Texas Senators: It's Time for a New Way of Funding Texas Schools

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US-EDUCATION-CHILDREN-FOOD-CHARITY

The Texas Senate today sent a message to the state's public schools: don't expect a river of cash to come flowing from the Capitol during the Special Session, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The Texas House is considering a bill to take $1.8 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund and provide it to public schools.  But State Sen. Larry Taylor (R- Friendswood) who heads the Senate Education Committee, says that's not going to happen.

"The time for tinkering around the edges and making minor changes is over," he said.  "We have a broken system that is well past adding another band aid.  Adding one time money to this system is a political fix."

Taylor said while the Texas Constitution requires a high quality public education system, the courts have also ruled that more money doesn't necessarily mean better education.

Advocates for a new funding system has pointed for years at deputy assistant superintendents making $200,000 a year and millions spent on scoreboards at football stadiums as evidence that school districts are not responsibly handling the money they now have.

And Taylor says the districts are going to have to tighten their belts."With today's and future budget challenges, we must seek out higher productivity and efficiency out of every dollar we spend," he said.

Taylor, along with Gov. Abbott, is championing the creation of a commission to examine the existing system of funding Texas schools, which has been under assault for more than three decades, to try to come up with a more workable and equitable system.

But House leaders have warned that they will not go along with the creation of the commission if the Senate doesn't approve its plan to use Rainy Day Fund money to increase public school funding and raise teacher salaries.

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