June 1, 2015 – Sine Die


84th Legislative Session

  • All new state leaders

    • Governor

    • Lieutenant Governor

    • Comptroller

    • Attorney General

  • New Committee Chairs

    • Senate Education

    • Senate Finance

    • House Appropriations


Texas House of Representatives

  • Speaker Straus expected to be re-elected

  • Currently, 63% of members are certain to return (51 Republicans and 43 Democrats)

  • 22 are not returning to their seats (due to retirements or primary losses)

  • 34 face general election opponents


Texas Senate

  • New Lieutenant Governor (which also means new committee chairmanship assignments)

  • 17 of 31 senators are certain to return to their seats (with Hegar and Van de Putte maintaining their seats and returning if their bids for others offices fail)

  • Could be as many as 8 new senators (meaning that one-third of the Texas Senate will not have served a full four-year term in the Senate in 2015)


Analysis from Mark P. Jones, chairman of Rice University's political science department


Percent with Majority Ch. 41 Legislative District

Texas House

Texas Senate


Issues at play

  • Budget surplus (projected $2.5 - $5 billion)

  • But a Legislature unwilling to spend

  • $1 billion shortfall from Medicare needs

  • Transportation and water needs

  • Calls for tax relief

  • Property tax appraisals


Timing of the School Finance Case


Education Issues at Play in 2015

  • Pre-Kindergarten

  • Debt Limitations & Transparency

  • TRS contribution

  • Virtual Schools

  • Teacher Quality

  • Local Control (freedom from mandates)

  • Accountability

  • Achievement School Districts

  • Private School Vouchers


School Finance - 2014-2015 FSP

  • 1.8% Increase to Basic Allotment (to $5,040), resulting in increase to EWL

  • Golden Penny Yield increased to $61.86

  • Adjustments made through General Appropriations Act, not statutorily


Revenue per Student in 2004 Dollars

Ex. 6618


District ADA shown by Quintiles


Chasing “false equity”

  • As school and state leaders try to measure school district equity by comparing two districts’ total revenue per WADA, the basic assumption is that such numbers are comparable.

  • But often they are not.

  • Such comparisons within the Foundation School Program assume that school district formulas distribute funds in a manner that properly accounts for the differences in district needs.


Common Comparison used for Equity


Comparisons should examine full picture


So what?

  • No comparisons should be taken at face value

  • Help others understand the story behind your numbers

    • Size

    • Cost of Education Index

    • English Language Learners

    • Comp Ed students

    • Facility/Insurance costs

    • Hold harmless/historic funding levels

    • And many other factors


In summary

  • Big changes in all state leaders and Senate + more conservative and Tea Party affiliated legislators

  • With a surplus they don’t want to spend

  • In a holding pattern for school finance changes in 2015 awaiting the court ruling

  • However, 2015 is the time to lay the groundwork for special sessions to come


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