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2013-02-21 digital edition

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2013-02-21 / General Stories

House Republicans Advocate Responsible Course of Action on School Finance Appeal

Republican legislative leaders of appropriations and public education have laid out a responsible course of action for the school finance debate during the floor proceedings in the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, of Lexington, explains that, “currently, a District Court in Travis County, Texas (the first and lowest court to hear the school finance litigation) has entered a decision that will now be appealed through the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Texas. This process will take several more months and will likely result in a special session for the Texas Legislature later this year or earlier next year.”

Rep. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe), Chairman of the Republican House Caucus, said the Democrats’ approach to acting now, prior to a final court ruling, amounted to putting a band-aid on a “45-year broken leg.”

Chairman Creighton stated that we are strongly in favor of helping Texas schoolchildren while maintaining respect for the judicial process. Our school finance system is too important to be left to a single liberal state district judge. Republicans believe in the full judicial process, not a shortcircuited one that stops a lawsuit of historical significance and enormous magnitude after only a single judicial interpretation. Texas children deserve more.

Rep. Kleinschmidt, Policy Chairman of the House Republican Caucus, echoed Creighton’s sentiments and said Republicans are committed to a thoughtful and vigorous determination of how we can improve education in Texas, both for the students and the taxpayers. Kleinschmidt added, “We will study the Cost of Education Index, which has not been reviewed or addressed in decades. We support examining actual current cost needs, presently determined by formulas that have been distorted over the years from a multitude of various tweaks so that they no longer properly reflect the needs of our schools and children. Texas school administrators, school boards, teachers and students deserve a school funding system that is reliable, dependable, understandable and effective.”

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