Currently the State Legislature is debating the best way to address lowering property taxes and pump more much needed money into our public schools. With a state as big and diverse as Texas, this is a challenge. The McKinney Chamber applauds the real work of taking on this challenge and believes the best "first steps" to address both issues is in the form of House Bill 3.
Education is the critical component for keeping Texas competitive now and in the future. It provides opportunities for all our citizens to achieve a pathway to a good wage job and sustainable life. Businesses are fueled by a skilled, talented workforce. Education is intrinsically tied to economic vitality. But education does come with a price tag. And, unfortunately, our State has historically defunded the one thing key investment in our continued prosperity. Shouldered with unfunded mandates and residents’ expectations of high quality, safe schools, local districts were using the only means they had - local property taxes - to provide an education for all.
The business community across the state has been telling this story to our elected officials for some time now. And, it appears they've listened. Both the House and the Senate have offered solutions. In our opinion, the House's version of the bill accomplishes most of what we'd like to see in finance reform. It allows over 1,000 districts across the State of Texas to determine how to use funds, includes funding for early childhood education and lessens the recapture payments from districts like McKinney.
The McKinney Chamber has signed onto a joint letter advocating for HB3. (READ Letter HERE).
We also thank our State Representative Scott Sanford for his work on the House's Education Committee who did the heavy lifting when it came to crafting this bill. He along with over 100 Reps signed onto author the bill.
Please let your elected officials know your position on this important piece of legislation. Click here to contact your legislators directly. They need to hear from you!
As with all legislation, nothing is ever perfect. But we applaud and support the work the House is doing to address this critical issue. We'll keep watching, monitoring and advocating!
- Lisa Hermes