Texas House panel hears '1st step' in fixing school finance

Texas House panel hears '1st step' in fixing school finance

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Debate has begun on a bipartisan bill pumping $1.6 billion extra into classrooms as part of major changes to how Texas funds public education.

Sponsored by Houston Republican Rep. Dan Huberty, the proposal increases per-student funding about $200 to $5,350, while adding money for transportation and educating dyslexic students.

It also tweaks the current "Robin Hood" system to decrease funding that school districts in wealthy areas share with poorer districts.

Huberty's Public Education Committee heard the bill Tuesday, calling it a "first step" toward fixing school finance.

Lawmakers aren't required to overhaul the school finance system because Texas' Supreme Court declared it flawed but constitutional last summer.

The proposal should pass the House but could stall in the Senate, which is focused on vouchers offering public funding for private schools.

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