The folloing is from Jor Smith’s Texasisd.com website. It is a clearly written explaination of the Senate and House versions of The Equity Centers attempt to equalize school funding.
The Equity Center has published a “draft 5- year model by school district” for SB 982 and HB 1555. SB 982 by Senator Van de Putte and House Bill HB 1555 filed by Representative Patrick are identical.
These bills address the fact that the current system does not treat all students and taxpayers in a similar manner when providing or funding educational opportunities. We desperately need this basic level of fairness. This action is the necessary first step to increasing student performance and improving college and workforce readiness of our students.
In an earlier conversation with Representative Patrick she stated that HB 1555:
· Restores local control through meaningful discretion
· Meets all three criteria of TEA Budget Rider 89 – increase equity, reduce recapture and return to a cost based formula
· Increases funding per weighted student (WADA)
· Cuts calculated recapture in half
· Provides method for tax reduction.
The model is based on the following assumptions as stated in The Equity Center’s introduction:
The purposes of SB 982 and HB 1555 are to significantly increase equity; reduce recapture and return to a cost-based formula funding system for public education
· In order to achieve these purposes, SB 982 and HB 1555 establish a schedule to set the Basic Allotment (BA), Guaranteed Level (GL), and Equalized Wealth Level (EWL) at the Austin ISD wealth level (90% and 95% of AISD in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, respectively and 100% of Austin ISD in fiscal year 2012 and thereafter).
· Districts with property tax effort at or exceeding $1.00 per $100 of valuation will receive a minimum funding increase of $75 per WADA in fiscal year 2010 and an additional increase of $100 per WADA in fiscal year 2011.
· Beginning in fiscal year 2011, and each year thereafter, the state and local financial commitment is limited to a maximum increase of $200 per WADA. These changes will see Texas implement the most equitable school finance system in its history, culminating with 95 percent of the students in Weighted Average Daily Attendance (WADA) within an equalized public school funding system in fiscal year 2012.
· The remaining 5 percent of the WADA will be funded at higher levels.
As a result of these changes, the number of districts with calculated recapture (Robin Hood) will decrease from 189 districts with 21 percent of the WADA today to fewer than 120 districts with about 5 percent of the WADA in fiscal year 2012. In addition, the amount of calculated recapture (Robin Hood) will decrease from about $1.5 billion today to about $800 million in fiscal year 2012.
To help prevent a re-occurrence of a state-wide property tax, these bills include a property tax reduction mechanism beginning in fiscal year 2011, and each year thereafter, using the following method: districts that would receive a funding increase in excess of the $200 per WADA funding cap will still be limited at that amount; however, the portion of a school district’s funding increase that exceeds $200 per WADA will be used to reduce property taxes in that district instead. As a result of this provision, 725 districts will have their property taxes reduced an average of 3.9 pennies in fiscal year 2011.
The model shows an analysis of the funds invested in public education by SB 982 and HB 1555 from fiscal years 2010-2014. The models used to develop these estimates were based on Legislative Budget Board assumptions. Amounts shown relate only to the provisions of SB 982 and HB 1555 and therefore only to Maintenance and Operations (M&O) funding. Dollar amounts reflect the total state and local school district contributions to public education.