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Lawmakers Demand Abbott Act On School Funding Crisis

Amidst mounting concerns over the financial strain facing school districts, a group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Jon Rosenthal, is calling for an immediate special session to address “the school budget crisis unfolding statewide.”

“Texas public schools are facing serious budget challenges from inflation, historic underfunding, and unfunded mandates that will drive drastic budget cuts in ISDs across the state,” says the letter addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Rep. Rosenthal and 39 of his colleagues highlight the significant resources currently available for education.

“With $5 billion appropriated and unspent for public education in the current State budget, plus a current surplus of $18 billion that is projected to grow to $21.3 billion by next session, we have the resources available to better fund our schools, so we should act,” the lawmakers stated in their letter.

The call for action comes as many school districts across the state grapple with budget shortfalls, exacerbated by rising costs and the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. School leaders have been vocal about the need for increased funding to support essential programs and services for students.

The lawmakers argue that now is the time to prioritize investment in public education and ensure that schools have the resources they need to provide a quality education to every student. They ask Gov. Abbott to place the following items on the call:

1. Increase the basic allotment
2. Increase the school safety allotment

They stress that failing to address these funding issues could have long-term consequences for Texas students and the state’s economy.

Governor Abbott has yet to respond to the request for a special session on school finance.

During the previous special session that addressed public school funding, efforts to increase the budget were blocked by Gov. Abbott’s insistence on pushing vouchers, a measure met with significant opposition. Regrettably, this impasse resulted in the failure to pass a comprehensive public education bill, ultimately leading to the demise of the voucher proposal as well.

Presently, Gov. Abbott is dedicated to targeting rural Republicans who opposed vouchers during the special session. His focus has shifted towards primary elections in Texas, where he continues to allocate considerable energy and resources to have these lawmakers replaced. 

This political maneuvering underscores the lingering aftermath of the stalled school funding negotiations, with the Governor’s emphasis on advancing his agenda potentially overshadowing the urgent need to address the funding crisis facing Texas public schools.




Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios, a Mexican-American Politics Reporter and Managing Editor at RA's Gun Violence Watch, unveils the Capitol's inner workings. Focused on Public Education and Gun Policies, she passionately advocates for informed dialogue, delivering concise, impactful insights into the intricate political landscape.

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