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Mar
5

Representative Leach Authors House Bill 3; Leading and Delivering on Generational School Finance Reform and Investment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           CONTACT: Mary McClure
March 5, 2019 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† [email protected]

AUSTIN – Today, State Representative Jeff Leach announced he has Authored House Bill 3 – a sweeping, historic school finance reform plan that fundamentally redesigns our state’s antiquated finance structure and makes a generational investment in our students and educators.¬† Based on years of research, data and expert testimony, House Bill 3, dubbed the ‚ÄúTexas Plan,‚ÄĚ is based largely on recommendations from the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, which Representative Leach worked to establish in 2017.¬† The plan directs more funds to Texas classrooms, significantly reduces “Robin Hood,” substantially invests in and empowers Texas educators and realigns our state objectives to accelerate student performance, among others.¬† To learn more details about House Bill 3, please visit www.thetexasplan.com. The website will be updated and expanded as the legislative session progresses.

Representative Leach issued the following general statement of support for House Bill 3:

“In response to the overwhelming feedback from my constituents, I am proud to deliver on my promise to tackle school finance reform by joining as an author of House Bill 3. This monumental legislation clearly and strongly demonstrates our support for Texas students and educators with a bold, generational investment in public education.¬† After touring every public school in House District 67 and working collaboratively over the past several months with educators, experts and other legislators, I am confident that the “Texas Plan” meets the mark in delivering meaningful reforms and results for our students and educators, for our entire community and for the great State of Texas.”

With respect to the issue of ‚Äúteacher pay,‚ÄĚ Representative Leach stated the following:

‚ÄúThe Texas Plan tremendously benefits the teachers of House District 67 by devoting more funding than ever to Texas classrooms, and giving local districts the discretion to spend the money as they see fit. House Bill 3 substantially raises the minimum teacher salary schedule, provides $140 million in funding for district programs to recruit and retain quality teachers, and creates a professional development grant program to train teachers so they can effectively combine e-learning and traditional classroom instruction.‚ÄĚ

With respect to the ongoing problem of ‚ÄúRobin Hood,‚ÄĚ Representative Leach stated:

‚ÄúThe Texas Plan greatly benefits Plano Independent School District and Allen Independent School District, in House District 67, districts that are currently encumbered with burdensome Robin Hood payments. Specifically, House Bill 3 gives our districts the ability to earn and keep more money from local property taxes. Further, House Bill 3 provides real relief to our taxpayers by lowering school property tax rates by 4 cents and reducing recapture payments by more than 38% this biennium, dropping from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion.‚ÄĚ

Born and raised in Plano, Representative Leach graduated from Plano Senior High School before attending Baylor University.  He earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and currently practices at the Texas law firm of Gray, Reed & McGraw LLP.  Most recently, Leach was selected by Speaker Dennis Bonnen to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, and was named to serve on the House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services and the House Committee on Redistricting.  Leach was recently selected by Speaker Bonnen to serve as the House appointee to the State Preservation Board, and he currently serves as a Legislative Member of the Texas Judicial Council.  Jeff and his wife Becky, an author, speaker and artist, are the proud parents of Brady (age 10), Charlotte (age 8) and Landry (age 4).  They are active members of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, where they have served for several years in the Young Families Ministry.

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