The Texas House of Representatives endorsed sweeping legislation to fund public schools. Representative Dan Huberty (R-Houston), chairman of the House Public Education Committee, steered the legislation to a nearly unanimous vote. 

“House Bill 3 would increase base funding for each student by $890, fund full-day pre-K for low-income 4-year-olds in most school districts, compress tax rates for all districts and reduce the amount of money wealthier districts pay the state in recapture payments to shore up poorer districts. Because Democrats spearheaded a change in the bill, it would also provide across-the-board raises for all full-time school employees who are not administrators.”

“We are finally reforming public education in Texas, and not by court order, so that’s a pretty important thing,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Dan Huberty, a Republican who chairs the House Public Education Committee. The vast majority of House lawmakers signed on to the bill as co-authors. Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, was the lone no vote.

“The bill will now make its way to the Senate. The upper chamber last week increased the amount it had planned to set aside for public education and property tax reform to match the House’s original proposal.”

Rep. Dan Huberty is a hero of public education. I met him a few years ago at an evening sponsored by Friends of Public Education in Texas. He joins the honor roll of this blog for shepherding a complex bill through the House that will improve schooling for five million children.