Texas teachers voice opposition to education-heavy special session

Governor Greg Abbott

Governor Greg Abbott

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is proposing raises for teachers in Texas, and backing up the state governor. And cited a study by Angelou Economics that found by 2026, Texas could lose $5.6 billion if such a bill becomes law. Police, fire, EMS and even charities continue to use that. "Why is that? It's to silence their voice here at the Capitol", said Gary Goodsey, Executive Director of the Association Texas Professional Educators.

"We are hearing stories about people who are being taxed out of their homes because of rising property taxes". Instead, he focused on teacher pay and school finance, proposing a plan to "reprioritize" existing state funds from the Texas Lottery to pay for teacher bonuses and retirement benefits. While there, he also identified his top priority for the Special Session. "And the idea that you are going to be able to enforce a bathroom bill, I mean the enforceability is just not there".

"Texas has one of the highest property tax rates across the United States and in fact we are up there with our friend IL", said Abbott.

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"If it has been studied aplenty that means someone would have come up with a solution", said Abbott, responding to the criticism that the time had come for action rather than further studies on school finance. "It's because Dan Patrick threw a fit". A stalemate may yet prevail if neither side budges during a 30-day extra session that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has convened starting Tuesday. The Texas Senate had passed a strict version in March, but the more-moderate House - led by vocal bathroom bill opponent Republican Speaker Joe Straus - balked and approved a watered-down version applying only to public schools.

The Texas Democrats also laid out their priorities for the session, calling it Real Solutions.

While outnumbered, the group says they will fight for their causes. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso). "The pursuit of a bathroom bill represents a willful disregard for those vulnerable people and for businesses, workers, and communities all across our state", Phillip Jones, president and CEO of VisitDallas, said in a press release. But to do that, all the Republicans and five Democrats will have to vote to suspend the rules and that is not likely to happen.

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