September Member Update
It was great to see so many of you at the TASA/TASB Convention last weekend. We elected officers for the next two years and provided an update on the latest developments in regards to our legislative priorities.

You can access that presentation (for viewing or use) on the Members Area of our website or via the links below:

We're also pleased to announce the election of officers to serve the organization. President Kyle Lynch (Seminole ISD), Vice President Danny Massey (Brazosport ISD), and Secretary/Treasurer Sharon McKinney (Port Aransas ISD). We're grateful for their leadership and willingness to serve.
TEA Budget Hearing
The Texas Education Agency presented their Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) for the 2024-25 biennium at a budget hearing today. This hearing before representatives from the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker, House Appropriations Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and the LBB is the first opportunity for Education Commissioner Mike Morath to present the Agency's request.

As reported in our last update, the Agency's request for the 24-25 biennium is $2.2 billion less than the amount appropriated for the 22-23 biennium. Commissioner Morath explained that the request represents formula funding for what is called for by current law. The Agency may only request funding that exceeds current law through exceptional items requests. Morath went on to explain that the Agency arrived at these amounts by factoring in estimates for property value growth and enrollment decline. He stated multiple times that "a negative isn't always a negative" because a reduction in GR funding would not result in a reduction for school district budgets. The difference would be made up by the increased amount of property tax revenue used to fund the system overall.

Commissioner Morath pointed out the "one-time adjustment" which significantly reduced the Technology & Instructional Materials Allotment (TIMA) during the 87th Legislature has been recommended or a readjustment back at the normal level of funding ($1.2 billion) for FY 24-25.

He also pointed out that additional funding has been recommended for the Supplemental Special Education Services Program (the program that provides an online account for parents to direct the funding to support their special education student). Morath explained that demand surpassed available funding for that program this biennium when it was funded at $30 million per year. Therefore the Agency is requesting $46.6 million per year for FY 24-25.

For Agency staff, Morath requested additional funding to keep up with strategic compensation. He explained the impact of inflation has diminished the meaning of compensation the Agency is able to pay employees.

Morath also explained that in regards to additional funding for school safety and educator staffing initiatives, the Agency included placeholders in the request without specific dollar amounts as those amounts will be determined later as part of the legislative process and when the Teacher Vacancy Taskforce completes its work.

Again, this isn't necessarily where school funding will end up. Legislators will meet and consider topics like inflation, property tax relief, the guaranteed yield amounts, the teacher workforce, and school safety, but this is a starting point for those discussions.
Communications Resources
As a reminder, we've made two communications toolkits available to assist districts that have elections on the ballot in November. You can find those via the links below:

Committee & Commission Updates
101 days remain before the 88th Legislative Session, and bill filing begins the week after the November 8 election. At this time, there are not any hearings scheduled that pertain to public schools in the coming weeks. When that changes, we will let you know!

House Committee work is concluded for most (but not all) committees pertaining to public education. The Senate Education Committee has quite a few interim charges that have yet to be covered. Remember that you can always check our hearing tracker to stay up-to-date on which interim charges have been heard and when.
Priorities for the 88th Legislative Session

  • Enable public schools to meet students' needs
  • Control the cost of recapture
  • Protect the sustainability of public education funding
  • Ensure public accountability of public dollars
  • Preserve local decision-making

You can take a look at the priorities on our website to get more information behind each of those statements. And if you are interested in even more details about what all of this means, we have expanded further with an itemized list of priorities under each of those headings.
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