Last week, the House of Representatives passed HB 3, the bill that aims to reform school finance and public education. HB 3 invests $9 billion into funding for public education and property tax reform — $6 bill on public education and $3 billion on property taxes.
For public education, funding will go toward pay raises for all school employees, increasing per-student funding, funds full-day pre-K for low-income students, raises the minimum salary for teachers, and requires local school boards to set student achievement goals for third grade math and reading.
The average pay raise will be a minimum of $1,850 per employee, while still giving schools the option to give more raises on top of the minimum.
Money will also go toward education for students who do not have English as their first language and to dual language programs.
$3 billion from HB 3 will be used to address property tax reform by lowering school district property tax rates and requiring that voters approve tax rate increases greater than $1.01, which is three cents lower than the current law.
School districts would also be required to perform an “efficiency audit” to ensure that money is being used responsibly.
The Senate still must pass their version of school finance and property tax reform. Like the House, the Senate bill would give $9 billion to school funding — $6 billion on public education and $3 billion on property tax reform.