Governor to sign school financing, property tax reform bill Tuesday

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Governor Greg Abbott will sign into law the bill reforming school finance, reducing property tax and raising teacher pay in a signing ceremony Tuesday morning at an Austin elementary school.

The governor will be joined by members of the Texas Legislature, superintendents, teachers and stakeholders at the ceremony at Parmer Lane Elementary School in Austin, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

House Bill 3, authored by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and sponsored by Sen.Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), includes $6.5 billion to improve public education and pay teachers, plus $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes.

The bill dedicates more state funding for schools, creates an incentive pay program for teachers, adds career, college, and military readiness bonuses for school districts, funds full-day prekindergarten for students in poverty, and requires all elementary school principals and teachers in kindergarten through third grade be trained on science-based reading instruction by 2021.

Additionally, the bill buys down property tax rates and places a 2.5% property tax cap on school districts starting in 2021.

Some lawmakers, however, have raised questions about the sustainability of the property tax reform.

Because the state is required to help school districts pay to educate students, limiting local tax revenue could force the state to reimburse them billions of dollars in the future.

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