New Bipartisan School Finance Bill
by: Rod Rice, August 3, 2005 5:08:00 am
It's the work of Democrat Rodney Ellis of Houston and Republican Kevin Eltife of Tyler. The bill providers $290 million for new text books, a thousand dollar a year raise for all teachers in the first year and another in the second year. It also restores the teacher health insurance cut made to balance the budget in 2003. Senator Ellis says the effort at school finance is too broad given the narrow parameters legislators are facing.
Ellis says Texas is simply not putting enough money into education. He says the state's share of education spending has gown down from 45 percent in 1993 to 36 percent today and Texas's national rankings show it.
Ellis says raising the sales tax to fund education moves Texas from Robin Hood to robbin' everybody but the rich. He says property tax relief will only come when there is a drastic shift in the way Texas funds state government.