School Finance in Governor's Hands

By  | 

The Legislature's answer to the state's school finance crisis now rests with Governor Rick Perry.

With two weeks left to avoid the threat of schools closing, lawmakers sent Perry a landmark tax overhaul hoping to prevent a court-imposed freeze on state money to schools.

The Legislature adjourned yesterday after a 30-day special session called in response to a Texas Supreme Court order to fix the unconstitutional system by June First.

The session was the sixth attempt in three years to address the difficult issue.

Their plan calls for a new money source for K-through-12 education, including a new business tax and an increase to the tobacco tax. That money will allow school districts to reduce school property taxes by about a third over the next two years.

The package also would implement some education reforms, including a $2,000 teacher pay raise and a uniform school start date.

Perry is expected to sign the legislation into law.