School Reform in Texas
In 1983, the Texas Legislature created a Select Committee on Public Education to lay the groundwork for teacher pay raises and the tax increase required to pay for them. The Texas IAF Network pushed the Select Committee to include school finance reform on its agenda and then played a critical role in the passage of the comprehensive school reform legislation – House Bill 72. HB 72 represented the first attempt by the state at school finance equalization, and included the first statewide accountability system. The Texas IAF Network was credited with doing the pragmatic politics necessary to navigate the bill through the competing interests, and for teaching the state’s political leaders about the importance of school finance.