As the allies, educators, and parents of Texas’ 5.5 million public school students, we urge the Texas Legislature to prioritize our children’s public education. Texans of all backgrounds, from Amarillo to Corpus Christi, have communicated to our state’s elected officials that we share a value for well-funded public schools that build prosperous communities. With an unprecedented budget balance and in the wake of historic inflation, now is the time to use our public funds to invest in our children and strengthen schools and communities across Texas.
Texas policymakers are grappling with how to cut taxes, but little has been done to address school funding shortages for students and teachers. These issues go hand and hand. Property taxes directly fund our public schools, and making cuts without simultaneously backfilling that revenue with state dollars is reckless policymaking and jeopardizes both our public schools and the children they serve. Cutting taxes without funding our public schools ultimately costs all of us. That’s why the Legislature tied property tax caps to the school finance investments of House Bill 3 in 2019, and that’s why the Senate recognizes schools and teachers can’t be left out of the deal. Still, more needs to be done for our public schools and the 5.5 million students they serve.
While the Texas Legislature debates whether or how to cut taxes for corporations, homeowners, and businesses this special session, it must also fund our children’s public education and the vital communities these school districts support. Specifically, the Legislature can fully allocate the $4 billion reserved for public education in the budget or by tapping into the state’s historic surplus.
We ask the Texas House Democrats and public education supporters to ensure a school funding bill is passed and signed with no school vouchers attached to the funding. Our children deserve their public school funding. It’s not too late to prioritize our children – Texas public school students should not be sacrificed for tax cuts.
It’s critical to our prosperous future to hold the line and demand the funding and resources our public school children deserve – they’re worth it.
Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition (TLEEC)