Austin ISD Legislative Priorities
86th Legislative Session
The 86th legislative session will convene January 8, 2019. This website is intended to help our community learn:
- Facts about our students, campuses, budget and programs
- Legislative priorities
- How you can become and stay informed about legislative matters
- Monday, November 12, 2018: First day to pre-file bills for the 86th Legislative Session
- Tuesday, January 8, 2018: Start of 86th Legislative Session
- Tuesday, January 15, 2019: Inauguration of the governor and lieutenant governor
- Friday, March 18, 2018: Last day to file bills for the 86th Legislative Session
- Monday, May 27, 2019 (140th day): Last day of 86th Legislature (sine die)
On August 27, 2018, the Board of Trustees of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) adopted Legislative Priorities for the 86th Legislative Session.
Among Chapter 41 districts, AISD is the single largest payer of recapture, representing nearly one-quarter of the total recapture payments collected by the state. Under the state’s “recapture” law, the district will be required to send a projected $673 million to the state in 2018-19.
Even though AISD is considered “property wealthy” under recapture, AISD serves a more diverse student population with costlier educational needs than the typical Chapter 41 district. AISD celebrates its diversity, and is committed to offering all students an excellent education. But additional resources are needed to support a diverse student population in which:
- Over 53 percent of children in AISD are from economically disadvantaged homes.
- For over one in four, English is not the first language.
- There are 94+ languages are that spoken throughout the district.
- One in 10 children is classified as having a learning (or other) disability.
To contact a member, go to the member's website.
- Representatives and contact information.
- Find your representatives, their websites and contact information by clicking here and entering your address.
Local Control and Accountability
Austin ISD supports public schools governed by locally elected school boards. The school board should have the flexibility to lower tax rates and, if needed, return them to previously voter-approved rates at a later date. The district opposes unfunded mandates.
Austin ISD supports an accountability system that evaluates school quality and student performance as fairly and accurately as possible, without penalizing schools for factors outside their control. The accountability system should include multiple measures of student performance and growth, rather than an over-reliance on standardized tests. Such an accountability framework would allow districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of students and communities.
Excellence in Programming and Services
Providing mental and behavior health services to adolescents at the first signs of emotional distress increases academic performance and lessens disciplinary issues. The legislature should support the district’s efforts regarding campus-based mental and behavior health services, and ensure that campus-based behavioral health counselors are admitted to insurance programs as in-network providers.
AISD is proud of the wide variety of academic options and support services it provides. The legislature should continue to support excellence in programming by providing funding for full-day Pre-K.
Learn About Taxparency
Taxparency is an effort of school districts to clearly demonstrate how local school property taxes and state funding are being used to fund public education. Generally, as property values, and thus property taxes, rise, the percentage of state funding going to education is decreasing.
To see how much of your AISD property taxes are sent to the state in the form of recapture and also fund other parts of the district budget, visit My Tax Dollars at Work.
- House committee meetings
- Senate committee meetings
- Raise Your Hand Texas
- Texas Association of School Boards
- Texas PTA
- Texas School Coalition
- Texas Association of School Administrators
- Coalition for Public Schools
- Texans for Strong Public Schools
- Center for Public Policy Priorities
- Texans Advocating for Meaningful School Assessment
- Analysis: Why Rising Property Values Don't Lower School Taxes
- Analysis: The State’s Declining Support for Public Education in Texas
- Analysis: The Challenge of Making a Property Tax Cut Pitch Pay Off in Texas
- Texas A–F Grades Make Low-Income Schools Look Worse, Analysis Shows
- Are Your Property Taxes Too High? Thank A Legislator
- Analysis: A State School Finance System That Can Choke A City's Growth
- Analysis: The Taxes Texas School Districts Are Afraid to Cut