Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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The Midterm Wave Was Pro Public Education

“The election results were clear: the wave that mattered was a bipartisan, pro-public education wave,” according to a new commentary by Michelle Smith of Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT). Many of the new legislators elected made their support for public education clear on the campaign trail.

To prepare for the 2019 legislative session, staffers at RYHT traveled across the state to hear from educators, parents, and business leaders. In the coming session, RYHT has outlined specific legislative priorities: address school finance in a meaningful way, make sure public funds stay in our public schools, and invest in our youngest learners through full-day pre-K.

On school finance, they note that state funding has remained flat over the last decade, saving the state billions. “In the next biennium alone, the state expects to ‘save’ an estimated $3.5 billion dollars due to local property tax value growth. That savings should be reinvested into public education—not used to plug holes in the state’s budget,” the commentary reads.

On vouchers, the commentary notes that many districts have expanded choice through specialized campuses and new courses. “Texans want legislators to say ‘no’ to vouchers in any form. Vouchers are taxpayer-funded government subsidies for private schools and vendors with no accountability for results.” RYHT notes that the state’s public schools are “…the only system with the capacity to educate the large and diverse student population of Texas and transparency for how dollars are spent and what is taught.

On pre-K, RYHT calls for long-term funding for full-day programs. “Decades of research concludes that high-quality, full-day pre-K has a measurable, positive impact on kindergarten readiness.”

Read “There was a wave, and it was pro-public education” by Michelle Smith, TribTalk.

November 19, 2018