KETR

Flynn, Sanford Put Names on Texas House Bills

Mar 15, 2019

Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn

State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-2nd) has added his name as a co-signer on the Texas House bill aimed at reforming public school financing issues. The bill was originally filed earlier this month by State Rep. Dan Huberty, a Houston-area Republican.

House Bill 3 has three main parts – student achievement, teacher pay, and property tax reform. It’s a $9 billion package that includes a plan to increase per-student spending and to provide districts with access to $140 million towards recruitment and retention of teachers.

In a statement, Flynn touted the benefits of HB-3 on Northeast Texas’ rural school districts. He said the recruitment and retention allotments give those districts a better chance at luring top teachers to and keeping them in rural areas.

The money to pay for expanded recruitment and retention efforts would likely come from the state’s Gifted & Talented allotment. That’s the $165 million fund pool that helps pay for advanced programs for the state’s gifted and talented students. Some worry that the passing of HB-3 would all but erase gifted & talented funding.

In a statement the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented said that while HB-3 overall is a positive step forward for public education, the repeal of the gifted & talented allotment would deemphasize the importance of the programs.

Niche dot com grades most of Northeast Texas rural school districts’ gifted and talented programs as B to B-plus.

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Meanwhile, State Rep. Scott Sanford (R-70th) has filed a bill in the Texas House that would shield the

Texas Rep. Scott Sanford

state’s nonprofits from lawsuits in the event that they disclose allegations of sexual misconduct.

House Bill 4345 would allow organizations to reveal allegations against former employees without being sued. The bill is part of what the Houston Chronicle calls an expected wave of similar legislation in the wake of several high-profile sexual misconduct allegations over the past two and a half years. Most recently, Southern Baptist churches were at the center of such allegations after the Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published names and photos of 220 men and women accused of sexual misconduct.

Sanford is a Southern Baptist minister himself. A spokesman for his office told the Chronicle that the bill was “brought to us  by faith leaders.” Two groups connected to the Southern Baptist Convention are strongly in favor of the bill.