Education Policy

Education Groups Push State Leaders to Invest in High Quality Public Education for All Children

July 17, 2017 • Re: Letter from Numerous Education Groups and Organizations Regarding 2017 Special Session

See pdf version of this letter

Dear Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, Speaker Straus and State Legislators:

The undersigned submit this letter to voice our position on the supplemental topics identified by Governor Greg Abbott for the special session related to public education and school funding. The undersigned is a diverse collective of education groups and organizations with hundreds of thousands of members located across Texas. Each is committed to building the common ground needed to enact positive school finance reform that ensures each and every child in every neighborhood public school has access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.

In response to Governor Abbott’s proposed special session topics for the summer of 2017, the collective asserts their position as follows:

1. The State must meaningfully invest more state resources through school finance reform that ensures a high quality education for every child at every neighborhood public school; efforts to further shift the burden onto local property taxpayers must be avoided.

2. The State must not use taxpayer funds to subsidize private schools, and it must not withhold fair funding for public schools contingent upon the passage of private school funding.

3. The State must avoid taking action that would intrude upon local communities’ taxing authority.

4. Texas’ hard-working teachers deserve a pay raise, but any state-mandated teacher pay raise must be accompanied with additional state monies flowing through the formulas; districts should not be forced to reallocate existing, limited funds to pay for state-mandated pay raises.

5. Any school finance study must be research-based, sufficiently funded by an appropriation, and tied to specific short-term and long-term educational goals and outcomes.

6. The State must respect local decision-making and due process measures for hiring and firing teachers under current statutes; it must not force local school districts to adopt new termination policies that would further erode the teacher pipeline.

7. The State must not encroach upon public school employees’ desire to join a professional organization/association and to have their dues deducted from their wages.

8. The State must not approve policies that could cause bullying and harm to Texas students by continuing to push forward the “bathroom bill;” Texas schools have managed this issue without incident and will continue to do so.


Association of Texas Professional Educators

Center for Public Policy Priorities

Coalition for Education Funding

Elgin ISD

Fast Growth School Coalition

Intercultural Development Research Association

La Fe Policy Research & Education Center


Mexican American School Board Members Association

The McNeil Foundation

Pastors for Texas Children

San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

South Texas Association of Schools

Texas American Federation of Teachers

Texas Association of Community Schools

Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce

Texas Association of Midsize Schools

Texas Classroom Teachers Association

Texas Elementary Principals & Supervisors Association

Texas HOPE

Texas Kids Can’t Wait

Texas Latino Education Coalition



Texas State Teachers Association