In keeping with their plan to obstruct Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session agenda by wasting time, Texas House leadership wrote another hot check to schools that won’t pass the Texas Legislature.
On Friday the Texas House approved House Bill 21, a rehashing of an identically numbered bill from the regular session that failed to pass. While pitched as school finance reform, the bill does absolutely nothing to reform the state’s broken finance system, end Robin Hood, or implement desperately needed education reforms.
What it does do is claim to increase funding for schools by using a budget gimmick that skips a payment and creates a hole in the next budget. In other words, it’s a hot check.
When the bill passed in April, State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R–Irving) noted HB 21 “spends money the state literally doesn’t have.”
“Without an accounting gimmick contained in HB 21 deferring a $1.8 billion payment to our schools into the next accounting period, the state would not have the funds in the 2018-19 biennium to pay the cost of HB 21,” he said at the time.
On Friday. Rinaldi doubled down on his criticisms.
“The Texas House leadership spent another day of special session stonewalling Gov. Abbott’s conservative agenda,” said Rinaldi on Facebook. “Today they resurrected a failed school finance bill rejected by our statewide leaders back in April.”
Despite conservative opposition, HB 21 won tentative approval from the Texas House 130-12. The bill is expected to die in the Texas Senate.