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Rep. Allison Urges Abbott To “Stop Finger-Pointing,” Call Special Session For Public School Funding Crisis

State Representative Steve Allison called on Governor Greg Abbott to convene a special session to address the pressing funding issues facing the state’s public schools as more school districts announce massive layoffs.

In a recent op-ed for the San Antonio Express-News, Allison emphasized that the future of more than 5.4 million public school students, thousands of public school employees and Texas communities are at stake.

Allison’s urgency comes as some of the largest school districts in Texas are facing huge deficits and have announced massive layoffs to address the problem. Some lawmakers have urged Abbott to call a special session to address school funding, but Abbott has refused. 

Last year, the state had a record $32 billion surplus, but the government failed to increase funding for public schools. Allison noted that the state hasn’t increased the base per-pupil allocation since 2019, and that “this failure has contributed to our state’s low national ranking in per-student funding and teacher compensation.”

Abbott, on the other hand, has blamed schools for his financial woes.

“If you don’t like the budget cuts at your child’s school — tough! It’s your school’s fault,” Abbott said. He also said schools were misusing a federal pandemic found and blamed the House for not passing HB1, a package that would have increased public school funding but with limits.

“Suffice it to say, these accusations are disingenuous at best and simply not supported by facts,” Allison wrote. “The federal pandemic funds that went to both the state and school districts were known to be temporary. HB1 did indeed include provisions that address current needs, but it also included controversial unrelated private school voucher provisions, which are being pushed by Abbott.”

Since the House failed to pass HB1, Abbott has refused to consider increasing school funding without a school choice proposal.

“The inescapable fact is that Abbott held the needs of school districts hostage for his private school voucher plan,” Allison said.

“Abbott needs to restore the trust that he is committed to public education by doing what is clearly necessary. He must carefully and thoughtfully consider all public school students and their families, and call an immediate special session to address school funding, including increasing the basic allotment, teacher and staff compensation, and school safety,” He concluded.

Abbott responded to Allison on X, saying he had already called for two special sessions, and blamed lawmakers who voted against vouchers. 

“To be clear Steve, I called 2 Special Sessions last year that would have added $6 Billion for Public Schools, provide teacher pay raises & end the STAAR test + add school choice,” Abbott wrote. “You helped kill that bill. That’s why voters fired you in the primary.”

Allison was one of the Republicans targeted by Abbott for voting against vouchers. He lost to Marc LaHood in the March primaries. 

In a Thursday letter sent to Abbott, Allison said the governor continues to “hold the pressing public schools needs hostage” for his voucher plans. He reminded Abbott that the House was not afforded the opportunity to vote HB 1 or SB 2 without a voucher plan attached to them.

He told Abbott to stop “accusations, finger-pointing, and personal attacks” and focus on the struggling schools.

“This is not a crisis that can wait until the next session,” Allison wrote in the letter. “Even if needed legislation is passed next session, it very likely comes too late.” He also highlighted that the personal leafs and loss of programs would have already happened and the damage would be irreversible.

“I most respectfully urge you to do the right thing and protect and preserve our valued public schools by calling this requested special session,” Allison wrote.

He assumed office in 2019 and served 12 years as a member of the Alamo Height school board. 

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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