Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2011
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Education Funding Billions Short of What is Needed and What Texas Promised

Amendment to SB 1581 shorts Texas schools by $4 billion

(Austin, Texas)—Senator Ellis released the following statement on the legislature's decision to alter funding formulas for Texas schools, cutting state funding by $4 billion:

"Let us be clear what we have done today. The Senate has simply decided we will not provide Texas school children the money we have promised them. The schools still need the money; the schools still deserve that money, we have just decided the state will not provide it. Now, our schools and our local governments must come up with the money to fill in the Grand Canyon of a hole we have dug for them.

"So, while we talk about saving public schools, the reality is we are cutting billions from them. Meanwhile, we have left $6 billion in our savings account. To pretend that we are doing right by public education because our plan isn't as horrific as the House's plan is, at best, a stretch and, at worst, a cruel joke.

"The sad truth is that Texans, the Rainy Day Fund and our public schools have been held hostage to politics. A decision was made that it would be better to cut billions from our kids' schools than to use our savings fund. This is a sad day and one that is going to have severe consequences for our kids schools and probably for many members of this legislature.

"I do not blame Chairman Ogden, who has fought tirelessly to make this bill work. Unfortunately, this is the best he could do under the constraints placed upon him throughout this process. He has had a thankless job and has truly worked to find a lasting solution. Sadly, other considerations have won the day and our children's schools will pay the price."

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