Education and Teacher Retirement
As a former school board member, protecting our neighborhood schools and ensuring that our children have access to a quality education have always been at the top of Rep. Burns' agenda. During his two sessions in the legislature, he has increased funding for education, while also increasing transparency and public school accountability and improving early childhood development.
In 2015, the legislature provided $1.5 billion new dollars for public education, in addition to $130 million to school districts who adopt the high quality, accountable prekindergarten program. In 2017, the budget added $2.65 billion to account for growth in enrollment.
Rep. Burns also co-authored House Bill 21 in the 2017 special session which will create a Texas Commission on Public School Finance. This is an initial step in the effort to end the Robin Hood school finance system and change the way public schools are funded so that property owners no longer have to shoulder an unreasonable amount of that burden.
Rep. Burns also helped rescue TRS-Care, the health care system for retired teachers. The legislature added nearly $600 million in 2017 to increase the contribution rate and address the shortfall in TRS-Care. Had this not occurred, premiums for retired teachers and school employees would have gone up dramatically.