TPPF’s Rafa Bejar, Kara Belew and Vance Ginn spoke to an estimated 100 members of the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch in Fairview near McKinney on Monday, explaining the state’s complicated school finance and property tax systems, and proposing some fixes.
“Over time, per-pupil spending for public education is up,” Kara explained. “But at the same time, additional money has not resulted in improved educational outcomes.”
Yet some Texas school districts—even districts with economically disadvantaged students—are making great strides in student achievement by setting clear goals and rewarding their most effective teachers.
“These districts show we can do more with the education dollars we already have, before asking for more,” she said. “To improve student outcomes, school boards must adopt clear, public, reading and math goals and start identifying effective teachers and paying them based on merit.”
“These districts show we can do more with the education dollars we already have, before asking for more,” she said.
Vance also emphasized the need to keep taxes low.
“The Texas Model is one of lower taxes, fewer regulations and more freedom to prosper,” said Ginn. “And we want families to prosper more, we need to encourage more of that.”
Senate Bill 2—on which Vance has testified in recent weeks—would limit how much local government can raise taxes without voter approval. That’s essential to slowing the growth of skyrocketing property taxes, Ginn said.
“But what Texans really need is property tax relief that lowers property taxes—and we have a plan that does just that,” he said.