House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty unveiled HB 3 this week, a comprehensive 186-page bill addressing school finance reform. The bill increases the basic allotment for districts from the current $4,765 per student to $6,030. It includes a program to fully fund pre-K for low-income students and directs additional funds to schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students. It also provides more money for dual-language immersion, dyslexia and CTE programs.

With regard to compensation, HB 3 includes several provisions ranging from an increase in the state minimum salary schedule to a merit pay proposal. Currently, the bill does not provide for an across-the-board pay raise. The salary components are very complex and somewhat confusing, so we've put together a summary of the key provisions. Click here to read it.

The House approach to teacher compensation differs from the Senate, which unanimously passed SB 3 this week to give teachers and librarians a $5,000 across-the-board raise. Huberty said SB 3 would receive a hearing as House and Senate members address their different approaches in the coming weeks. TCTA will continue to push for pay increases for all of our members.

Other bills filed this week would boost the TRS pension fund and make it actuarially sound. An increase in the contributions is a stable approach to ensuring the long-term health of the TRS pension fund, and provides some hope for increases in retiree benefits in the near future.

Next week , a Tuesday hearing on HB 3 will dominate activities at the Capitol.