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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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slide2
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
84th Legislative Session
  • All new state leaders
    • Governor
    • Lieutenant Governor
    • Comptroller
    • Attorney General
  • New Committee Chairs
    • Senate Education
    • Senate Finance
    • House Appropriations
slide4
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
slide5
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)
slide8
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
slide10
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
slide11
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
slide14
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.
slide17
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
slide18
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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