Message from Chief of Business & Operations Nicole Conley Johnson: State of the State

We thank Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and the legislature for building on the work of the school finance commission to address one of the most important and formidable issues facing Texas: how the state funds education. Texans consistently identify education and school finance as top priorities for communities and industries, as well as the future of our state.

To ensure schools have the resources needed to support all students, Texas needs comprehensive school finance and property tax reform, including new funding streams and updated formulas. A modern school finance system, which is informed by market conditions, will provide meaningful property tax relief to Texans, especially in communities such as Austin where half of every local tax dollar is sent to the state. As we move forward, it is critical that the state reduce its reliance on property taxes by substantially increasing its own investment in public education, restoring the state's share to a level that matches local taxpayer investment. Our taxpayers consistently tell us that putting more dollars into public education is the best way to balance both needs and we are encouraged by what we are seeing in state leadership.

Austin ISD—and our community of students, educators, families and taxpayers—look forward to continuing to work with the governor and legislators to deliver on the promise of public education for all Texans. The future economy and social fabric of the Lone Star State is being shaped in our classrooms today. By investing in our greatest assets—our young people—we can ensure Texas continues to thrive and lead in an ever-increasing, competitive and global marketplace.