Texas schools are struggling to provide a quality education, mostly due to budget problems plaguing districts around the state. From 2008 to 2015, per-pupil funding in Texas has dropped 16 percent when adjusted for inflation.
While state legislators continue to cut education funding, local school districts are forced to raise property taxes to make up for the shortfall. To complicate matters even more, any excess revenue generated by local tax increases is taken by the state and sent to other school districts as part of the school finance recapture system known as “Robin Hood.”
Thanks to politicians like State Senator Konni Burton (R-Colleyville), suburban property owners are seeing their property tax bills spike 40 percent or more since 2010, with little of that money actually staying to fund their own local schools. Homeowners looking for the Texas Legislature to pay its fair share of school funding won’t see relief on their tax bills with politicians like Burton, whose votes maintain the status quo and leave taxpayers behind.
Burton’s record in the Texas Senate reveals her consistent opposition to funding public education and Texas students:
- HB 4: Burton voted against expanding access to pre-kindergarten across Texas.
- SB 3: Burton voted to divert funding from public schools to private schools, which would have cut $50 million of state funding from Arlington, Mansfield and Fort Worth school districts.
- SB 18: Burton voted to cut scholarships and grants for 8,000 University of Texas Arlington students.
- SB 193: Burton voted against Texas school transportation funding.
- SB 328: Burton introduced legislation removing class size requirements, which would lead to overcrowded classrooms.
- SB 693: Burton voted against bipartisan legislation to require seat belts on new school buses.
Whether it is school safety, class sizes or expanding opportunity, Burton receives a failing grade. Article VII of our state constitution says it’s the Legislature’s job to establish and maintain a system of public schools. The students of today can become the leaders of tomorrow if we have leaders in Austin fighting for Texas children and their education. But establishment politicians like Konni Burton won’t do their jobs.
When will Burton and other state lawmakers step up, fulfill their duty and give Texas children the opportunity to succeed and give Texas homeowners a break? We need to Reform Austin so our families have better schools and a more reasonable system of property taxes.