Senator Kirk Watson, Chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement today regarding Judge John Dietz’ ruling on Texas’ school finance system:
This ruling shows we need to start working, right now, to find a permanent solution to Texas’ school funding crisis.
Judge Dietz is right to recognize that those in control of the Capitol have turned their back on our most precious assets – our children – for years. His ruling supports more than 600 public school districts that felt they had no choice but to sue the state. It’s sad, honestly, that it takes something like this to force the legislature to honor its constitutional responsibility to our children. But hopefully, we’re now headed toward a better system.
From its declaration of independence, one of Texas’ proudest legacies has been its commitment to schools, children and the future of the state. The truth, which this ruling makes clear, is that Texas can do much better when it comes to providing essential economic infrastructure such as schools. Those in control of the Capitol should recognize this truth and start working immediately to find a permanent solution to fund our schools. Texas kids and parents deserve a fair system that produces truly excellent schools and opportunities, not excuses or delays. That should start by reinstating the billions of dollars that were wrongly cut from school district budgets, pre-kindergarten programs, and other fundamental educational elements during the past session.
Texas school children are about 100 class days into their year. The legislature has just over 100 days left in this session. We don’t have time to wait — our kids can’t afford it.