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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation overhauling the state's school finance system.

Texas school finance overhaul provides an additional $6.5 billion for schools

The legislation signed by Gov. Greg Abbott is projected to boost base per-pupil spending by 20%.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a massive overhaul of the state's school finance system.

The Texas Tribune reports that the $11.6 billion school finance measure includes about $6.5 billion in new public education spending, plus about $5.1 billion devoted to lowering Texans’ property tax bills.

"You could not overstate the magnitude of the law that I'm about to sign because this is a monumental moment in public education history in the state of Texas," Abbott says. "This one law does more to advance education in the state of Texas than any law that I have seen in my adult lifetime in the state of Texas." 

The infusion of funding for schools will increase per-student base funding by about 20%. It includes money to pay for teachers raises and free full-day pre-K for eligible 4-year-olds. It also reduces the amount of money redirected from wealthy districts to poor districts through the state’s recapture program known as “Robin Hood.”

The legislation also provides money for districts that want to start merit pay programs. Higher-rated teachers could receive between $3,000 and $12,000 a year. And it provides money for high-needs and rural school districts that need incentives to attract teachers.

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