Going into the Memorial Day weekend, it appeared that the legislature had a school finance plan wrapped up. However, a filibuster in the senate kept the plan from being voted on by the senate. Now, the legislature is in a special session to work on school finance.
The school finance plan that was on the table at the end of the regular session combined plans by Representative Eissler and Senator Shapiro. This combined plan used proration in the first year (11-12), and a move away from target revenue in the second year (12-13). While it was certainly not perfect, it did offer the best numbers for Eustace ISD than any other plan that I have seen this session. In fact, it really was not even close. I know that I was probably in the minority of superintendents that actually supported this plan. I understand that our school finance system needs to be restructured to account for inequities within the system. At the same time, I understand that if I have a choice of losing $540,000 in funding or $800,000 in funding, I am going to choose the $540,000 every time. At some point in time, we have to make a stand on what is best for Eustace ISD.
This same bill has been re-introduced in the special session as SB 1. I will continue to support this bill; not because it is a perfect school finance bill for the state of Texas, but because it does the least amount of damage to Eustace ISD.
I will continue to provide updates regarding school finance as more information becomes available through this special session.