State Senators Urge Governor to Ask Anew for Federal Aid, Sooner Rather Than Later

Five Democratic state senators have asked Gov. Rick Perry to renew efforts to secure $830 million in aid earmarked for Texas public schools under the recent emergency education-jobs bill passed by Congress. In a letter delivered to the governor today, Sens. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, Rodney Ellis of Houston, Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, Mario Gallegos of Houston, and Wendy Davis of Fort Worth said, in part:

“As parents we hope for a better future for our children. We tell them they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. We take them to school. We help them with their homework. We attend PTA meetings and contribute to the bake sales. We do whatever it takes to help our children graduate, go to college, and make a decent living.

“But we can’t do it alone. No parent in Texas can. We depend on our neighborhood schools and our teachers to help us prepare our children for better lives. Our schools and our teachers can’t do it alone either. They depend on the state to help them help us prepare our children for better lives.

“You have claimed that Texas has done a pretty good job. You have said that education is a priority. You have shared that it is one of the many reasons families move to Texas. And you claim we’re doing better than other states. Why change your story now? Surely, you and other adults in our state and federal government can work towards a meaningful compromise with the U.S. Department of Education to keep our school doors open, our teachers teaching, and our kids learning.

“Grown-ups don’t give up and point fingers, grown-ups find solutions. We’re Texas, right? Complicated explanations full of legalese haven’t stood in our way before, and they shouldn’t stop us now. We wouldn’t accept these finger-pointing excuses from our children, and Texans shouldn’t accept them from us. We urge you to immediately direct your staff and TEA personnel to sit down with the Department of Education and continue to try to find a solution to this impasse, so that this crucial funding can do what it is designed to do–help fund our neighborhood schools and ensure that our children continue to learn.”