What you WON’T be seeing on the blog

Although we intended to post a copy of SB 8 – Sen. Shapiro’s education bill – for you, it turns out the proposal is no less than 438 pages long. If you need to start a bonfire or are afflicted with a particularly tragic strain of masochism, send me an email and I will see that you get a copy of the Shapiro bill.

Here is a summary of SB 8’s provisions:

Property Tax Relief and Local Capacity

  • Compresses tax rates to a maximum rate of $1.25 in 2006 and $1.20 in 2007.

  • Allows local enrichment of $0.1 5, up to $0.05 per biennium with a vote of the citizens for each increase. During the 2006-07 school year, a one time transitional capacity of 2 cents with local board approval, with the remaining 3 cents subject to voter approval.

  • Guarantees a yield on local enrichment equalized at dollar amounts equivalent to the 92nd percentile in 06-07, increasing that guarantee to 93% in 07-08 and 94% in 08-09, then expressed in percentiles of 95% in 09-1 0, and ultimately reaching the 96th percentile in 10-1 1, achieving the highest level of equity in history.


  • Increases teacher salaries by $3,000 on average. Teachers will receive at least $1,500 more in 05-06 (which includes restoration of the health insurance pass-through as salary) and districts will have the discretion to use an additional $500 for support staff. Teachers will receive at least $2,750 increase in 06-07 and districts will have another $250 to use at their discretion for support staff.

  • Provides teachers the option to set-aside a portion of their salary (in an amount determined by the employee) each year to cover health insurance premiums tax-free.

  • Provides teacher incentives to reward academic achievement and improvement through both locally developed plans and a statewide system, which are both funded through a state grant program.

  • Encourages experienced teachers to remain in the classroom by providing a TRS Longevity Incentive that will provide additional payments of $1,000-$4,000 annually for each year a teacher remains past the Rule of 80.

Modernization of the formulas

  • New formulas provide updates to certain items such as the Cost of Education Index, small and mid-size adjustments, bilingual and compensatory education student funding, as well as transportation.

  • Covers 50% of Social Security costs for districts who previously opted into the system; implementation phased-in over three years.

  • Ensures every district receives a minimum 3% increase in the formulas in 06-07.


  • Holds schools accountable for unacceptable performance and provides consequences, assistance, and intervention to ensure improvement.

  • Strengthens and increases financial accountability by requiring TEA to link a district’s financial health with academic performance and provides more information for the public regarding district and campus spending.

  • lncreases the amount of academic and financial accountability for charter schools and rewards high performing charters.

College Preparation

  • Provides state funding for any student who chooses to take college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT, including pre-testing as well.

  • Requires that schools be rated on their ability to prepare students for post-secondary success.

School District Governance and Operations

  • Increases funding for the New Instructional Facilities Allotment (NIFA), specifically targeting fast growth districts.

  • Requires that school districts spend at least 65% of available funds (excluding obligated debt service and federal funds) on instruction, including instruction in curriculum subject areas.

  • Allows Commissioner flexibility in computing available funds.

Instructional Materials

  • lncreases flexibility and focuses funding on upgrading technology in the classroom, expands the Technology Immersion Pilot (TIP), and funds Proclamation 2002 textbooks.

  • Provides for Target Tech Programs in each district to isolate and target campus and/or grade levels putting an emphasis on technology as a vehicle to convey instruction. The instructional materials allotment will be $1 50 per student starting in 07-08.
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4 Responses to What you WON’T be seeing on the blog

  1. Bob Owen says:

    SB 37 is the Eltife, Ellis bill which increases teacher pay and funds school textbooks. I believe this bill can be passed and implemented without a tax bill. I understand there is about $1.8 billion of funds available in the biennial budget that could be spent on education. Coincidentally, I understand the price tag for this bill is $1.8 billion.

  2. sstatetaxx says:

    Can SB 37 be enacted without a tax bill? Thanks.

  3. Bob Owen says:

    In a word, NO. SB 8 provides too much property tax cut and additional funding to live wihtin existing available funds. Without a tax swap bill it is an exercise in futility.

  4. sstatetaxx says:

    Can SB 8 be put into place with out a tax bill?

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