Dear SBISD Family,
On Monday, the 88th Texas Legislature regular session ended with the Senate and House unable to reach agreement over House Bill 100 (HB 100), the only legislation on the table to increase public education funding.
NO new money allocated to provide educator pay raises or increased funding for the programs and services our students need and deserve. NO new funding to address the high inflation that has significantly impacted our bottom line. And, NO increase in the Basic Allotment.
We are grateful for Representative Ken King (District 88), author of HB 100, and the other members of the House of Representatives who supported this bill. However, when HB 100 failed to pass as drafted by the House, the majority of our state legislators and our highest elected officials failed the 5.4 million children of Texas.
They failed to address the recommendations of their own Teacher Vacancy Task Force. They failed to assure that Texas can continue to provide our state with a future-ready workforce. They failed to leverage the $33+ billion state budget surplus – the largest in the state’s history – to prevent districts across the state from having to make catastrophic and detrimental budget cuts. And they failed to listen to the SBISD community members who have collectively and tirelessly advocated for a $1,000 increase to the Basic Allotment before and during the Session.
Instead, Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and many of our own local elected officials have neglected to focus on public education, our students, our teachers, and our community. This leaves us frustrated, angry and dismayed.
We will hold them to account. We will remind our community and our staff that our elected officials are responsible for any difficult budget decisions we will have to make during the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. These decisions will be on them – not our Board of Trustees and not our Administration.
We thank the thousands of community members who advocated on behalf of our district, making calls, sending emails and posting on social media to let our community’s voice be heard loud and proud. Your voices were strong and impactful; unfortunately, they fell on deaf ears.
WE CANNOT GIVE UP NOW!
Reach out to Governor Abbott and request a Special Session to increase the Basic Allotment. Funding for public education was set aside when the 88th Legislature approved the budget, but there is no mechanism to access this funding without a bill to guide how it is to be allocated.
With a record budget surplus of $33 billion, and a projected 23% revenue increase over the next biennium (2023-2025), the state has the capacity and the obligation as written in the Texas State Constitution – “it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools” - to address both property tax relief AND increased funding for public schools.
Our state must invest in the future of Texas public schools and our children. Our children are our state’s most important asset – they are our future, and our bottom line.
Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
View our 88th Legislative Session website here.