Nichols, Ashby file legislation to improve small schools funding
Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) have jointly filed legislation to correct the formulas that fund certain small schools at a lower level.
“It is unfair that a small school is penalized and funded differently based on the size of the area they serve,” said Nichols. “Creating an equal multiplier in the formula across the board will provide many schools with additional funding, which will go a long way in helping to improve the education of our students.”
Currently, if a school has an average daily attendance of 1,600 and covers less than 300 square miles, they receive a smaller portion of state funds than a district with the same attendance which covers more than 300 square miles. Senate Bill 324 and House Bill 645 will alleviate this practice and create an equal funding measure across the board for all schools in Texas.
“There are hundreds of districts around the state that are being penalized due to an archaic formula,” said Ashby. “While these local school districts have been doing an admirable job of educating our students with less state funding, we shouldn’t arbitrarily place them under a punitive formula because their landmass is under 300 square miles.”
A change in the funding formula will affect approximately 450 schools across the state of Texas. The original bill was passed to encourage school districts to consolidate. However, as a school is often the heart of a community, many districts have chosen to not consolidate. This legislation would allow communities the option of maintaining local governance of their school board without having to work around a punitive formula.