Key Dates

End of Session Deadlines Under House and Senate Rules

Monday, May 8
Last Day for House Committees to Report House Bills

Thursday, May 11
Last Day House Bills Can Be Heard of House Floor for 2nd reading on Daily or Supplemental Calendar

Tueday, May23
Last Day Senate Bills Can Be Heard on the House Floor for 2nd reading on Daily or Supplemental Calendar

Monday, May 29
Adjournment / sine die

Sunday, June 18
Deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott 
to sign or veto legislation 

 

Legislative Priorities

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees adopted Legislative Priorities and Issues for the 85th Legislative Session that support:

  • reforming the state’s school finance system;
  • maintaining local control and reforming the state's accountability system; and
  • supporting specialized programming such as Pre-K programs and mental health services.

Learn more about the district's legislative priorities.

Learn more about the district's legislative issues

To contact a member, go to the member's website.

School finance reform

The school finance system has been described as “Byzantine” at best, and the Austin community shoulders much of the burden of a finance system designed in the 1980s. Austin ISD is projected to send $406.1 million in taxpayer dollars to the state in the 2017 fiscal year as part of the state’s recapture system. AISD is projected to pay almost $2.6 billion in recapture from fiscal years 2016–2020.

By 2019, more than half of every dollar collected by the district will go to the state. Also, the state's portion of funding for public education has been declining. The state paid nearly 50 percent of the cost in 2008 and pays less than 43 percent of the costs now. 

AISD is the single largest payer of recapture, representing approximately 13 percent of the total $2 billion collected by the state. The district’s legislative priorities and issues focus on changing the school finance formulas to allow more of our taxpayers’  dollars to remain in our and help our students.

Additional resources are needed to support a diverse student population in which:

  • Nearly six of 10 children in AISD are from economically disadvantaged homes.
  • For almost one in three, English is not the first language.
  • There are more than 94 languages spoken throughout the district.
  • One in 10 children is classified as having a learning or other disability.

Learn more about AISD's finances and recapture.

Learn more about funding weights.

Learn more about the Cost of Education Index (CEI)

Learn more about the transportation allotment.

Learn more about the district's Social Security obligation. 

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 repeal of the legislation requiring A–F grades for school and districts. Instead the state should require school districts to develop their own assessment and accountability systems based on general guidance from the state. Such an accountability framework would allow districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of students and communities.

Also, the state should reduce the use of high-stakes, standardized tests, and instead allow districts to adopt multiple assessments that reflect greater validity and more accurately capture academic proficiency and growth.

Read the district's resolution on the A–F accountability system.

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.

Learn more about the district's mental health priorities.

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 expanding grant funding for high-quality 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 read about Taxparency and watch the Taxparency video, visit the Taxparency Texas website.

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.  

Resources

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