Not much time left in 3rd special session
The 30 days allowed for the third special session will run out on October 19. That means lawmakers have just over a week to finish their business in order to avoid a 4th special session. And if they can't adopt maps on or before November 15, legislators risk delaying the primary election from March 1, 2022 to April 15, or possibly May.

Almost all the bills have already been passed by the Texas Senate, but so far no bill has been passed in the Texas House this special session. That could change starting tomorrow, as the House prepares for a full day debating HB 1, the proposed map for the 150 districts in the Texas House.

If you would like an overview of the status of bills we are tracking (there are 16 in all), you can find that here: Bills on the Move - 3rd Special Session.

That spreadsheet includes bills that have been granted hearings, sorted by the topic on the call from the Governor. Here are the details you need to know about bills that may impact public education in some form or fashion:

Property Taxes
The Texas Senate passed SB 1 (Bettencourt/Meyer) and the House Ways & Means Committee heard the bill on September 30. It's been pending since then. As you recall, this is the bill that would provide additional temporary property tax rate compression of about 6 cents during tax year 2022. It would also prohibit districts from conducting VATR elections in 2022.

Also on September 30, the House Ways & Means Committee heard HB 90 (Oliverson). This bill would designate a state surplus to further buy down the M&O tax rate in school districts and provide tax relief. It was also left pending.

UIL Athletics
SB 3 (Perry) and HB 25 (Swanson) would both require that participants in UIL athletic competitions compete according to their sex at birth. As it stands, SB 3 has passed the Senate and was referred to the House Public Education Committee where a hearing was not granted. HB 25 was referred to, heard by, and favorably reported out of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights & Remedies. Given that SB 3 is over and eligible in the House, if HB 25 is scheduled for debate, SB 3 could be substituted and passed.

Several appropriations bills are moving through the process to spend and direct spending from the federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The section impacting public schools is the $286 million appropriated for TRS-Care/TRSActiveCare to provide funding for coronavirus-related claims so that premiums for TRS-Care and TRSActiveCare insurance policies not increase as a result of coronavirus-related claims. At this time, SB 8 (Nelson/Bonnen) is the bill that is the furthest along in the process as it has been passed by the Senate and set for hearing in the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow.
Recapture presentation available
In case you missed it in our previous message, we have uploaded a new presentation on Robin Hood recapture to the Member's Area of our website. You can access the three following options:

The presentation was originally designed for a joint meeting of the Plano City Council and Plano ISD Board of Trustees and has since been modified so that it could be used in any district statewide. It will soon be shared with the board and community in Port Aransas ISD. You are welcome to use this presentation in whole or in part in your district and community. Please let us know if you ever need information or presentations customized for your community. We're happy to help!
Corrected video link
Finally, we sent an incorrect link in our last communication to watch the Senate Finance Committee hearing on SB 1, edited for length. If you would like to view that, you can watch here via the corrected link. The hearing was condensed to 15 minutes in length to give school leaders the opportunity to hear the insightful remarks offered by members of the Texas Senate regarding school leaders, property tax rates, and bond elections. We apologize for the error.
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