TEA Appropriations Request Drops by $1.16 Billion
by Dax Gonzalez
State’s Share Slides Again
Texas Education Commissioner Mike
Morath on September 12 presented the
Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) legislative
appropriations request—the amount of
legislative funding the agency anticipates
needing for the upcoming biennium—to
the Legislative Budget Board and legislative
Morath confirmed what many education advocacy groups have been saying
about the state’s share of public education
funding support: TEA is expecting the
state share of public education spending to
drop by $3.5 billion to a percentage in the
“mid-thirties” next biennium as the agency
estimates local property tax values will
grow annually by 6.77 percent. This would
continue the state’s policy of shifting more
of the responsibility for funding public
schools to local property taxpayers—with
local property taxpayers set to shoulder
two-thirds of education funding.
In total, TEA is requesting $1.16
billion less than the current biennium.
Morath outlined the agency’s priorities
as they relate to the request, specifically
highlighting special education and school
safety as areas that will need additional
Regarding school safety, TEA is
seeking $50 million for the biennium for
increased access to mental health services, counseling, securing facilities, and
emergency response coordination. Morath
highlighted the agency’s $50 million for
increased identification of special-needs
students and restorative services for any
students who were denied appropriate
special education services.
He also noted that the funding being requested is likely not to be the final
amount, but more likely placeholders for
larger amounts depending on the needs of
schools to achieve agency priorities.
The SBAN Connection
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Dax Gonzalez is division director of TASB