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Texas School Districts Commend Speaker Phelan and Chairman Hunter for Texas Jobs & Security Act

House Bill 5 to help secure state’s economic future

AUSTIN – A coalition representing more than 700 school districts in Texas issued a letter expressing appreciation to Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and Chairman Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) for their support in prioritizing a critical economic development program. The coalition committed to collaborating with legislators on enhancements to the Texas Jobs & Security Act, also known as House Bill 5, that acknowledge the advantages provided to the Texas economy, businesses, and local school districts and taxpayers.

“Speaker Phelan and Chairman Hunter’s work in this important area could offer Texas a crucial economic development tool for generating new job opportunities, investments, and tax revenue, which will keep Texas competitive in attracting businesses,” said H.D. Chambers, Executive Director of Texas School Alliance. “School districts’ success depends on the jobs and revenue that local business investments bring to the community and the state economy. We believe developing this program is an imperative step towards securing the economic future of our state.”

The coalition, which includes Texas Association of Rural Schools, Fast Growth School Coalition, Texas School Alliance, Texas Association of Midsize Schools, Texas Rural Education Association and Texas Association of Community Schools, praised the transparency included in the Texas Jobs & Security Act.

The coalition also highlighted the need to align the bill with the following elements to benefit local communities, taxpayers, businesses, and the Texas economy:

  • Giving public schools and their school boards the authority to negotiate economic terms and to have the final say on prospective projects as the parties most directly affected by projects and tax limitations.
  • Providing financial stability by protecting districts from costs incurred during any application process and from the loss of state funding through the formula system as a result of granting the multiple-year limitations.
  • Allowing districts access to necessary resources to better serve the district and its constituents.
  • Excluding onerous restrictions on types of qualifying businesses and instead allow local communities to exercise control over which businesses they compete to attract.

“As the top state for new jobs, economic development, exports, and Fortune 500 headquarters, we must maintain a competitive business climate,” said Greg Gibson, Executive Director of Texas Association of Midsize Schools. “We hope to work together alongside the legislature and other stakeholders to implement a new, transparent, and accountable economic development program that benefits taxpayers, school districts and the students they serve, and the Texas economy.”

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