Fund Our Schools: The Kids Are Worth It!

Improvements in funding for education and other children’s services have been proposed in the current legislative session, but the education budget remains unresolved as lawmakers work toward a May 29 adjournment. The issue right now is in the hands of ten House-Senate negotiators. They and their colleagues in both chambers need to hear a message from you now to support:

–the House proposal to increase funding an average of $210 per pupil;
–the Senate proposal to boost health care (Medicaid) funding for needy children;
–the higher House funding level for retired school employees’ health care;
–an increase in base funding for community colleges; and
–a blend of the House and Senate approaches on the structure of school finance, using the House plan for the next two years and using the Senate’s idea of an interim commission to shape a long-term solution.

You can send a letter right now to the House and Senate to urge adoption of this common-sense compromise–and to let them know that supporting our public schools must not be held hostage to a “poison pill” voucher scheme. (For more on the latest voucher threat, see yesterday’s hotline.)

For your convenience, the letter in support of a better budget for students and the education workforce is reproduced below:

Support a Better Budget for Texas Students

I urge you to support significant improvements in funding for education this session, merging the best of the House and Senate approaches to the state budget for 2018-19. House-Senate negotiations should produce a budget that both chambers can embrace to fund our schools, colleges, and health care for young Texans–because the kids are worth it.

I specifically urge you to include in the  budget for 2018-19  at least the following:

–the House proposal to increase funding an average of $210 per pupil;
–the Senate proposal to boost Medicaid health-care funding that benefits needy children;
–the higher House funding level for retired school employees’ health care;
–an increase in base funding for community colleges; and
–a blend of the House and Senate approaches on the structure of school finance, using the House plan for the next two years and using the Senate’s idea of an interim commission to develop a long-term solution.

You should consider these items a floor, not a ceiling, for a sound budget. The resources exist to raise that floor, if the Legislature has the will to do it. Especially for the sake of retired school employees depending on the state to fund their TRS-Care health coverage, the state can surely do better.

Please do right by Texas students and those who serve them in our schools and colleges, combining the best of the House and Senate budget bills to complete a decent final version of the 2018-19 budget by May 29–without adding any voucher “poison pill” diverting state dollars to private schools that are not accountable for academic or financial performance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to comment * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.