Texas House OKs major school finance fix, but will Senate?

Texas Capitol from east Austin (KXAN Photo)
Texas Capitol from east Austin (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House has approved a bipartisan, $1.6 billion bill to begin overhauling the state’s troubled school finance system.

Houston Republican Rep. Dan Huberty’s proposal increases annual, per-student funding about $200 to $5,350. It also raises funding for school district transportation and educating dyslexic students.

The bill tweaks the current “Robin Hood” system, decreasing some local property tax revenue that school districts in wealthy areas share with those in poorer parts of the state.

It passed 134 to 16 on Wednesday night but may not survive the state Senate, which is more focused on school vouchers.

No school finance fix is required since Texas’ Supreme Court has ruled the system flawed but barely constitutional.

Huberty calls his proposal a first step, but says a full fix will take several years.