Texas Representatives debating school finance bill

Texas House of Representatives take up school finance reform bill.

Members of the Texas House of Representatives are settling in for a lengthy debate.

The representatives are taking up House Bill 21 by Dan Huberty (R-Houston) to revise the school finance system. As of Tuesday night, 46 amendments had been filed on the bill. 

During his introduction of the bill, Huberty noted the state has been sued seven times since 1968 over the school finance system. He also said this is the first time in more than 30 years that the Texas Legislature has the chance to fix the school finance system.

HB21 increases how much the state spends per student and slightly decreases recapture. Huberty said the bill is not a total fix, but it's a start.

"Members, since I've begun my legislative career, and prior to that as a school board member,  the one thing I always said I would do if given the chance was try to fix the school finance system in the State of Texas," said Huberty. 

"While our system is lawful, it is awful," he added.

One of the largest areas of debate has been the elimination of the transportation allotment that's given to districts for transporting students to and from school. HB21 increases the basic allotment given per student in lieu of a transportation allotment. Amendments to add the allotment back in have failed so far. 

The debate on HB21 is ongoing. You can watch it here.

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