For years, school finance reform has been a messy political challenge that Gov. Greg Abbott has been reluctant to wade into.
But an 86-page slide show titled “Improving Student Outcomes and Maintaining Affordability through Comprehensive Education and Tax Reforms” and obtained by The Texas Tribune indicates that may change this year, and his office has generated specific ideas for how to simultaneously improve outcomes for students and cut back Texans' skyrocketing property tax bills.
Property tax reform advocates are excited about the proposal but some educators say it doesn't go far enough to address funding shortfalls for schools or help students who are not academically succeeding.
"Taxpayers are going to get big tax breaks and support education," said Nicole Conley-Johnson, chief financial officer at Austin ISD. "But when you get into the details of it, are you really going to be ... putting money back into the system that's going to allow your local schools to make the progress we need?"