According to the Texas constitution, the Legislature has a duty to “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free school.” But politicians like State Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) have abdicated their responsibility to educate young Texans.
Reform Austin has previously reported how establishment politicians like Huffman have created and maintained the school finance crisis. They cut corporate taxes, froze education funding from the state and passed the buck to local taxpayers to take care of the rest. As a result, our property taxes are out of control.
On top of short-changing our public school funding, Huffman has tried to further starve them of resources by supporting legislation that would divert public taxpayer dollars into vouchers for private schools. Huffman’s record in the Texas Senate includes:
- SB 4: in 2015, Huffman voted to divert state franchise tax dollars away from the state budget and use them to subsidize private schools through vouchers.
- SB 3: Two years later, Huffman voted twice to allow the Senate to suspend its rules and allow a voucher “scholarship” bill to proceed for a vote. Huffman’s vote was decisive in helping the bill survive. It was later passed by the Senate.
- SB 2: In the special session that same year, Huffman voted for a new version of the voucher scholarship bill.
Establishment politicians like Joan Huffman want us to believe – a few weeks before the election – they are finally concerned about the public education funding crisis. We know the truth – it’s the Austin politicians like Joan Huffman who are directly responsible for this problem. They favor their big, corporate special interest donors, pass the state’s revenue shortfall on to local school districts, and divert existing taxpayer dollars to private schools.
We won’t be fooled. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less for their local public schools. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency, tax fairness, and adequately funded public education we deserve, we must demand politicians stand up for the people they are supposed to represent and help us Reform Austin.