Governor Abbott Calls Out Texas House Democrats For Voting Against Education Package

May 13, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today called out 39 Texas House Democrats for voting against Representative Brad Buckley’s comprehensive education package that would have provided $6 billion for additional public school funding, teacher pay raises, and school safety measures. The bill also included a provision that expands school choice for every Texas family.

“As you surely recall, I worked with Representative Brad Buckley during Special Sessions #3 and #4 last year to design a school choice and public school funding package that would have achieved exactly what you seek,” reads the letter. “It was a bill that added $6 billion in school funding, including teacher pay raises and additional funding for school safety. All of the representatives who signed this letter voted to kill that package. The makeup of the Texas House of Representatives has not changed since you rejected that proposal, which means there is no possibility for it to pass during another special session unless you are willing to change your position to support the Buckley bill.

To be clear, there are several reasons why some public schools are facing budget shortfalls. One is public schools received extraordinary funding from the federal government for COVID recovery, and that federal funding is no longer available. This means those schools that used this funding for ongoing expenses are facing a shortfall. Also, to be clear, you make reference to the basic allotment. That is simply misleading. While the basic allotment is $6,160, the average funding per student actually exceeds $12,000. 

Know this, my commitment to improving public schools is just as resolute as yours. To achieve our shared goal, however, it is incumbent upon you to work with your fellow Texas House members to muster the votes to get it passed—something you were unwilling to do last year.”

Read the Governor’s full letter to Texas House Democrats.