IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MALDEF'S CELINA MORENO ON SCHOOL FINANCE HEARING ON SENATE BILL 17 THIS TUESDAY.
Tuesday, 2/28 Senate Finance hearing on SB 17. SB 17 could lead to a reduction in the franchise (business) tax that helps fund public education. It is a priority of the Lt. Governor. Many of us will be at the Capitol for the Feb. 28 Day of Action for Immigrations and Refugees (see https://www.facebook.com/events/567620246741815/), but it would be great if folks can register, if not testify, against SB 17 while at the Capitol. Below are some talking points regarding the franchise tax from MALDEF's testimony against other bills last session. Those bills were different than SB 17, but the goal is the same: to reduce the business tax.
In addition, here are a few links with more information about the the role of the franchise tax in our state budget:
The Franchise Tax: AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF STATE REVENUE
Impacts of Reducing the Franchise Tax
TALKING POINTS AGAINST SB 17
We know that funding for economically disadvantaged and ELL children is current inadequate as is funding for pre-K programs. This has real consequences like high student-to-teacher ratios and funding for school facilities that has not kept pace with need. In light of these serious needs, it seems premature to cut the franchise tax, which would risk the sustainability of our Foundation School Program–the primary mechanism for funding Texas’ public schools.
There is no greater return on investment for the Texas economy than the education of Texans. We urge lawmakers not to choose businesses over the needs of the very schools that provide these businesses with their future workforce.
We know that the gap is widening between earnings for people with a high school versus college diploma. That lost earning potential impacts the very future of our tax base. In addition, we know that in the coming decades, the vast majority of jobs will require a postsecondary education. We must invest in our schools to equip students to succeed after high school. There is much discussion about attracting businesses to Texas because of our tax policy but without an educated to fill those jobs, companies will leave our state or simply choose not to come.
Texas kids are counting on you. There is a lot of conversation about ensuring that Texas has high-quality education needed to be competitive in a global workforce. It’s time to show students the money.