Due to the state Legislature failing to approve additional funding for Texas public schools in the special session, the Katy ISD board of trustees approved a resolution asking for more funding—specifically for teacher salaries.

The resolution reads that the state has not raised the basic per student funding allotment amount since 2019, and since that time the district has “faced historic and continuing levels of inflation,” according to the resolution approved during the Dec. 11 meeting.

The resolution states that several bills were passed in the 88th legislative session without sufficient funding to implement the mandates. For example, House Bill 3 requires the addition of armed personnel at each campus, and House Bill 1416 requires schools to provide high-quality tutoring programs.

How we got here

Despite the Senate’s Dec. 1 passage of Senate Bill 5 that would have provided $800 million in funding from the state to public school districts for school safety through 2025, the Texas House declined to consider the measure before the adjournment of the fourth special legislative session Dec. 6.

While there is a $32.7 billion surplus in the state budget and approximately $26.4 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, state lawmakers failed to increase general funding for public schools this year.

Though a fifth session is still possible, many districts face a shortage of funding for teacher compensation, which has caused many districts to operate with a budget deficit to give teacher raises.

Long story short

The final excerpt from the KISD board resolution states KISD trustees support and encourage legislators to:
  • Support an increase in the basic allotment and establish a formula-driven index that allows the basic allotment to increase with inflation
  • Support an increase in school funding for teacher compensation
  • Address unfunded mandates placed on public schools
What else?

The measure passed with six affirmative votes for the resolution with one abstention. Trustee Dawn Champagne—who drafted the original lengthier version of the resolution presented to the board Dec. 4—opted to abstain in protest.

The board was not unanimous in their support of the final version of resolution, and trustees debated the content as they did during the Dec. 4 meeting.

Board President Victor Perez said he revised the original resolution. Two of the board members, including Champagne and Rebecca Fox, took exception to the changes, maintaining that it watered down their argument to the state for more funding.

Champagne’s version included the following:
  • The commitment to education funding in the Texas Constitution
  • Public school funding is vital to the future of the Texas economy
  • Education is a fundamental right and a cornerstone of democracy
  • Texas public school districts accept every student
Quote of note

“I don't feel that this document represents the way we all feel,” Champagne said. “I think that it would be good to get something that everyone could agree with, and I'm afraid that the reason why you didn't want the one that I crafted last week is something political.”