South Plains school districts have top priorities for legislative session
Fixing school finance will be one of the major tasks facing Texas lawmakers in 2019. It's a top priority for both Governor Abbott and incoming House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
School district superintendents across the state are speaking loud and clear and know exactly what their priorities are going into the next state legislative session, access to more state funding is at the top of the list.
"The school district does not necessarily benefit in fact it does not benefit from increased property values that actually goes into the state's general revenue," said Kathy Rollo, Lubbock ISD superintendent. "They continue to give their portion to the basic allotment."
School districts in general rely heavily on bond elections to fund many construction projects. Despite sharing similar legislative priorities smaller and rural districts face a completely different set of challenges.
"Recruiting and retaining the very best educators is a challenge for small and rural schools," said Julee Becker, Slaton ISD superintendent. "You have to have a system that is top notch and above average to keep the best teachers when you can't pay them what a larger district can pay them."
Lubbock, Lubbock-Cooper and Frenship ISD's are sharing and developing an agenda among those priorities full-day pre-kindergarten, mental health counseling, school safety, and reforms to the school finance formulas. The legislative session is slated to begin January 8.