Texas Senate School Plan Has Bigger Teacher Raises, More Tax Relief. But How Will It Be Paid for?

AUSTIN -- Earlier this month, Texas House members celebrated passing their legislation to overhaul Texas schools by increasing salaries, lowering property taxes and giving every school district in Texas a significant increase in money to educate students. On Thursday, the Senate countered with their plan and education leaders scrambled to determine who the winners and losers would be. "We have some real needs in Texas, our largest demographic is kids who qualify for free and reduced lunch," said Senate Education Chairman Larry Taylor, as he unveiled his plan to the committee. "It's our fastest growing demographic and it's our least educated and that paradigm can't continue on that path." Taylor's rewrite of the House education bill offers more property tax relief than the House did and bigger raises for teachers -- $5,000 raises instead of the roughly $1,850 that the House provides. But it comes at a cost: less flexibility for school districts to decide how to spend the money.  Continue reading...

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