Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

DATE: March 22, 2004
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Deuell Forms Citizen Advisory Panel on Public School Finance

AUSTIN -- On Monday, State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) announced his Citizen Advisory Panel on Public School Finance has been formed, and will now be moving forward to examine various school finance issues. The panel will be charged with collecting public input on the issue and providing Sen. Deuell and his staff with feedback and opinions on specific proposals.

Earlier this month, Sen. Deuell announced he would be forming the panel to assist in getting public input on school finance proposals. Deuell said response to his request to serve has been overwhelming.

"I think it is a testament to the importance of this issue that so many people have contacted my office to volunteer for this panel," Deuell said. "My office has received hundreds of responses from my constituents and I look forward to these community leaders helping me gauge public sentiment on the various finance proposals."

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, the presiding officer of the Texas Senate, praised Sen. Deuell for his efforts in forming the panel.

"As we continue working to address the important issue of school finance reform, I want to commend Senator Deuell for his leadership in forming this panel and seeking public input from his constituents," Dewhurst said. "I look forward to working with Senator Deuell to pass a permanent and comprehensive plan to improve public education in Texas."

Deuell said he has already contacted the panel with one basic question - "Should the Governor call the Legislature into special session to deal with public school finance issues?"

"I asked the panel if we should go into special session, and the response has been an almost unanimous yes," Deuell said. "I believe the public sentiment is that we need to address this situation now, and I am confident the legislature will come to a consensus on a plan that will be beneficial for all Texans."

Sen. Deuell's office has also provided members of the panel with the recently issued report of the Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance. The report contains several specific proposals that Sen. Deuell will be addressing with the panel in the coming weeks.

Sen. Deuell's office is now making preparations for the first meeting of the Advisory Panel, which should take place in the near future depending on the timing of a special session.