The Texas Senate passed HB 1 (its budget bill) on Tuesday after substituting its preferred version, which includes an across-the-board $5,000 pay raise for teachers and librarians. The version of HB 1 passed by the House is not specific about how funding should be used for educator salaries (the House’s pay raise proposal for non-administrators is incorporated in HB 3, its school finance bill). HB 1 now heads to a conference committee, which will negotiate the differences. Click here for the latest on the budget and other big bills this session.

Tuesday was a very busy day, with the House Public Education Committee having some spirited discussions on charter school legislation.

On Thursday, the House and Senate delayed debate on property tax reform. Neither chamber appears to have the votes to get a property tax bill passed, and in a surprise move Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced their support for a tax swap that would raise the state sales tax one cent in exchange for lowering school district property tax rates.

Meanwhile, several other bills were heard in committees Thursday, including a bill to help TRS retirees who have returned to work.

Next week, the Senate will take up school finance reform and the House is set to try again on property tax reform.