Senator Kel Seliger offered an amendment to HB 5 in the Texas Senate on May 6th that would have a positive effect on a school district’s use of the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA).
School districts will not receive their 2013-2014 biennial IMA funding until September 1, 2013. This could potentially prevent schools from having the funds necessary to purchase instructional materials or technology that is needed for the beginning of the school year. Senator Seliger’s amendment requires that as soon as practical, the TEA commissioner would notify Texas school districts the amount of funds that will be placed in their IMA account for the upcoming school year. Districts could then purchase items using the IMA prior to September 1st, as long as the vendor is willing to delay payment for the items until after the official budget year begins. Without this amendment districts could incur a fine for this action.
The amendment and HB 5 passed unanimously. This amendment was not included in the House version of HB 5 so it will be up to the conference committee to decide if the amendment is in the final version of the bill. TCEA will advocate for this amendment stay in HB 5.