Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

DATE: January 12, 2005
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Senate Unveils School Finance Reform Plan
Deuell Joins All Senators in Unanimous Support

AUSTIN --On Wednesday, Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) announced that he had joined the other 30 members of the Texas Senate in unanimous support of Senate Bill Two, which deals with public school excellence and school finance reform.

Senator Deuell, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, said he is pleased the Texas Senate has started the process of reforming public school finance.

"The Texas Senate has put forth a plan that confirms our principles of strong support for children and teachers," Deuell said.

The plan distributed Wednesday outlines the goals of the legislation, including improving the quality of education for all students, substantially reducing the local school property tax burden, ensure equity without "Robin Hood," preserving local control, and reforming school funding to reflect the state's 21st Century economy.

Deuell said the bill reduces school property taxes by one-third, provides new local funding capacity and revises the franchise tax.

"I'm proud of the property tax relief that will be realized by both homeowners and businesses," Deuell said. "I think that our approach to the business tax will be fair and continue to make Texas an attractive place for business investment."

The legislation also outlines a plan for achieving excellence in public education by demanding accountability from students, teachers and schools. It also calls for strengthening the financial accountability system and increasing teacher salaries to the national average.

Deuell stated that this was a the first step in what is sure to be a long but necessary process.

"We are united behind this plan, but it is certainly still a work in progress," Deuell said. "I look forward to input from the Texas House, as well as input from my district."

"The bottom line is this," Deuell said. "We need to come to consensus and pass a school finance plan that is fair to homeowners and businesses while ensuring our children have access to the best education possible. I think we have taken a significant step in that direction with Senate Bill Two."

In addition to the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Deuell also serves on the Health and Human Services Committee, Intergovernmental Relations Committee, and is Vice-Chair of the Senate Nominations Committee. He also serves on the Select Committee on Water Policy and is Vice-Chair of the Rural Caucus.