Friday, April 21, 2006

TDP Responds to Auto-Craddick Rule

Yesterday some realized that a rule vote this morning was more than that, it was a vote for education or a vote against it. Today, Speaker Craddick was able to push a vote that hurts teachers, students, and thousands of school districts.

Here is the TDP's response:
Today, House Speaker Tom Craddick and House Republicans passed sham “procedural” rules designed to prevent House Members from using any of the state’s surplus or new Perry tax revenue to improve our children’s schools. The rule essentially denies lawmakers the opportunity to offer amendments, or proposals of any type, that would use these funds for Texas schools.

“Tom Craddick and his Republican foot soldiers are working against Texas children,” said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Amber Moon. “By voting for the rule that slams the school doors shut and denies even the discussion of much-needed school funding, Republicans have shown they care more about election year politics than providing our children textbooks.”

“The people of Texas have demanded that the legislature invest in our schools in addition to addressing property taxes, but Republicans are holding our kids hostage for a tax bill that doesn’t put one dime into their future,” said Moon. “Students are reading from out-of-date textbooks in over-crowded classrooms. Yet Republicans are refusing to even discuss the pressing needs of our neighborhood schools.”

Democrats in the House have developed the “Hochberg Plan,” which will improve public education and deliver much-needed funding to Texas schools in addition to providing meaningful property tax relief for homeowners. The Democratic plan would reduce class sizes, fund new facilities and technology, raise teacher pay and restore health insurance benefits for all educational employees. However, Speaker Craddick has refused to even allow a vote on the common-sense Democratic plan even though the House passed a similar plan with bipartisan plan last August.

“Democrats in the House are working hard to respond to the demands of all Texans and fix our schools. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership has turned a deaf ear to the message sent by voters in this year’s primary elections--that they are ready for a change from the failed Republican leaders who have turned their backs on the kids, teachers and parents in our state,” Moon concluded.


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