SB 2 and HB 2 threaten adequate funding for public education. Property taxes constitute the primary funding source for public education in Texas. These two (duplicate) bills would limit school districts and other taxing authorities to an increase of just 2.5% (the current allowance is 8%). These bills threaten the League of Women Voters of Texas’ commitment to support: “adequate state funding, critical to ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, are provided with a high-quality education.”
Yes, property taxes are high; however, these bills do not lower property taxes! Given that the state contributes just 38% to public education funding, your local school district is having to fund the remaining 62%. Hence, school districts must maintain higher taxes to ensure public schools can operate.
There is no guarantee in these bills that the state will increase its funding for public education. Yet,
- Our school-age population keeps growing.
- School safety concerns will cost money to address.
- School maintenance and operations cost continue to rise.
- New instructional materials and technologies are expensive.
- Health care costs are rapidly increasing.
- The cost of living is rising well in excess of 2.5%.
These bills restrict local control. According to a February 2019 poll by the CPPP, 87% of Texas voters want their locally elected officials to be allowed to pass policies that reflect their communities’ needs and values. The League’s position on local control is clear; any state-level effort to curtail those powers or to restrict local flexibility cannot be supported.