• Texas 88th Legislative Session Updates

  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 8 | NOVEMBER 14, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 8 | NOVEMBER 14, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    Later this week, the Texas House is expected to vote on House Bill 1, a bill that would create a new universal school voucher program that would divert taxpayer dollars to private schools. According to the state’s Legislative Budget Board, this program would cost $2 billion in the second year and grow by 5% each year. With more than 800,000 students already choosing something other than public schools, this program could grow to cost $8 billion per year without a single student leaving public schools. That’s $8 billion less per year for the more than 5.5 million students in public schools.

    The bill also includes much-needed funding increases for public schools, however the bill is tethered to the passage of a universal voucher program. Last week, Governor Abbott stated he would veto legislation that provides teacher pay raises, addresses challenges with STAAR, provides an increase in school funding and improves special education funding unless the bill includes a universal voucher program.

    The vote on HB 1 is crucial and it has never been more important for every voter to contact lawmakers and make your voice heard. Public schools remain underfunded by billions of dollars as a result of inflation and while the legislature has helped to take the burden off property taxpayers, schools still don’t have the necessary resources to provide cost-of-living adjustments for our teachers and staff and pay the bills. Instead of addressing this major concern, many lawmakers have been distracted by politics surrounding vouchers.

    The future of Texas public schools hangs in the balance and our success depends on having the resources we need to serve all of our students.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 7 | OCTOBER 9, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 7 | OCTOBER 9, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the School Board President

    Dear Community,

    Since our last newsletter, work has not stopped as the legislative sessions have continued. The regular session ended on May 29 and was followed by the 1st and 2nd special sessions. Although public schools have yet to receive additional funding, we are thankful that part of the state's $33 billion surplus is lowering property taxes for Texas taxpayers.

    Nevertheless, it was disheartening to learn that, primarily due to the ongoing debate over privatizing public schools, there has been no increase in the basic allotment for schools since 2019, even though there is a surplus in the state budget.  It is clear that much has changed in the economy since then and this lack of funding continues to have significant implications for our public education system.

    We are grateful that our community has a vested interest in the Plano ISD because it is what attracts families and businesses to choose Plano and surrounding communities as a great place to live and work. Therefore, we want you to be informed about the issues that impact your local public schools and hope that you will take an active role in advocating for them.

    The Plano ISD Board of Trustees stands by its legislative priorities approved in the fall of 2022, and we are emphasizing three of those priorities now as our primary focus. 

    1. Increase basic allotment to adequately fund public schools
    2. Oppose the diversion of public funds for private schools
    3. Create meaningful and fair assessments and accountability standards

    Your voice matters now more than ever. I encourage you to follow the legislative session closely and actively engage in advocating for issues of importance to public education. 

    Sincerely,

    Nancy Humphrey
    Board President

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    Governor Abbott announced a special session of the 88th Texas Legislature which began this afternoon, October 9, at 1:00 p.m. for the purpose of providing private school subsidies, also known as vouchers or education savings accounts. The Governor did not include education funding in the call. I don’t think I can overstate the importance of this 30-day special session. It is critical that you pay close attention to the actions our lawmakers take and how those actions will impact your public schools.

    Schools have been hugely impacted by record inflation over the past few years and need more than $14 billion just to return to the buying power we had in June 2019. Just as you have all felt the impact of inflation, we are seeing massive increases in the cost of utilities, fuel, insurance, food and other expenses necessary for operating our school district. Perhaps most importantly, our staff are in the same boat as you and need cost of living adjustments just to keep up with the rising costs of groceries, health care and gas. Unfortunately, the school finance system does not increase funding when inflation rises, and contrary to common belief, when your property values rise, schools do not receive more money for raises or operating expenses. Instead, the state gets to fund less of the system. 

    Because of this, the legislature needs to prioritize all available funding for public school students, classrooms and staff. The legislature only provided about $2.6 billion in the regular session earlier this year. They set aside $4.5 billion more for public education that can only be spent if a bill is passed to spend it. Half a billion dollars is set aside specifically for private school subsidies, and the Lieutenant Governor has made it clear that the Senate will not provide the remaining $4 billion to schools unless the House passes private school subsidies. Our students and staff deserve better. 

    With significant increases in revenue expected over the next two years, the legislature has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fully fund public education and stabilize our schools by tying funding to inflation. This will allow schools to keep up with rising costs while continuing to raise the bar for student achievement, attract and retain high-quality educators, provide safe and supportive learning environments and further bolster the economic engine of this state. 

    We will be watching closely as the legislature considers these important topics and we want you to follow along as well. We will be posting on district social media about these topics over the next few weeks and I’ll keep you updated as the session progresses. I encourage you to educate yourselves on these issues and stay engaged. Be prepared to contact your lawmakers to talk about what your public schools mean to you and how important it is to support our teachers and staff. You can find out who represents you in the state capitol by going to Who Represents Me? (texas.gov) and typing in your address. 

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to partner with you in educating the future of our great state. Let’s make sure our representatives in Austin know how important our schools are to our community. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 6 | JUNE 29, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 6 | JUNE 29, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    As you are aware, the 88th Regular Legislative Session came to a close on Monday, May 29, 2023. Our Board of Trustees worked diligently to establish realistic legislative priorities to meet the needs of our community and district. Many of our constituents joined us in advocacy efforts and supported PISD by sharing their thoughts with legislators throughout the session. Despite our great effort to provide win-win remedies, the session ended with very little relief for public school funding.

    Most notably, the legislature has yet to finalize any decisions on property tax relief. The Governor indicated that he will continue to call special sessions until property tax relief legislation is complete. The first-called special session ended June 27, 2023, and the second-called special session began June 28, 2023. During both special sessions, the Governor issued a proclamation requiring property tax rates to be decreased by reducing  school district maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rates through compression.  

    On the positive side, tax rate compression will result in our taxpayers paying less in property taxes, as well as the school district paying less in recapture dollars. However, it is important to note that a reduction in our recapture payment through tax compression will not add more funding for our classrooms. The reduction in recapture funds is offset by the reduction in tax collections. We are disappointed that despite a $33 billion surplus (with $17 billion set for tax relief), no additional funding has been allocated for the basic allotment to help districts through the basic allotment to cover costs that have increased due to inflation. 

    We continue to actively monitor the second-called special session as bills are filed daily. We also anticipate additional sessions in the coming months and expect that school funding will continue to be a topic of debate along with Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) or vouchers.

    We are so grateful for our community and the support that has been provided throughout this session. We are also grateful for the bills filed in support of our legislative priorities by our local legislative delegation: Senators Angela Paxton and Bob Hall and Representatives Justin Holland, Jeff Leach, Candy Noble, Mihaela Plesa and Matt Shaheen.

    Our staff remains committed to providing students a future-ready education in Plano ISD, regardless of the obstacles faced. Please stay diligent in your efforts to monitor legislative activity and have your voice heard at the state level. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Legislative Activity: Second-Called Special Session

    With a focus on property tax relief and a pathway to eliminate M&O tax rates, the following action has taken place:

    In the House

    The House Ways & Means Committee voted out HB 1 and HJR 1, which may be heard on the House floor for a vote as early as Friday, June 30, 2023. If approved, these bills will be sent to the Senate for consideration. Similar to its bill in the first-called special session, HB 1 compresses the M&O tax rate by $.162 and holds harmless some districts who would otherwise fall below a 90% equity threshold. HJR 1 is a constitutional amendment that would prevent the state spending for school property tax relief from counting against the rate of growth of appropriations. The total cost to the state for these House bills would be $12.3 billion for the biennium.

    In the Senate

    The Senate has heard and passed SB 1 and SJR 1. These two bills will now be sent to the House for consideration. SB 1 reduces the maximum compressed tax rate (MCR) by $.10, increases the homestead exemption from $40k to $100k and includes provisions to hold school districts’ M&O and I&S (interest and sinking) tax rates harmless in the process. It also Increases the franchise tax exemption for businesses to $2.47 million. Finally, SJR 1 exempts certain appropriations made for property tax relief from the constitutional spending limit and provides school districts with funding for the two years in the biennium to provide a bonus for full-time classroom teachers of $2,000 in large districts and $6,000 in small districts, which equates to an average of a 3% bonus. The total cost to the state for these Senate bills would be $12.7 billion for the biennium.

    With regard to the Governor’s second call of his proclamation, it is noteworthy that either method of tax rate compression (either the House $.162 or the Senate $.10) has a cost to the state of more than $12 billion. If the Governor is asking for a pathway to eliminate the entire M&O property tax going forward, the cost to the state would exceed $54 billion.

    Legislative Activity: First-Called Special Session

    With a focus on property tax relief and border security, no legislation was passed.

    Legislative Activity: 88th Regular Session

    Plano ISD’s Board of Trustees established legislative priorities before the regular session began. Below is a summary of how the legislative activity aligned to those priorities.

    Plano ISD Priority Topic 1 – Expand funding for safety & security, including student mental health & wellness

    Priority:  Substantially increase school safety allotment with local control

    Result:  HB 3, School safety allotment. This bill increased the school safety allotment from $9.72 to $10 and provides $15,000 per campus for security improvements. While this appeared to be a positive stride for education in the form of safety funding, this bill and others added substantial new safety requirements that will exceed the additional funding that was allotted. This resulted in our priority not being met.

    Priority:  Provide a new allotment for mental health and wellness for students for prevention and early intervention

    Result: No new allotment. However, HB 473, Parent notice for threat assessments requires parent notification before conducting threat assessment of a student and requires that a parent have ability to participate in assessment and submit information about the student. Parents must also be notified of the threat assessment team’s findings. HB 3488, Creating a mental health allotment was filed by Rep. Mihaela Plesa but did not pass.

    Priority:  Provide grant or state funding for infrastructure and capital projects based on local needs and local control to further harden school facilities

    Result:  Added mandates with only minimal new funding including HB 3 requiring an armed security officer on every campus and SB 838, Panic alert devices requiring these devices to be provided by districts in all classrooms.

    Plano ISD Priority Topic 2 – Address the inequities of recapture

    Priority:  All revenue in excess of entitlement funds should flow directly into the basic allotment

    Result:   HB 2477, Surplus recapture to be returned to basic allotment was filed by Rep. Mihaela Plesa but did not pass.

    Priority: Provide a discount for school districts that make their recapture payment early in the spring

    Result:  Did not pass; HB 3028 and SB 2088, Early payment credit on recapture co-authored by several in our local legislative delegation, both failed; this provision was added into HB 100, School finance bill in the House but died in the Senate with the school finance bill.

    Priority:  Property tax bills should transparently reflect the amount of local property taxes being paid to the State in the form of recapture

    Result:  HB 3555, Taxparency bill, did not pass. Nancy Humphrey, Plano ISD Board President, has been a strong advocate for this legislation and appreciated Rep. Mihaela Plesa and Rep. Jeff Leach’s efforts in this area.

    Priority: All funds collected through recapture must be used to fund traditional public education

    Result:  Nothing filed

    Plano ISD Priority Topic 3 – Adequately fund schools

    Priority: Modify formulas to ensure greater equity in funding across districts

    Result: Meaningful funding for schools did not materialize despite the “once-in-a-lifetime” $34 billion dollar budget surplus. The current basic allotment of $6,160 would need to be increased by $1,200 just to keep pace with inflation. Limited funding action occurred including HB 1, Appropriations bill that included:

    • $17.6 billion for property tax relief. It’s very important to note that the state is “buying down” the M&O tax rate, which means taxpayers will pay less property taxes, schools will be held harmless, recapture will decrease, yet no additional funding will be available to school districts to meet the loss in purchasing power they have sustained since the last increase to the basic allotment (mechanism that funds operating budgets) in 2019.
    • Expenses to Fund the Foundation School Program, including
      • $3.2 billion to fund enrollment growth (does not help Plano ISD)
      • $2.4 billion for increases in golden penny yield (helped Plano ISD by about $4.1 million)
      • $5 billion additional for public education (but no legislation to deliver it to schools).  HB 100 could have helped (it did not pass), but it would have only increased the basic allotment by $140 – and it included $500 million for vouchers (unknown how this impacts Plano ISD)
    • $1.4 billion for school safety measures (Plano ISD will receive $1.1 million as a result, but we will also have new safety standards that will cost in excess of this amount) 

    Priority: Base funding on student enrollment instead of percentage of attendance

    Result: Did not pass; HB 348, HB 1376 and HB 2841, Using enrollment vs. attendance in public school funding were filed by multiple co-authors, including local Rep. Mihaela Plesa.

    Priority: Increase the basic allotment, adjusted annually for inflation

    Result: HB 100 would have increased the basic allotment by $140 in the second year of the biennium, included a discount for early recapture payment. It also included a provision for adjusting annually for inflation, beginning in the next biennium. Ultimately, this bill failed to pass in the Senate and there was no provision for additional school district funding in the 88th Regular Session. It is important to mention that schools have not received an increase in the basic allotment since 2019 and have faced a cumulative interest rate of 14.5% during this period. However, the state currently boasts a $34 billion revenue surplus and hasn’t agreed on whether or how to fund public education.

    Priority: Convert two copper (Tier II Level II) pennies to two golden (Tier II Level I) pennies

    Result: HB 2377, Converting copper pennies to golden pennies filed by Rep. Mihaela Plesa directly addressed this priority, but it did not pass.

    Plano ISD Priority Topic 4 – Create meaningful and fair assessments and accountability standards

    Priority: Advocate for an accountability system that does not lower a district’s overall rating for a single underperforming campus

    Result: No action

    Priority: Expand indicators of achievement in the school accountability system to include recognition for advanced coursework, credit by exam, single and full-grade acceleration and project-based learning opportunities

    Result: No action

    Priority:  Make modifications to HB 4545 to preserve intent but better apply necessary flexibility

    Result: HB 1416 and HB 4545, Clean-Up bills eliminate or reduce some of the requirements associated with HB 4545 but maintain the provision to provide accelerated instruction for students who fail STAAR assessments. Plano ISD recommended a provision for a student to be excused from HB 4545 instruction if he/she did not take the STAAR exam but used an alternate assessment score to show mastery of the subject. We appreciated Senator Paxton’s inclusion of this provision that was passed. HB 1416 also provides a parent right to opt-out that was not in the original HB 4545.

    Priority:  Advocate that the state student assessment program be limited to only those assessments required to meet ESSA requirements

    Result: No action

    Priority:  Oppose A-F ratings that oversimplify the complex work of schools and incentivize teaching to the test

    Result: No action 

    Plano ISD Priority Topic 5 – Preserve local control to face unique needs of the community

    Priority: Continue to encourage parental involvement in their children’s education as reflected or amended in current policy

    Result: Several parent empowerment bills were passed that will increase parental control over student activities and participation. As an example, HB 3803, Parent empowerment allows parents to choose for their child to repeat a grade up to grade 8 (previously grade 3). It also allows parents to choose for their high school student to repeat any course.

    Priority: Preserve the accountability and governance structure of locally elected boards and administrations

    Result: No new legislation

    Priority: Continue to allow local control over local elections

    Result: No new legislation. A bill was considered that would have moved all local elections to November. Another bill was filed that would have modified “This is a Tax Increase” language on the ballot for bonds, in addition to adding additional language. None of these passed.

    Priority: Preserve and expand District of Innovation flexibilities

    Result: No new legislation

    There was an all-time high number of bills that were filed (8,000+) with over 1,200 passed into law. Out of these, approximately 140 were related to education.  

    Below are some of the bills that passed and did not pass, directly impacting Plano ISD.

    Bills that Passed

    School Safety

    • HB 3 (Safety & Security Standards)
    • SB 838 (Panic Alert Devices)
    • HB 1905 (Shared Safety Training)
    • HB 473 (Parent Notice for Threat Assessments)
    • SB 133 (No Pepper Spray for Young Children)
    • HB 3623 (MOU for School Marshals)

    School Finance

    • HB 1605 (Instructional Materials Allotment)
    • HB 3 (School Safety Allotment)
    • HB 8 (Dual Credit Funding)
    • HB 3708 (UIL for Non-Enrolled Allotment)
    • HB 2209 (Rural Pathway Excellence Partnership)

    Property Tax

    • HB 4456 (No New Revenue Rate)
    • SB 2998 (Truth in Taxation)
    • HB 3273 (No More Postcards)
    • HB 5 (Economic Development)

    State Budget Appropriations

    • HB 1 (General Appropriations Act)
    • SB 30 (Supplemental Appropriations Act)

    Personnel

    • HB 2012 (Teachers May Display National Motto)
    • SB 1720 (Confidential Threat Reporting) 
    • HB 63 (No Anonymous Child Abuse Reporting)
    • HB 1789 (Bus Driver Nepotism Exemption)
    • HB 2929 (Teacher Continuing Education Requirements)
    • HB 4520 (Disqualifications for Employment)

    Teacher Certification

    • SB 544 (Air Force Teaching Experience)
    • HB 621 (Military & First Responder Experience)
    • HB 2729 (Pre-K Teacher Qualifications)
    • HB 4363 (Future Texas Teachers Programs)

    School Counselors

    • SB 798 (Teaching Experience not Required)
    • SB 763 (Chaplains as School Counselors)

    Texas Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

    • SB 1854 (Optional Dental/Vision for Retirees
    • SB 10 (Cost of Living Increases for Retirees

    Students

    • HB 3908 (Fentanyl Abuse Prevention Awareness)
    • HB 4375 (AED Instruction)
    • SB 68 (Career Investigation Day)
    • HB 567 (The Crown Act)
    • HB 114 (Controlled Substance Redefined to Exclude Marijuana and THC)

    Parent Empowerment

    • HB 18 (Securing Children Online through Parental Empowerment)
    • HB 1926 (Parent-Directed Funding for Special Education)
    • HB 3928 (Parent Rights for Dyslexia)
    • HB 3803 (Parent Choice Grade/Course Materials)
    • HB 1212 (Parents Excuse Religious Absences)
    • HB 3917 (Alternatives for Truancy Fines)

    Student Transfers

    • HB 2892 (Transfers for Military Families)
    • HB 1959 (Transfers for Children of Peace Officers)

    Administration/Governance

    • SB 1008 (Proof of Residence for Military)
    • HB 3033 (Public Information Requests)
    • SB 294 (Epi-pen and Asthma Medication)
    • SB 629 (Opioid Antagonists Administration)
    • SB 29 (No More COVID-19 Mandates)

    UIL

    • HB 3708 (UIL Allotment)
    • HB 699 (League Classification)
    • HB 2484 (Be Kind to Referees)

    Assessments

    • HB 1416 (HB 4545 Clean-Up)
    • HB 1225 (Paper Format Assessments)
    • HB 1883 (Alternative Assessment Dates)

    Curriculum & Instruction

    • HB 1605 (Instructional Materials)
    • HB 900 (School Library Standards)
    • SB 2124 (Advanced Mathematics)
    • HB 2209 (Rural Pathway Excellence Partnership)
    • SB 2294 (Early High School Graduation)

    Bills that Did Not Pass

    • HB 100  (School Finance)
    • SB 8 (Education Savings Account)
    • SB 418/HB 890 (Open-Enrollment Transfers)
    • SB 9/HB 11 (Teacher Pay & Rights)
    • SB 1814 (Minimum I&S Tax Rate Required)
    • SB 1252 (Add’l Language Added to VATRE Ballots)
    • SB 2205 (Removing Language from Bond Ballots)
    • SB 1515 (Posting of the Ten Commandments)
    • HB 3028/SB 2088 (Early Payment Discount for Recapture)
    • HB 3555 (Taxparency)

    Reading Homework


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 5 | MAY 19, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 5 | MAY 19, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    The Senate has less than a week to approve HB 100 to add much-needed funding to our schools. You and I know that public education is the cornerstone of every great community and Plano is no exception. Our schools and teachers are working harder than ever to meet the needs of every student that walks through our doors, regardless of income, background, zip code or educational need. We exist for this very purpose and we thrive on the challenge of providing each and every student with a great education and a wealth of opportunities for their futures.

    But we need more funding in order to do this. Our funding has not increased with inflation. It has not increased as our challenges and needs have grown. It has not increased as our mandated recapture payments have continued to balloon. Instead, we are forced each day to do more with less and that equation gets more difficult by the moment. 

    Please, take the time to contact our state leaders and implore them to prioritize this vital increase in funding for all Texas schools. Our future depends on our ability to deliver on our promise of an excellent education for every child. We are up for the challenge—we just need the tools to do it.  

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Legislative Activity

    Bills we are watching

    • HB 100 by Ken King (R-Canadian) Increases the basic allotment from $6,160 to $6,250 in 2024, and to $6,300 in 2025 (equivalent to approx $7.1 million in PISD) increases the transportation allotment to $1.54 per mile for regular transportation and $1.67 for special education transportation (equivalent to approx $1.4 million in PISD), creates a 4% early payment credit for recapture districts (equivalent to approx $8.0 million in PISD), provides enrollment-based funding for certain allotments, adds new allotments for advanced math & secondary fine arts, adjusts minimum salary schedule, provides for indexing the basic allotment to inflation in next biennium.
    • HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) provides $10/ADA plus $15,000 per campus through the School Safety Allotment. 
    • SB 11 by Senator Nichols (R-Jacksonville) provides a per-campus School Safety Allotment, based on campus size, which ranges from $10/ADA and $15,000 per campus. The bill also makes changes to truancy laws, provides technical assistance from regional service centers, and requires annual safety audits, and provides penalties for non-compliance. ($15k x 65 campuses = $975K)
    • SB 8 by Brandon Creighton (R-Beaumont) and SB 176 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) which would create voucher programs and allow parents to use public taxpayer dollars to pay for private schools that lack the accountability and transparency requirements of public schools. Plano ISD opposes both of these bills and provided written testimony on SB 8, which you can read here
    • HB 11 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) which would increase the Basic Allotment by $50 with half of that increase being applied toward compensation for teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians; an increase to the minimum salary schedules for those employees; modifies small and mid-sized allotment to be based on enrollment. (This would provide an estimated $2.5M, which is less than 1% of PISD’s total operating budget, despite the fact that compounded inflation exceeds 14.5% since the last increase in the basic allotment in 2019.)
    • HB 2 by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system and property tax appraisal and administration.
    • HB 4402 by Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) relating to the administration of certain assessment instruments, the accountability rating system for assessing campus and district performance and an extracurricular and cocurricular allotment under the Foundation School Program.

    Hearings and Floor Action for the Week of May 22 - Final Week of Session

    Live videos for the House can be found here and the Senate here

    Monday, May 22, 2023

    • House reconvenes at 9:00 a.m. 
    • Senate reconvenes at 11:00 a.m.
    • No Public Education committee hearings have been set at time of publishing.

    Reading Homework

    • View our updated video on Plano ISD’s advocacy efforts this legislative session. 
    • On May 1, Plano ISD joined forces with other school districts across the state to urge parents and supporters to contact state lawmakers about school funding. Speaking at a joint press conference, School Board Vice President Nancy Humphrey stated, “For Plano ISD, this is an S.O.S moment—SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS. Despite being one of the largest and wealthiest states in the country, Texas consistently ranks near the bottom in per-pupil spending on education. School districts need additional funding to be made whole from the impact of inflation over the last four years and going forward.” Also representing Plano and the business community in this effort was City of Plano Economic Development Director Doug McDonald whose mom was a teacher for 25 years before retiring. He stated, “The number one asset that recruits global companies to the state of Texas is our schools. The number one challenge facing our companies is workforce. It’s not a simple fix. We have to continue building a pipeline of talent and that starts with our schools. Our future workforce is in our schools today.” (Read more and watch video from the press conference | Send an SOS to lawmakers to ask that school funding keep up with inflation)
    • Check out our Legislative Affairs webpage where you can find the latest reports out of Austin and more.
    • Plano ISD has adopted its Legislative Priorities and Legislative Remedies. This list of policy issues and solutions was created by and adopted by the Board of Trustees and serves as a guide for the district’s advocacy efforts during session. 
    • Plano ISD, along with 250 other school districts throughout the region and state, urged TEA to pause its accountability system refresh to ensure that the pending changes are fair, reasonable and not retroactively applied to prior years. You can read our joint letter here
    • Check out other information, resources and position letters shared by Plano ISD this legislative session.


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 4 | MAY 4, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 4 | MAY 4, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    We are in the final weeks of our Legislative Session, and I am concerned that the funding our schools so desperately need is not guaranteed. As the Legislature manages a once-in-a-lifetime budget surplus of more than $30 billion, it is hard to imagine that our public schools would not benefit from some of that funding.

    This week we are asking you to email your State Senator and ask them to support more money for our schools through HB 100 - a bill just sent to the Senate from the House that will add $7.1 million to Plano ISD’s budget. This is well short of the amount of funding we need to cover our deficit budget, but it is an important start. 

    Please take the time today to click through this link and send your Senator a note today letting them know that our schools need HB 100! 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Legislative Activity

    Bills we are watching

    • HB 100 by Ken King (R-Canadian) Increases the basic allotment from $6,160 to $6,250 in 2024, and to $6,300 in 2025 (equivalent to approx $7.1 million in PISD) increases the transportation allotment to $1.54 per mile for regular transportation and $1.67 for special education transportation (equivalent to approx $1.4 million in PISD), creates a 4% early payment credit for recapture districts (equivalent to approx $8.0 million in PISD), provides enrollment-based funding for certain allotments, adds new allotments for advanced math & secondary fine arts, adjusts minimum salary schedule, provides for indexing the basic allotment to inflation in next biennium.
    • HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) provides $100/ADA plus $15,000 per campus through the School Safety Allotment. Schools would not be eligible to receive these dollars unless the district agreed to enter into a statewide contract for certain technology with a specific vendor selected by the state. The bill also requires armed security personnel at every school campus to be in place August of 2023, as well as annual TEA safety audits, and provides penalties for non-compliance, which include voucher-like grants to students to leave non-compliant campuses.
    • HB 13 by Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) provides $100/ADA School Safety Allotment, establishes a School Sentinel program, requires mental health first-aid training for school staff, and establishes grant programs to help districts cover costs associated with safety & security. (This preserves local control and could provide as much as $4.5M for PISD.)
    • SB 11 by Senator Nichols (R-Jacksonville) provides a per-campus School Safety Allotment, based on campus size, which ranges from $15,000-$16,800 per campus. The bill also makes changes to truancy laws, provides technical assistance from regional service centers, and requires annual safety audits, and provides penalties for non-compliance. ($15k x 65 campuses = $975K)
    • SB 8 by Brandon Creighton (R-Beaumont) and SB 176 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) which would create voucher programs and allow parents to use public taxpayer dollars to pay for private schools that lack the accountability and transparency requirements of public schools. Plano ISD opposes both of these bills and provided written testimony on SB 8, which you can read here.
    • HB 11 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) which would increase the Basic Allotment by $50 with half of that increase being applied toward compensation for teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians; an increase to the minimum salary schedules for those employees; modifies small and mid-sized allotment to be based on enrollment. (This would provide an estimated $2.5M, which is less than 1% of PISD’s total operating budget, despite the fact that compounded inflation exceeds 14.5% since the last increase in the basic allotment in 2019.)
    • HB 2 by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system and property tax appraisal and administration.
    • HB 3555 by Rep. Mihaela Plesa (D-Plano) relating to transparency in taxation, or Taxparency. For every taxpayer, on the face of the tax bill and the website of the assessor-collector, show the amount of ad valorem taxes that fund their local school district and the amount of ad valorem taxes that are sent to the State in recapture.
    • HB 3028 by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) creates a 4% early payment credit for recapture districts (equivalent to approx $8.0 million in PISD).
    • HB 4402 by Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) relating to the administration of certain assessment instruments, the accountability rating system for assessing campus and district performance and an extracurricular and cocurricular allotment under the Foundation School Program.

    Hearings and Floor Action for the Week of May 1

    Live videos for the House can be found here and the Senate here

    Monday, May 1, 2023

    • House reconvened at 10:00 a.m. 
    • The Senate reconvened at 11:00 a.m.

    Tuesday, May 2, 2023

    Thursday, May 4, 2023

    Reading Homework

    • On May 1, Plano ISD joined forces with other school districts across the state to urge parents and supporters to contact state lawmakers about school funding. Speaking at a joint press conference, School Board Vice President Nancy Humphrey stated, “For Plano ISD, this is an S.O.S moment—SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS. Despite being one of the largest and wealthiest states in the country, Texas consistently ranks near the bottom in per-pupil spending on education. School districts need additional funding to be made whole from the impact of inflation over the last four years and going forward.” Also representing Plano and the business community in this effort was City of Plano Economic Development Director Doug McDonald whose mom was a teacher for 25 years before retiring. He stated, “The number one asset that recruits global companies to the state of Texas is our schools. The number one challenge facing our companies is workforce. It’s not a simple fix. We have to continue building a pipeline of talent and that starts with our schools. Our future workforce is in our schools today.” (Read more and watch video from the press conference | Send an SOS to lawmakers to ask that school funding keep up with inflation)
    • Check out our new Legislative Affairs webpage where you can find the latest reports out of Austin and more.
    • Plano ISD has adopted its Legislative Priorities and Legislative Remedies. This list of policy issues and solutions was created by and adopted by the Board of Trustees and serves as a guide for the district’s advocacy efforts during session. 
    • TEA is considering making changes to its A-F accountability system that would increase standards while applying them retroactively to prior years. This could have a significant impact on our accountability ratings despite no negative changes in student outcomes. 
    • Plano ISD, along with 250 other school districts throughout the region and state, are urging TEA to pause its accountability system refresh to ensure that the pending changes are fair, reasonable and not retroactively applied to prior years. You can read our joint letter here


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 3 | APRIL 1, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 3 | APRIL 1, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    Next week, the House will debate the next budget for the State of Texas. It is our hope that the final budget reflects a commitment to supporting and continuing to improve public education. Along with the budget, we are monitoring several important committee hearings, as noted below. We appreciate your efforts to continue to follow along with the progression of the Legislative Session and we will continue to keep you informed in the weeks ahead.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Legislative Activity

    Bills we are watching

    • HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) increases the School Safety Allotment to $10 per ADA and an additional $15,000 per campus. The per-ADA amount would increase by $1 every time the Basic Allotment is increased by $50 from its current amount. (This bill offers the same revenue as with SB11, or $975K)
    • HB 13 by Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) increases the School Safety Allotment to $100 per ADA, and removes the list of items on which funds may be spent to just include the spending requirement that funds be spent "to improve school safety and security." (This preserves local control and could provide as much as $4.5M for PISD.)
    • SB 8 by Brandon Creighton (R-Beaumont) and SB 176 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) which would create voucher programs and allow parents to use public taxpayer dollars to pay for private schools that lack the accountability and transparency requirements of public schools. Plano ISD opposes both of these bills and provided written testimony on SB 8, which you can read here
    • HB 11 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) which would increase the Basic Allotment by $50 with half of that increase being applied toward compensation for teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians; an increase to the minimum salary schedules for those employees; modifies small and mid-sized allotment to be based on enrollment. (This would provide an estimated $2.5M, which is less than 1% of PISD’s total operating budget, despite the fact that compounded inflation exceeds 14.5% since the last increase in the basic allotment in 2019.)
    • HB 100 by Ken King (R-Canadian) does all of HB 11 + adds an “effective” teacher designation to the Teacher Incentive Allotment; increases eligibility for Pre-K for public school teachers and includes a $2,000 Mentor Teacher Allotment.
    • SB 980 and SB 2088 which would provide a 10% prepayment discount to school districts that pay recapture early.  (This could potentially save as much as $20 million in recapture for Plano ISD.)
    • SB 11 by Senator Nichols (R-Jacksonville) increases the School Safety Allotment from the current amount of $9.72 per ADA to $10 per ADA and an additional $15,000 per campus. The $10 amount would increase by $1 every time the Basic Allotment is increased by $50 from its current amount. ($15k x 65 campuses = $975K)
    • HB 2 by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system and property tax appraisal and administration.
    • Numerous bills that would change the Texas public school funding system to be based on enrollment rather than attendance, including HB 2841, SB 263, HB 1376, HB 31, and SB 2301. (Estimates are as high as $18M increase in revenue for PISD.)

    Hearings and Floor Action for the Week of April 3

    Live videos for the House can be found here and the Senate here

    Monday, April 3, 2023

    Tuesday, April 4, 2023

    Wednesday, April 5, 2023

    Reading Homework

    • Plano ISD was in Austin this week meeting with legislators during Collin County Days. Check out our leave behind we gave to legislators. 
    • Check out our new Legislative Affairs webpage where you can find the latest reports out of Austin and more.
    • Plano ISD has adopted its Legislative Priorities and Legislative Remedies. This list of policy issues and solutions was created by and adopted by the Board of Trustees and serves as a guide for the district’s advocacy efforts during session. 
    • TEA is considering making changes to its A-F accountability system that would increase standards while applying them retroactively to prior years. This could have a significant impact on our accountability ratings despite no negative changes in student outcomes.
    • Plano ISD, along with 250 other school districts throughout the region and state, are urging TEA to pause its accountability system refresh to ensure that the pending changes are fair, reasonable and not retroactively applied to prior years. You can read our joint letter here.


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 2 | MARCH 20, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 2 | MARCH 20, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    The 88th Legislative Session is well underway and we are busy keeping track of the more than 500 bills that have been filed that may impact our district.  The deadline to file bills has now passed and the work of the Legislature is in full swing as they conduct hearings and guide legislation through the process.  Less than one-third of bills will ultimately pass and become law, and it is our goal to ensure that our legislators understand the impact that public education bills will have on Plano ISD, our students, schools and community.

    As we continue to move through this complex and fast-paced process, please know that we may reach out to you at some point to help us weigh in with legislators on issues with the biggest impact on Plano ISD.  It is our goal to be a platform of information and access for each of you to be your own advocate for your Plano ISD schools and students.

    Thank you for your support of our Plano ISD schools.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Legislative Activity

    Bills We Are Watching

    • HB 11 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) which would increase the Basic Allotment by $50 with ½ of that increase being applied toward compensation for teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians; an increase to the minimum salary schedules for those employees; modifies small and mid-sized allotment to be based on enrollment.  (This would provide an estimated $2.5M, which is less than 1% of PISD’s total operating budget, despite the fact that compounded inflation exceeds 14.5% since the last increase in the basic allotment in 2019.)
    • HB 100 by Ken King (R-Canadian) does all of HB 11 + adds an “effective” teacher designation to the Teacher Incentive Allotment; increases eligibility for Pre-K for public school teachers and includes a $2,000 Mentor Teacher Allotment.
    • SB 980 and SB 2088 which would provide a 10% prepayment discount to school districts that pay recapture early.   (This could potentially save as much as $20 million in recapture for Plano ISD.)
    • SB 11 by Senator Nichols (R-Jacksonville) increases the School Safety Allotment from the current amount of $9.72 per ADA to $10 per ADA and an additional $15,000 per campus. The $10 amount would increase by $1 every time the Basic Allotment is increased by $50 from its current amount. ($15k x 65 campuses = $975K)
    • HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) also increases the School Safety Allotment to $10 per ADA and an additional $15,000 per campus. The per-ADA amount would increase by $1 every time the Basic Allotment is increased by $50 from its current amount. (This bill offers the same revenue as with SB11, or $975K)
    • HB 13 by Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) increases the School Safety Allotment to $100 per ADA, and removes the list of items on which funds may be spent to just include the spending requirement that funds be spent "to improve school safety and security."  (This preserves local control and could provide as much as $4.5M for PISD.)
    • HB 2 by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system and property tax appraisal and administration.
    • Numerous bills that would change the Texas public school funding system to be based on enrollment rather than attendance, including HB 2841, SB 263, HB 1376, HB 31, and SB 2301.  (Estimates are as high as $18M  increase in revenue for PISD.)

    Hearings and Floor Action for the Week of March 20

    Live videos for the House can be found here and the Senate here.  

    Monday, March 20, 2023

    The House will reconvene at 2:00pm.  

    The House Youth Health & Safety Select Committee will meet at 2:30pm

    The Senate will reconvene at 3:00pm. 

    Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    The House Public Education Committee will meet at 8:00am

    Wednesday, March 22, 2023

    The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:00am  

    Reading Homework

    • Check out our new Legislative Affairs webpage where you can find the latest reports out of Austin and more.
    • Plano ISD has adopted its Legislative Priorities and Legislative Remedies. This list of policy issues and solutions was created by and adopted by the Board of Trustees and serves as a guide for the district’s advocacy efforts during session. 
    • TEA is considering making changes to its A-F accountability system that would increase standards while applying them retroactively to prior years. This could have a significant impact on our accountability ratings despite no negative changes in student outcomes. 
    • Plano ISD, along with 250 other school districts throughout the region and state, are urging TEA to pause its accountability system refresh to ensure that the pending changes are fair, reasonable and not retroactively applied to prior years. You can read our joint letter here.

    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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  • NEWSLETTER VOLUME 1 | JANUARY 20, 2023

    Plano ISD red apple

    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    VOLUME 1 | JANUARY 20, 2023

    LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

    Legislative News and Updates for Plano ISD Stakeholders

     LEGISLATIVE TRACKER   |   LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

    A Note from the Superintendent

    Dear Community,

    Plano ISD is excited to share with you our new Legislative Affairs Newsletter that we hope provides you with a greater understanding of the state policy issues facing our district. Thank you for your willingness to engage in the policy-making process on behalf of our students and community.

    The 88th Texas Legislature kicked off last Tuesday, January 10, 2023. For the next few months, our legislators will work their way through thousands of pieces of legislation, many of which will impact public education. Through these updates to you, we will share relevant information on the most impactful pieces of legislation, as well as easy opportunities for you to voice your opinion on those policies.

    Thank you for your support of our Plano ISD schools.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Theresa Williams
    Superintendent

    Topic of Focus

    Who Does What in Austin?

    There are many different roles in state government that work in concert to craft and create public policy that governs Texas school districts. We vote to elect some officials like those listed below, while others are appointed, like the TEA Commissioner. In our first newsletter, we want to share with you a brief overview of the roles involved and explain how each has an impact on issues like public education.

    Governor

    The executive power of the State of Texas, the Governor is elected statewide every 4 years. Our current governor, Greg Abbott, was just re-elected to his third term in November. He has numerous responsibilities and powers, including the duty to appoint a variety of leadership positions. One of his most important appointments is the TEA Commissioner, currently Mike Morath, who serves as the lead executive of the Texas Education Agency that oversees the implementation of public education policies throughout Texas. This position and agency have an enormous impact on our schools and are hugely important to Plano ISD. The Governor can also sign into law or veto legislation, as well as call Special Sessions that require all legislators to return to Austin for 30 days to address issues of the Governor's choosing. 

    Lieutenant Governor

    The Lieutenant Governor, currently Dan Patrick, is the leader of the State Senate and elected statewide every 4 years. In this role, the Lt. Governor controls committee appointments for the Senators and decides which pieces of legislation can move forward to be considered by the Senate. As a result, this position has enormous control over the legislative process. 

    Speaker of the House

    The Speaker is the leader of the House of Representatives and is chosen by fellow legislators on the first day of each legislative session. Dade Phelan was just re-elected on the first day of session to serve his second term as Speaker of the House. Elected by voters in his own legislative district every two years and not a statewide elected official, the Speaker is responsible for creating House committees and informally influences but does not directly control which legislation is heard in the House. 

    Texas State Senator

    There are 31 State Senators elected throughout Texas. Each Senator is elected every 4 years and works to understand the issues facing their constituents on everything from transportation to public education. The Texas Senate considers legislation proposed during legislative sessions and, along with the Texas House, it must approve any bill before it can become law.  

    Texas State Representative 

    There are 150 State Representatives elected to serve in the Texas House. Each Representative is elected every two years and serves smaller districts than their Senate colleagues. State Representatives are charged with understanding the issues of their districts and representing those constituents in Austin during the legislative session. Any legislation passed by the Texas Senate must also be passed by State Representatives in the Texas House. 

    State Board of Education 

    State Board of Education members are elected throughout 15 districts in Texas every 4 years. The SBOE is responsible for setting policies and curriculum standards for Texas public schools, including reviewing and adopting instructional materials and establishing graduation requirements. 

    Reading Homework

    • Check out our new Legislative Affairs webpage where you can find the latest reports out of Austin and more.
    • Plano ISD has adopted its Legislative Priorities and Legislative Remedies. This list of policy issues and solutions was created by and adopted by the Board of Trustees and serves as a guide for the district’s advocacy efforts during session. 
    • Follow along as we identify bills that might impact Plano ISD’s Legislative Priorities.


    PLANO ISD LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

    Plano ISD red apple
    PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

    2700 W. 15th Street
    Plano, TX 75075
    www.pisd.edu/legislativeaffairs 

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