School Finance | Texas Public Radio

School Finance

Beacon Hills Elementary teacher  Joann Chambers reads a book to her dual language preschool class May 23, 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Employees of the San Antonio Independent School District will see a bit more in their paycheck next school year.

Trustees approved raises for all employees Monday evening as part of the district’s 2019-2020 budget.

Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels CC0:

Monday at 12:30 p.m. on "The Source" – An $11.6 billion plan to reform school finance in Texas unanimously passed through both the Texas House and Senate and is on Gov. Abbott's desk for final approval. 

House Bill 3, or the Texas Plan for Transformational School Finance Reform, includes $6.5 billion to improve public education and pay teachers, plus $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes. 

A bulletin board at Tafolla Middle School in San Antonio ISD on Mar. 30, 2019..
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The school finance overhaul bill HB 3 would keep millions of dollars in local property tax in San Antonio area schools and add hundreds of dollars more per student in funding, according to district-level impact estimates released by the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board on Monday.

Pexels CC0

The Judson Independent School District has adopted a new staffing model to help cut its budget. Trustees approved a plan Tuesday evening that reduces the number of librarians and registered nurses assigned to each campus.

Gates Elementary teacher Kayla John laughs at a drawing a student drew of her during guided reading in January 2019. San Antonio ISD pays her an extra $15,000 stipend as a master teacher.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Four years ago, Gates Elementary on San Antonio’s east side was on the state’s list of failing schools. Only 15 percent of its students were reading at grade level.

Now Gates is one of the fastest improving campuses in the San Antonio Independent School District. School officials credit its success in part to teachers like Kayla John.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott named his emergency legislative priorities during Tuesday's State of the State address. 

He praised the state's economy and job growth, and he noted what people say when he asks them why they moved to Texas.

“Now listen I know, we may not be perfect, but all the newcomers I talk to, they think that Texas is a governmental holy grail,” Abbott said.

State Rep. Diego Bernal speaks to students at Churchill High School Oct. 16, 2018.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

After failing to pass legislation to reform public school funding in 2017, state leaders have pledged to make it a top priority this legislative session.

The Texas Public School Finance Commission spent 2018 creating a roadmap for lawmakers to enact that reform, but key questions remain.

Ryan E. Poppe

Hurricanes were on the minds of state lawmakers on Tuesday, but they weren't thinking about the ones in the Atlantic. The Senate Finance Committee explored Texas school districts damaged by Hurricane Harvey and what steps to take to help a district rebuild after a storm passes.

Students climb the stairs of the Chance Academic Center on the San Antonio College campus in June, 2018.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Tuition will go up $13 a credit hour at the Alamo Colleges next spring.

The community college district’s board of trustees voted last Saturday to raise tuition from $86 to $99 a credit hour, bringing the cost for the average course to $297.

From left: superintendents Brian Wood of Northside ISD, Abelardo Saavedra of South San Antonio ISD, Brian Gottardy of Northeast ISD and state representative Diego Bernal during a Feb. 3, 2018 city council committee meeting on school funding.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio City Council and local public schools are looking into ways they can work together to advocate for changes to school funding at the state level.

At an initial planning meeting with the council’s committee on intergovernmental relations Tuesday, committee chair Rey Saldaña said the city wanted to have “skin in the game."