The Texas State Board of Education will send $2.12B to ISDs, but it won't be enough
Land Commissioner, George Prescott Bush, made the unprecedented decision to withhold cash from the Permanent School Fund earlier this year. ISDs will receive *possibly* enough funding to cover the Language Arts & Reading Instructional Materials purchase in 2019 & 2020 - however - there will NOT be funding for student technology.
Sunset Hearing: Click to view
Note Senator Watson’s exchange (at minute 4:35) with Commissioner Bush - $55 million has been left on the table (for this biennium). According to statements made in the Sunset Hearing, the SLB has increased their gains by 100% in 2 years, $2B to $4B. However, these gains have not benefited the students of Texas. 39% of these gains are held in CASH at the Reserve for Capital Calls which Commissioner Bush states 100% of the cash in reserve dollars are needed.
Quorum Report: Please see the 2017 annual report pages for the PSF showing both the SBOE and SLB asset classes and earnings on all assets. The QR article reported SLB-PSF earnings that did not include the cash retained by the SLB (39% of SLB-PSF total value, $3.4 billion on pg 4).
I have sent letters to several House Representatives and Senators in the Texas Legislature, requesting their intervention to transfer the $655M from the SLB to the PSF so we may pass-it-through to our ISDs as they prepare to purchase Instructional Materials and Technology for Reading and Language Arts (English and Spanish) for the 2019-2020 academic year - the largest purchase in more than a decade.
It should be noted that the books in classrooms now are old, possibly/probably damaged due to normal wear and tear, and do not reflect the Language Arts TEKS adopted in 2017.
Update, 20 Nov 2018: In a meeting on Monday, 19 Nov, the Land Commissioner maintains the $600M in Reserves, which has been the issue all along, but will send $55M to the Permanent School Fund (the Texas State Board of Education). This will add approximately $1 (one dollar), to each student's fund which ISD's will pool to purchase the new Language Arts & Reading instructional materials and technology. The funds will NOT be enough to cover the 2019 purchase, as stated previously.
$600M remain in the Land Commissioner's cash reserves. I never received a response to my letters nor a response from his office as to why this unprecedented action was taken.
Take a look at the Commissioner's YouTube video,
where he discusses turning Texas oil into textbooks for all students
Georgina C. Pérez