Focus at Four: Local superintendents respond to education legislation

By  | 

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Monday the Texas Senate approved a bill that would massively overhaul public school finance.

After an hours-long debate on dozens of proposed changes yesterday, the Senate voted on House Bill 3, which would increase student funding, give teachers and librarians a $5,000 dollar pay raise, fund full-day pre-K for low-income students, and lower tax bills.

And while those are good ideas, Bryan and College Station ISD superintendents say that last minutes changes to the bill have them concerned.

"Originally House Bill 3 voted out by the House of Representatives, benefited most districts across the state. It provided more latitude in terms of districts being able to use the money to honor and recognize others in the profession that are not just the teachers. The newer version does not bring that to the table, " Bryan ISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck said.

"Late last week and over the weekend, we found out some of the things that were in there. An increase in the number of writing assessments so now writing would be assessed, not just in grades 4-7, but in every grade, " College Station ISD Superintendent Clark Ealy said. "Adding an additional kindergarten assessment and funding based on the outcome of third-grade students on STAAR tests. Some of those things that hadn't been in there before has caused us a great deal of angst."

Now legislators are trying to figure out how to fund this new legislation.

You can listen to the full interview with News 3's Karla Castillo in the video player above.