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April 19, 2017      11:58 AM

KR: What is at stake as school finance debate unfolds

If the Senate was willing to cede school finance funding, will the House be willing to agree to Patrick’s slimmed-down no-fiscal-note voucher proposal?

We know just about everything we need to know about what the House and Senate would do to fix school finance this session – and a resolution still appears to be far from guaranteed.

In the House, Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty’s House Bill 21 goes to the floor today with 46 potential amendments. Most of those amendments, with the exception of a fix to the small district allotment, will likely be rejected on the floor for either making changes to general law or carrying a steep price tag, such as credit for full-day pre-kindergarten.

Last night in the Senate, Education Committee Chair Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, rolled out his series of school finance bills, including Senate Bill 2145, that could provide a more substantive, albeit incomplete, fix to the quirks in the school finance system. SB 2145 also gets extra credit for coming in with no fiscal note, using current revenues to smooth out inequities.

So why is House Bill 21 likely to die a slow death in the Senate?

By Kimberly Reeves

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