Dr. Blaine's Blog



Dear SBISD Colleagues, Families and Community Members,

SBISD is closely monitoring education- and budget-related bills and their impact on our students and schools as the 88th Legislative Session has now reached the halfway point.

I am asking for your immediate advocacy today around two bills – (1) Senate Bill 8 and (2) Senate Bill 30.

Here are our concerns:

Senate Bill 8

Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) is sweeping education legislation that includes the introduction of education savings accounts as a mechanism to divert public taxpayer funds to pay for private school education. This bill proposes using YOUR taxpayer dollars to fund private school educationTHIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

  • The bill proposes $8,000 per student for an education savings account (ESA). That’s about $2,000 more than the state provides for each of your students in the current basic allotment formula.
  • The bill requires ZERO accountability or transparency for student achievement, state testing, unfunded mandates, use of funds or the like by private schools taking ESA funds.
  • Private schools are not required to accept students with an ESA or ANY student. Public schools, like SBISD, serve ALL students.
  • The bill will negatively impact SBISD as a RECAPTURE district– a 100 student reduction in SBISD would result in a loss of funds of about $1.5 million for the biennium.

Senate Bill 30

Senate Bill 30 (SB 30), the Supplemental Appropriations Bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee, reduces funding for the Foundation School Program (FSP), the primary source of state funding for Texas school districts, by $8.2 billion

We understand the House has set aside $5 billion for education (HB 1), which would still leave a net $3.2 billion in taxpayer funds reallocated to the state’s general fund. Either way, it is extremely unlikely the $8.2 billion, which is how much is being realized by the state from your public school property taxes, will be fully reinvested in public educationTHIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

  • The $8.2 billion earmarked by the Senate is the result of property value growth and RECAPTURE exceeding projections.
  • The $8.2 billion reduction to the FSP includes the $87 million the state will take from YOU- our SBISD taxpayers, this year alone, along with taxpayers like you in 160 recapture districts across Texas. These funds will NOT be used for public education and would be diverted to the state’s general fund to use for other purposes.
  • Public education tax dollars should stay in public schools.
  • Legislators should reinvest at least $8.2 billion into the Basic Allotment.
  • Reminders:
    • $10 billion of the state’s $33 billion surplus comes from Recapture districts like SBISD.
    • SBISD’s legislative priorities call for at least a $1,000 increase in the Basic Allotment.
    • Texas ranks among the bottom 10 states in the U.S. for education funding.

Elsewhere in bills we are following, an estimated $17 billion of the state’s $33 billion surplus is proposed to be used to fund statewide property tax relief. Think about it- the 21% of your taxes paid to SBISD taken by the state through Recapture will be redistributed to taxpayers far beyond SBISD.

While we support property tax relief, your tax dollars paid to SBISD and taken by the state, should remain in public education for the benefit of YOUR children.


Please reach out to our elected officials and the Senate Committee on Education immediately via phone or email regarding these two bills. Here is a suggested message:

Dear Representative/Senator _____________,

My child is a student at _____________ in Spring Branch ISD.  I am reaching out regarding Senate Bill 8 with opposition to any model for education savings accounts that would provide a higher level of per student funding than what is provided to public schools through the Basic Allotment. As written, the $8,000 per student allocation for education savings accounts is $2,000 higher than the current Basic Allotment provides for my child in Spring Branch ISD. I also oppose any education savings account model that does not mandate the same across-the-board accountability and transparency required of my public school district. 

With regards to Senate Bill 30, funds collected for public education should remain in public education. Please oppose the $8.2 billion reduction to the Foundation School Program, which diverts recaptured dollars from school districts like Spring Branch ISD to fund the state’s bottom line. Instead, please reinvest at least $8.2 billion into public education. Diverting funds intended for public education to fund the state’s bottom line is unacceptable. Our children deserve better.

House Representatives representing SBISD

  1. Mano DeAyala, Texas State Rep. @manoforstaterep
    mano.deayala@house.texas.gov  512-463-0514
  2. Lacey Hull, Texas State Rep. @laceyhulltx
    lacey.hull@house.texas.gov  512-463-0727
  3. Penny Shaw, Texas State Rep. @reppennymshaw
    penny.moralesshaw@house.texas.gov  512-463-0620

State Senators representing SBISD

  1. Paul Bettencourt, Texas Senator @TeamBettencourt
    Paul.Bettencourt@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0107
  2. Joan Huffman, Texas Senator @joanhuffman
    joan.huffman@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0117
  3. John Whitmire, Texas Senator @whitmire_john
    john.whitmire@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0115

Texas Senate Committee on Education

  1. Brandon Creighton, Chair
    brandon.creighton@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0104
  2. Donna Campbell, Vice-Chair
    donna.campbell@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0125  
  3. Paul Bettencourt, Member
    Paul.Bettencourt@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0107  
  4. Brian Birdwell, Member
    Brian.Birdwell@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0122  
  5. Pete Flores, Member
    pete.flores@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0124  
  6. Phil King, Member
    phil.king@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0110  
  7. Morgan LaMantia, Member
    morgan.lamantia@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0127
  8. José Menéndez, Member
    jose.menendez@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0126  
  9. Mayes Middleton, Member
    mayes.middleton@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0111  
  10. Tan Parker, Member
    tan.parker@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0112  
  11. Angela Paxton, Member
    angela.paxton@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0108  
  12. Drew Springer, Member
    Drew.Springer@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0130  
  13. Royce West, Member
    royce.west@senate.texas.gov 512-463-0123

Thank you for your ongoing support and advocacy on behalf of our children, our educators and SBISD. Stay informed throughout the legislative session at our school finance webpage here.

Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools