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Public School Finance

Texas children, who are the foundation of our future workforce, must have access to a quality education. Improving student achievement starts with how our state finances public education. For the first time since 1993, transformational, long-term improvements to the K-12 education system advanced during the 86th Texas Legislative Session with the passage of school finance reform.

The reform legislation provided $6.5 billion in new state funding to the public education formula funding system and placed greater funding emphases on proven programs aimed at increasing outcomes for all students. Before the start of the legislative session, the Partnership launched a Public School Finance Workshop series in the fall of 2018 designed to enhance the business community's understanding of school finance. That series culminated in publishing a school finance white paper. The Partnership will take a similar data-driven approach to analyzing Texas' public education achievement and identify areas where the business community can support growth.

The Partnership's Priorities for Public School Finance

  • Help the business community to understand the new public education formula funding system and how it impacts the Houston region

  • Advance near- and long-term improvements to public education quality

  • Continue to advocate for sufficient funding of the new school finance formula system and advance innovative initiatives

Actively Involved

Signed into law after the 86th Texas Legislative Session, House Bill 3 delivers transformational school finance solutions, increases the state’s share of funding public education from 38 percent to 45 percent and reduces the burdensome cost of recapture.

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View the Interactive District Map

Explore school finance formula by district.

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New School Finance Formula

Easily follow the new school finance formula on just one page.

See the formula

White Paper Studies School Finance System

Before the session, the Partnership published this white paper.

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Related News

Digital Technology

Rice’s D2K Lab Offers Companies Free Data Science Assistance

3/3/21
Businesses and organizations in the Houston region looking to better understand their data to help make smarter decisions have a resource at Rice University.  Rice’s Center for Transforming Data to Knowledge, or D2K Lab, offers a weekly Data Science Consulting Clinic where organizations can get advice on how to collect, analyze and use their business data to plan for the future. It’s just one of the offerings of the Center, which also manages a capstone program that helps companies and large institutions like Texas Medical Center run big data projects over the course of a semester or year.  “These programs offer our students an opportunity to work with real world data science challenges while at the same time helping our partners leverage our student talent, as well as computational and machine learning capabilities, to find the solutions they need,” said Jennifer Sanders, program administrator for the D2K Lab. “Our Consulting Clinic is great because it’s free, it’s open to the public and it gives organizations and companies ideas on how to start to look at this data they have in new and useful ways.”  Client organizations can schedule a virtual appointment with students and faculty in the Clinic each Monday between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Students use this time to understand the challenges and objectives of the organization and then take the remainder of the week to develop a plan for the client to collect and use the data they need. Clients even get an additional free consultation with their team to help analyze the data they begin to collect. For example, a restaurant manager wanting to project his maintenance costs in the year ahead could work with clinic students to develop a statistical model analyzing previous costs and making projections to assist with the restaurant’s overall budget.  Before COVID-19, the clinic was a drop-in offering for organizations who were able to visit the Rice campus. Now that it’s gone virtual, the clinic’s reach has expanded to more organizations across the metro area, Sanders said.  The clinic has assisted more than 100 different organizations over the last two years, and more are learning about the opportunity each week.  “This work gives our students the experience of working on teams, presenting their findings—all of the things that make them a better professional,” said Shanna Jin, communications specialist with the D2K Lab. “What we’re really doing is training the next generation of real-world problem solvers.”  The information and data shared with the Lab is protected under sponsored research agreements signed with each client organization.   Learn more about the program and schedule an appointment at the clinic. 
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Membership

Lawmakers Respond to Winter Storm Uri, Governor Prioritizes ERCOT Reform and Winterization

2/26/21
Week In Review Legislators' attention was focused squarely on the response to last week's severe winter weather. Legislative hearings are expected to continue with legislation to follow. Governor Abbott Responds to Winter Storm Governor Greg Abbott announced two additional emergency items for the legislature to prioritize this session. First, Governor Abbott identified the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as a legislative priority and called on the legislature to investigate the decisions made by the state agency to find long-term solutions. Additionally, the Governor declared that winterization of Texas’ power system and related funding be added as an emergency item to ensure the reliability of the state's power infrastructure. In response to Winter Storm Uri, Governor Abbot requested that a Major Disaster Declaration be issued by the federal government, which would allow eligible Texans to apply for financial assistance related to property damage caused by the effects of the storm. President Joe Biden granted that request for nearly half of all Texas counties. Legislative Hearings on Electric Grid The Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce and the House joint State Affairs and Energy Resources Committees conducted two days of hearings to examine the conditions leading to the power loss during last week's winter storm. In a break with common practice and a sign of the importance of the topic, even Senators not serving on the committee were able to participate and ask questions. In both chambers, hearings were highly technical, digging into specifics of issues such as legal authority, and the operation of the power grid. Legislators asked tough questions of the witnesses, and witnesses provided substantive testimony. Vulnerabilities to extreme weather events were exposed throughout the system, from regulators to power plants to industry. Both chambers covered the historic nature of the conditions compared to prior winter weather events and peak summer demand. Legislators questioned ERCOT CEO, Bill Magness, and Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairwoman DeAnn Walker. Legislators asked questions ranging from decisions made before and during the storm to oversight authority and infrastructure winterization. Legislators also heard testimony from agency leaders, industry associations and individual companies from each segment of the sector's supply chain. Only one week after the storm, witnesses requested more time to conduct their root cause analyses of the events in order to provide recommendations on how to strengthen the electric grid. In many cases, the committees demanded those reports and recommendations be quickly provided to the Legislature. One suggestion that was widely supported by numerous witnesses is a statewide public alert system for the electric grid. More hearings are expected on this topic, with legislation to follow. Learn more about the Partnership’s Executive Priorities.
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Related Events

Public Policy

Washington D.C. Virtual Fly-In

Join the Partnership for the 2021 Washington, D.C. Fly-In. This four-day virtual event will bring together members of Congress, the White House, and other D.C. stakeholders with leaders of Houston’s business…

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Become a Member Today

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Executive Partners