The Senate Subcommittee on Public Education Funding finalized its recommendations on school funding. These recommendations will now be considered by the full Senate Finance Committee. Originally, both the senate and the house had considered cuts exceeding $9 billion to public education. In the subcommittee’s recommendation, this amount has been reduced to $4 billion. While this is certainly good news, there needs to be no misunderstanding that EISD will still be facing a significant loss of revenue during the next biennium.
EISD has one of the lowest target revenues in the state for a district our size. Target revenue is currently the driving force behind the majority of our state funding. Throughout Texas, there is a large variation of target revenue. While EISD has a target revenue of about $4,400 per weighted ADA, other districts in the state have a target revenue exceeding $10,000 per weighted ADA. Needless to say, this difference makes state funding disproportionate by definition.
Instead of bringing down some of the higher target revenues and increasing some of the lower target revenues, which would bring all districts closer to a median target revenue, the senate’s plan lowers all the target revenues throughout the state. EISD will continue to have one of the lowest target revenues in the state. The coming reduction in state aid will be a challenge for EISD.
The subcommittee did add $800 million to a “wish list” that would be used to bring up the revenue of the lowest funded district. However, in order for this to ever be funded, additional revenue must be found at the state level.
As we come closer to the end of this legislative session, I will keep you updated on happenings at the state level.