Texas House, Senate Propose Spending Billions More on Schools, Though in Different Ways

AUSTIN -- The House and Senate revealed different priorities in the tentative state budgets their GOP leaders unveiled this week.Here are the highlights:Education is Job OneThe House showed a little more generosity toward public schools, adding $9 billion of new general-purpose state revenue, above what funding formulas in current law would require.But the House wrote a blank check -- with the details to be filled in later.Its starting point budget has a provision telling the Texas Education Agency to spend the new money only if lawmakers pass a school-finance and property-tax overhaul bill this session. The funds could go for increasing the basic allotment and beefing up early childhood programs, special education and teacher pay, the House provision said.If the House's version passed, state support of the main public school fund would climb to $42 billion over two years, an increase of $7.4 billion over the current cycle.The Senate directed its proposed infusion of new cash for schools, $6 billion, to specific ends.  Continue reading...

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