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Sine Die-Now What?

Posted Date: 05/14/2021

Sine Die-Now What?

“Sine Die” is a Latin term used to mean adjourn.  This was the term used on May 27th, 2019 by legislators to end the 86th Legislative Session of Texas.   There were more than 200 bills associated with public schools that resulted in over 1000 pages of new or amended laws that go into effect on September 1, 2019.  Although we have been following these bills closely, there are still more questions today than answers.  As we await guidance from the Texas Education Agency, we do know several of the areas that will see significant changes. This is the first of a series of articles that I will share with the stakeholders in Pampa ISD about these changes and how they will impact us both at a local community and school district level.


The major areas of legislation that lawmakers focused on regarding public schools were school safety, teacher compensation, teacher retirement, assessments, full-day Pre-Kindergarten, literacy and dyslexia, college, career, and military readiness standards, transportation, and lowering property taxes at the local level to name a few.  The most comprehensive bill that has the potential for the most transformational impact on how public schools are funded was HB3.  Although this bill does not deliver the $5,000 raise for teachers that were being thrown around early when the session began, it does provide for a dedicated amount of funds based on a district’s allotment to be focused on raises for non-administrative personnel.  This is good news and a much-needed change for sure.  The question will be in determining with some relative confidence and accuracy how much of a district’s allotment is additional funding and how much will be used to compensate for the loss in local tax effort.  Local Maintenance and Operations tax effort should decrease---this is also good news for property taxpayers in Gray and Roberts counties.  However, at this time we are waiting for guidance on exactly what the change will be and how much additional money will come from the state to make up for this decrease in local tax revenue for the district. 


As early as next week, numerous organizations are hosting informational webinars, Q&A sessions, and some are advertising that they will begin publishing guidance documents.  As of May 31, 2019, we have not received any specific guidance other than summaries and overviews of the areas impacted.  Rest assured, we will dig into the bills and acquire all of the information as soon as it becomes available.  We will do our best to keep our stakeholders informed.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 669-4700.  More information coming soon…..stay tuned.


Tanya Larkin, Superintendent


Published on 06/11/2019

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