Dear SBISD Parents and Community:
Last week was a busy one in our state’s capital, and Spring Branch ISD has much for which to be pleased. The bullets below reflect a few of the highlights:
- The Texas House passed House Bill 3 (HB 3), and it will now move to the Texas Senate for consideration. The good news is that HB 3 remains fairly unchanged since first being introduced even though many special interest groups have tried to change/adjust it. HB 3, in its current form, does a great deal of good for Spring Branch ISD:
- It provides funding for full day PreK
- It provides funding for employee raises
- It provides added funding for our English Learners, Special Education, and Economically Disadvantaged students
- It provides funding for transportation (we currently receive no money for transportation from the state)
- It reduces recapture by almost 50 percent
HB 3 does a great deal more and in its current form is good for our district, so we will continue to support it.
- The Texas House removed merit pay for teachers as well as outcome based funding from HB 3. We are pleased that this was done as we feel these strategies are bad for SBISD. There is a possibility that we will see both of these issues return to the conversation once HB 3 goes to the Senate, so we will continue to share our beliefs with members of the House and Senate.
- The Texas Senate increased the amount of funding they have set aside for education to match the Texas House. This amount is a little over $9 billion ....... yes, that’s Billion with a B! This means that both the Texas House and Senate are considering the same amount of money to invest in public education, $9 Billion! This is good news for all students in Texas and says that the chambers are working together on school finance reform.
- The Texas Senate will begin discussions on HB 3 as early as this week. We will closely monitor these discussions and engage, as appropriate.
- The Texas House will hear a bill on Tuesday of this week about the STAAR. We will be there, along with other members of the SBISD community, to share our views on this and other bills. I’m not sure what the Legislature will do about our concerns with the STAAR, but we should have more information after the hearing on Tuesday. I’ll keep you updated.
We are a little over halfway through the 86th Legislative Session. The work of school finance will continue through the month of May, and the discussions may become a bit more intense. I can assure you that I, along with our Trustees, will remain vigilant in our effort to ensure school finance reform happens in a manner that is good for the students, staff and community of Spring Branch ISD!
Thank you for engaging in these conversations and staying informed about the issues. Spring Branch ISD is known throughout the Capitol, thanks to your persistence in keeping the issues in front of legislators. Together, we are creating positive change for our system.
Scott R. Muri, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools