Just a few days after the Texas House passed legislation proposing to throw another $1.8 billion at a Texas’ public school system while doing nothing to address serious structural issues, their colleagues in the Texas Senate called a press conference demanding serious reforms.
The Senate Republican Caucus’ press conference, though brief, was right to the point, announcing they want real and effective public education reform and intend to follow the Texas Supreme Court’s order to completely reform the public education system here in Texas, rather than simply “throwing more money at the problem” like Texas House leadership proposes to do.
Most of the press conference was headlined by State Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Public Education, who addressed the Senate’s bipartisan intentions and efforts to completely reform the public education system.
“The Texas Senate continues to work towards a total transformation of how we fund our number one priority in Texas – our public school system,” Taylor stated.
The Senate Republican press conference comes on the heels of State Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), the chair of the House’s Committee on Public Education, passing another boondoggle, feel-good spending bill that actually amounted to a hot check to schools. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has referred to Huberty’s legislation as a “Ponzi Scheme.”
Though Huberty’s spending bill passed through the House, it is not expected to pass the Senate in its current form.
Taylor also proposed putting together a Public School Finance Committee that could address the issue of how to revamp the public school finance system. As opposed to having toxic education and teacher unions be the leading voice within the process of refinancing public schools and education, Taylor alongside his colleagues suggested that the committee should consist of a much more diverse group of people within communities across Texas, such as teachers, business leaders, and parents.
This is a sentiment that has been echoed by both parties in both chambers and an item on Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session call.
All the positive steps the Senate is proposing could and would be done without raiding the Economic Stabilization Fund, as Huberty’s proposed bill in the House would do.
As the Senate continues to take positive steps towards a real and effective public education reform, it remains to be seen if the House will back off of Huberty’s impassable and ineffective spending bill that does nothing to solve the problems the state’s public education system is currently dealing with.