Bill Text: TX HB351 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the creation of a commission to evaluate the potential continuation of additional state aid for tax reduction and recommend improvements to the public school finance system.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-08-08 - Left pending in committee [HB351 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-HB351-Introduced.html
  85S11249 KKA-D
 
  By: Faircloth H.B. No. 351
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of a commission to evaluate the potential
  continuation of additional state aid for tax reduction and
  recommend improvements to the public school finance system.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 42, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter L to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER L. TEXAS COMMISSION ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE
         Sec. 42.601.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "commission"
  means the Texas Commission on Public School Finance.
         Sec. 42.602.  TEXAS COMMISSION ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE.
  (a)  The Texas Commission on Public School Finance is established
  to:
               (1)  evaluate the potential continuation of additional
  state aid for tax reduction;
               (2)  evaluate the feasibility of reducing required
  payments under Chapter 41 for a school district in which at least 65
  percent of the enrolled students are educationally disadvantaged or
  at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by Section 29.081(d),
  so that the resulting local revenue retained by the district may be
  used to pay maintenance and operations costs; and
               (3)  develop and make recommendations for improvements
  to the current public school finance system or for new methods of
  financing public schools.
         (b)  The commission is composed of 15 members, consisting of
  the following:
               (1)  four members appointed by the governor;
               (2)  three members appointed by the lieutenant
  governor;
               (3)  three members appointed by the speaker of the
  house of representatives;
               (4)  the chair of the senate committee on education, or
  a representative designated by the chair;
               (5)  the chair of the senate committee on finance, or a
  representative designated by the chair;
               (6)  the chair of the house of representatives
  committee on public education, or a representative designated by
  the chair;
               (7)  the chair of the house of representatives
  committee on appropriations, or a representative designated by the
  chair; and
               (8)  a member of the State Board of Education, as
  designated by the chair of that board.
         (c)  In making appointments under Subsections (b)(1), (2),
  and (3), the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the
  house of representatives shall coordinate to ensure that the
  membership of the commission reflects, to the extent possible, the
  ethnic diversity of this state and includes at least one of each of
  the following representatives:
               (1)  an administrator in the public school system or an
  elected member of the board of trustees of a school district;
               (2)  a member of the business community; and
               (3)  a member of the civic community.
         Sec. 42.603.  PRESIDING OFFICER. The governor shall
  designate the presiding officer of the commission.
         Sec. 42.604.  COMPENSATION AND REIMBURSEMENT. A member of
  the commission is not entitled to compensation for service on the
  commission but is entitled to reimbursement for actual and
  necessary expenses incurred in performing commission duties.
         Sec. 42.605.  ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT AND FUNDING.
  (a)  Staff members of the agency shall provide administrative
  support for the commission.
         (b)  Funding for the administrative and operational expenses
  of the commission shall be provided by appropriation to the agency
  for that purpose.
         Sec. 42.606.  RECOMMENDATIONS. (a)  The commission shall
  develop recommendations under this subchapter to address issues
  related to the public school finance system, including:
               (1)  whether the state should continue providing
  additional state aid for tax reduction formerly provided under
  Section 42.2516, based on an evaluation of the effect on school
  districts of the loss of that state aid, with a focus on districts
  for which that state aid constituted at least four percent of the
  districts' annual maintenance and operations budgets;
               (2)  whether the state should modify requirements
  applicable to school districts under Chapter 41, as described by
  Section 42.602(a)(2);
               (3)  the purpose of the public school finance system
  and the relationship between state and local funding in that
  system;
               (4)  the appropriate levels of local maintenance and
  operations and interest and sinking fund tax effort necessary to
  implement a public school finance system that complies with the
  requirements under the Texas Constitution; and
               (5)  policy changes to the public school finance system
  necessary to adjust for student demographics and the geographic
  diversity in the state.
         (b)  The commission may establish one or more working groups
  composed of not more than five members of the commission to study,
  discuss, and address specific policy issues and recommendations to
  refer to the commission for consideration.
         Sec. 42.607.  REPORT. Not later than December 31, 2018, the
  commission shall prepare and deliver a report to the governor and
  the legislature that recommends statutory changes to improve the
  public school finance system, including any adjustments to funding
  to account for student demographics.
         Sec. 42.608.  PUBLIC MEETINGS AND PUBLIC INFORMATION.
  (a)  The commission may hold public meetings as needed to fulfill
  its duties under this subchapter.
         (b)  The commission is subject to Chapters 551 and 552,
  Government Code.
         Sec. 42.609.  COMMISSION ABOLISHED; EXPIRATION OF
  SUBCHAPTER.  (a)   The commission is abolished January 8, 2019.
         (b)  This subchapter expires January 8, 2019.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the
  legislative session.
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