At school district event, Sen. Bob Hall seemingly praises education bill he did not support

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Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) was recently caught in the classic political trap of saying one thing after doing the opposite by education advocates in Texas. 

It’s not unusual after a legislative session for elected officials to sing the praises of recently passed laws, but it’s less usual for politicians to take credit for a bill they did not support. 

At an event for Grand Saline ISD employees last week, Sen. Hall passed out checks to teachers that he said on his Facebook page were “separate from the salary increase as a result of HB 3, that gives teachers 0-5 years $1,000 and teacher 5 years or more $1,500.” 

But educators familiar with Hall’s legislative record, including constituents on the Facebook post, felt this “dog and pony show” was disingenuous, as Hall did not support HB3 and instead was one of three senators marked as “present not voting.” 

HB 3, the massive education funding bill that played a central role in the 86th Legislature, had bipartisan backing from many politicians that haven’t traditionally championed school finance reform in the past, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. As we previously reported, the bill included a $1,850 teacher and staff pay raise and an increase in per-pupil spending, among other education funding priorities.

Prior to this legislative session, Hall received an unfriendly rating from Texans for Public Education (T4PE), and is rated by Project Educo at 17 out of 100 percent. Hall’s past support of private school vouchers, funding based on testing outcomes, and support of merit-based teacher pay have caused concern for public school advocates.

Though Hall had the chance to win teacher support in the last legislative session with a vote for HB3, his decision not to support the bill despite broad bipartisan support made members of T4PE question what, exactly, he was taking credit for last week in Grand Saline ISD.

 

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