Legislative Update: A Closer Look at HB 3 as It Heads to the Senate

The Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) applauds the April 3 passage of House Bill 3 by the Texas House of Representatives on a 148-1 vote. HB 3 represents a significant investment in public education and would pump $6.3 billion of new funding into Texas public schools. The bill would also dedicate $2.7 billion to property tax compression.

STAT provides a voice for Texas science education and is committed to maintaining the highest levels of science education in Texas schools for all students. Although HB 3 in its current form does not contain any specific provisions pertaining to science education, what’s positive for the entire public education system will positively affect Texas science education.

The House added a specific provision setting aside a percentage of districts’ additional funding for increased salaries and wages. HB 3—for now—includes an across-the-board raise for all employees.

HB 3 would also:

  • Increase base funding for each student by $890.
  • Fund full-day pre-K for low-income 4-year-olds in most school districts.
  • Compress tax rates for all districts and reduce the amount of money wealthier districts pay the state in recapture payments to shore up poorer districts.

Meanwhile, the Senate has already pushed through Senate Bill 3, which calls for a $5,000 across-the-board pay raise for classroom teachers and librarians that would cost the state $4 billion over the next two years.

We’re at the halfway point. HB 3 now heads to the Senate for consideration, while the House will consider SB 3. We will keep you posted on next steps related to this activity and other happenings affecting science educators in Texas. 

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