If House Bill 3 passes in the Senate, state revenue will be used to lower property taxes as well as the plan to put more money into the school districts for raises, equipment and facilities. While this bill is far from being law, superintendents are cautiously optimistic that something will get done.
Having a bill in the legislature to increase school funding is encouraging and Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt likes what he sees in HB 3.
“Small schools are concerned, at least Harrold and other are in our region, about future funding structures as we move forward but this one is more favorable, the House bill, because it provides an overall funding mechanism,” Thweatt said.
With it still being early on schools are not exactly sure how much money would come into the school districts if the bill does pass.
“I’ve seen anywhere from $200,000 to maybe $350,000,” Prairie Valley Superintendent Tim West said. “Those are just tentative runs that doesn’t mean in the end. We don’t know how much of that could be tied to an increase in salary schedule.”
And residents are glad to see the government is looking to put more money into the schools.
“A lot of people, their property tax is too high. If they bring it down and put that money toward the schools it will help the schools 100 percent better,” a Wichita Falls resident Paul Coleman said.
With this bill not to a vote yet, schools have to temper expectations but they are feeling good about it so far.
“I think i am one of a lot of superintendents that are cautiously optimistic,” West said. “It is a positive in that I feel like there will be more money we just don’t know the parameters of how we can spend that money.”
“We assume we are going to have a meal, but we aren’t counting the steaks and the shrimp yet. It may be more like peanut butter and jelly, but there will be something,” Thweatt said.
Until this bill is voted on, everyone will just have to wait to see if funding for schools will increase while property taxes will go down.
You can find the full rundown of how property taxes would change in all school districts here.