In a special session currently underway, the Texas Legislature will be considering HB 33, a bill by state Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville), that creates the Taxpayers’ Savings Grants Program. The Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB) released its fiscal note on the bill on Monday, June 6. Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, has identified several major errors in the fiscal note and makes the necessary corrections in a new policy brief.
Writes Bast: “The LBB, by using an extremely low enrollment estimate and by assuming that the current funding system won’t be changed to place savings in the same year as expenses for savings grants occur, produces a fiscal note for HB 33 that forecasts losses to the state in the first two years and then only very small savings.
“Using more accurate and realistic estimates of enrollment and assuming the state’s payment system is modified, we conclude the state would save $2.26 billion in the first two years of the program, and growing amounts in every successive biennium.”
(Download a PDF of the report by clicking here if problems with attachment.)
Heartland, the San Antonio-based Justice Foundation, and other allies support the Taxpayers’ Savings Grants Program because studies show the plan will save taxpayers in Texas $2 billion over two years – half the amount the state tentatively plans to cut from education spending. The reform also will improve the state’s education system by allowing money to follow the student to the most efficient and successful schools.
For more information about the Taxpayers’ Savings Grants Program, go to TaxpayerSavingsGrants.org or to The Heartland Institute’s Texas education page.
The Heartland Institute has produced a video that explains how the Taxpayers’ Savings Grants work. Watch it at Heartland’s YouTube page.
To speak to Mr. Bast and other education policy experts – including Bruno Behrend, director of Heartland’s Center on School Transformation, who testified at Monday’s House hearing on the program – contact Jim Lakely, director of communications at The Heartland Institute: [email protected] or 312/731-9364.
The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; and Tallahassee, Florida. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.