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Abbott Rejects Special Session Plea To Address School Funding Crisis

Texas Democrats’ call for a special legislative session to address education funding has been rebuffed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Democrats, led by state Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Cypress), sent a letter to Abbott urging him to call a special session as more school districts face budget problems and massive layoffs.

Texas had a record $32 billion surplus last year, but the state failed to increase funding for public schools.

“Our public schools are the bedrock of our communities, and it’s imperative we provide them with the resources they need to thrive,” wrote Rosenthal. “By calling for a special session, Governor Abbott has the opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to fulfilling our constitutional duty to adequately fund public education in Texas.”

The petition, signed by 38 other House Democrats, was rejected by Abbott.

“My commitment to improving public schools is just as resolute as yours,” Abbott wrote. “To achieve our shared goal, however, it is incumbent upon you to work with your fellow Texas House members to muster the votes to get it passed—something you were unwilling to do last year.”

Last year, representatives voted against an education package that would have provided schools with more state funding because it was tied to a school voucher program. Democrats and 21 Republicans opposed the voucher bill, saying it would defund public education even more.

Of those 21 Republicans, six won their March primaries, six lost their seats, five did not seek re-election, and four were forced into runoffs.

With these new victories, Abbott hopes to pass vouchers in the next legislative session.

“I do believe, however, that with the changes taking place in the Texas House, we will have an opportunity to reconsider this legislation in the next regular session,” Abbott wrote to Rosenthal.

Some of the biggest school districts in the state are facing massive financial problems, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Houston ISD are facing a $128 and a $450 million deficit respectively. Some people of the community have blamed Abbott for this.

“There’s no need to sugarcoat it, Abbott is sitting on a pile of money because he’s mad that school vouchers didn’t pass,” a Cy-Fair parent said.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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