From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
November 22, 2005
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on Supreme Court's School Finance Ruling

(Austin)// Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today released the following statement regarding the Texas Supreme Court ruling on Texas' current public school finance system:

"Today's decision gives us a starting point on what must be done to fix our school finance system. It is time for the Governor and the Legislature to finally come together and do what is right for our school kids.

"Our most important job is to ensure a quality education for all Texas children. Our goal must be to build the best schools in the nation by increasing state funding for public schools, increasing equity, and creating a fairer and more equitable tax structure. A dramatic increase in sales taxes should not be considered.

"As we move forward, we cannot forget that the education reforms of the past 20 years, such as teacher accountability, class-size limits, and increased equity funding under Robin Hood, have worked well. As we move forward from today, any plan must meet the new dictates of the Supreme Court while preserving and building upon these successful reforms. We cannot roll them back.

"If we are to finally succeed at fixing our school finance system, we must not get bogged down in the same divisive and unproductive debate -- tax cuts for the wealthiest Texans over new investment in our schools -- that have doomed two regular and three special sessions. We must focus, first and foremost, on increasing state support for our schools."