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Friday, May 24, 2024
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Texas House Democrats Voted Against Education Package

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today criticized 39 Texas House Democrats for their opposition to Representative Brad Buckley’s comprehensive education package. This bill aimed to provide $6 billion for additional public school funding, teacher pay raises, and school safety measures. It also included a provision to expand school choice for every Texas family.

In a pointed letter, Governor Abbott addressed the lawmakers:

“As you surely recall, I worked with Representative Brad Buckley during Special Sessions #3 and #4 last year to design a school choice and public-school funding package that would have achieved exactly what you seek,” Abbott stated. “It was a bill that added $6 billion in school funding, including teacher pay raises and additional funding for school safety. All of the representatives who signed this letter voted to kill that package. The makeup of the Texas House of Representatives has not changed since you rejected that proposal, which means it cannot pass during another special session unless you are willing to change your position to support the Buckley bill.”

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Abbott highlighted several reasons for public schools’ budget shortfalls. One significant factor is the expiration of extraordinary federal funding for COVID-19 recovery. Schools that relied on this temporary funding for ongoing expenses face financial challenges. He also addressed misconceptions about the basic allotment, clarifying that while the basic allotment is $6,160, the average funding per student exceeds $12,000.

“Know this, my commitment to improving public schools is just as resolute as yours,” Abbott affirmed. “To achieve our shared goal, however, it is incumbent upon you to work with your fellow Texas House members to muster the votes to get it passed—something you were unwilling to do last year.”

The governor’s call to action underscores the ongoing debate over Texas education funding and school choice. It urges lawmakers to reconsider their stance and collaborate to achieve comprehensive education reform.

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