The Senate Education Committee held a Friday morning hearing on HB 21, the House’s school finance bill. The House version provides more than $1.8 billion in new funding for public schools, but the Senate substitute will remove most of that, providing additional funding of $331 million. For the first time, though, the Senate’s plan does not include any form of vouchers, so there is hope that the House and Senate can come to some kind of agreement that will result in additional funding for public schools.

The Senate version provides $150 million in assistance for districts hit hard by the loss of ASATR (additional state aid for tax reduction), $60 million in facilities funding for charter schools, $60 million in facilities funding for traditional schools, and $40 million for a funding adjustment for small districts. Education groups, including TCTA, continue to support the House version.

HB 21 is expected to be heard on the Senate floor Saturday.