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TASB Legislative Update

 
TEA unveils final 2017-18 School FIRST ratings
 
According to school financial accountability data released by the Texas Education Agency this week, 99 percent of all Texas public schools earned a successful final rating for 2017-18. School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) ratings are calculated using 15 financial indicators. Among school districts, 82.8 percent earned a superior rating, 10.8 percent received an above standard achievement ratings, 6 percent met standard, and 0.4 percent had substandard achievement. Among charter schools, 71.5 percent earned a superior rating, 13.9 percent received an above standard achievement, 9.7 percent met standard, and 4.8 percent had substandard achievement. View the ratings.
 
 
 
School Finance Commission Revenues workgroup meets
 
The Revenues workgroup of the Texas Commission on School Finance met this for their first public meeting to discuss various revenue options available for funding schools in Texas. Invited testimony included discussion of the current system of revenue generation through property taxes. Little of the discussion focused on new areas of revenue that could increase the overall share of education funding and, rather, looked at restructuring recapture, property growth, and rising property taxes. Tommy Williams, former state senator and current budget advisor for Gov. Abbott, explained the governor’s plan to limit property tax growth with a 2.5 percent cap and use any additional state revenue sources to provide property tax relief or alleviating the effects of recapture. There was no opportunity for public comment, but a second public meeting was discussed, although no date has been set. Read more about the governor’s school finance plan.
 
 
 
LBB posts comparison of TRS, ERS health plans
 
The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) has developed an issue brief comparing the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Employee Retirement System of Texas health plans. The document includes information on plan offerings, participant costs, and funding structures. Read the issue brief.