A new finance law was passed in Texas that resulted in uncertainty in schools. House Bill 3 (HB3) is a law that regulates how the money is distributed among school districts in the state. The new code provided schools with $11.6 billion to spend on employee salaries, pre-K, and language programs (Swaby, 2019). However, the law led to a disbalance in the way finances were allocated among the schools.
As a result, several unintended consequences (unforeseen results) followed that required immediate solutions. The state education agency was given the power to make corrections (Swaby, 2019). One of the negative consequences of the new law was that educators did not receive raises, since school officials were not provided with information about tax revenue by the government. Therefore, school administrators did not know how much they could spend. The second consequence was that the state’s education agency commissioner was unaware of how much authority he had to resolve the issue (Swaby, 2019). Another problem related to HB3 itself is that schools received finances based on percentage increase in enrollment figures, which meant that small school districts could receive more money than large ones (Swaby, 2019). Moreover, some schools got less financing if they admitted more students in career programs.
School administrators and lawmakers can address each of the problems with several measures. First, they should take into account the number of students enrolled in programs rather than the percentage increase (Swaby, 2019). Second, they should not take away funds from trades programs that offer valuable skills to students. Instead, funds should be distributed fairly among career and non-career schools. Finally, lawmakers should educate school officials about how new laws work so that they could understand and change them.
Swaby, A. (2019). Texas house panel considers fixes for glitches in school finance law. The Texas Tribune. Web.