Thursday, April 27, 2006

Education and Citizen Groups Address Education Problems in HB 2

Thirteen groups have just started circulating the following letter to the state Senators and capitol press. It is virtually unprecedented for such a diverse and large coalition to come together this quickly and unanimously agree on a complex topic like taxation and education.

Here is the letter:

The Honorable David Dewhurst
Texas Senate
P.O. Box 12068 - Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711

April 27, 2006

Dear Lt. Governor Dewhurst,

We the undersigned education and citizen advocacy groups urge the Texas Senate on a bipartisan basis to address the education crisis in our state – a crisis made worse by the package of tax measures forwarded to the Senate by the Texas House of Representatives.

Together, we represent the interests of millions of Texans, hard-working families. On their behalf, we urge you to:
  • Eliminate the provisions contained in HB 2, an anti-education measure which prohibits future revenue growth in business taxes from being spent on education, or anything else but property tax reduction. This effectively slams the door on future education funding.
  • Maintain full equity by flowing any new funds for education improvement through current equity-based funding formulas. Equity funding protects the great majority of our middle class students, especially those in rural areas, as well as those living in property-poor districts.
  • Raise annual teacher pay at least $3,000 and reverse the deep cut in the teacher health-care stipend.
  • Keep the promise to invest $1.8 billion in education that is contained in the current budget. That money disappears under the provisions of HB 1. Now that the state has an unprecedented budget surplus, that promise must not be forgotten. Restore the $1.8 billion.

Do not misunderstand us. Much more needs to be done for education than these few items. They are the minimum necessary. Many of us have more detailed priorities, and those priorities are just as important to the school children of Texas. But we have taken the step of communicating to you jointly because the bills before you take education in Texas backward, not forward.

Thank you for your consideration.


Citizens Commission On Education Excellence
Fair Funding For School Kids Coalition
People For the American Way
Texas Association for Bilingual Education
Texas Impact
Texas Freedom Network
Texas Federation of Teachers
Texas Progress Council
Texas State Teachers Association
William C. Velasquez Institute

CC: Members of the Texas House of Representatives


At 3:19 PM, Blogger dksbook said...

Nice to have something hopeful in my head at the end of the day. This does look bigger than usual. Thanks, Matt.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Matt Glazer said...

I like having good news and I like being in a place to get it too.


Post a Comment

<< Home