Monday, September 13, 2010

Lawmakers ask Perry to keep working toward a solution

A group of Texas lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Rick Perry today urging him to continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education to allow Texas to receive $830 million in federal funding through the jobs bill passed by Congress last month. DOE rejected Perry's application for the money because he didn't include assurances required by an amendment to the bill by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.

State Senators Van de Putte, Ellis, Lucio, Gallegos and Davis all signed off on the letter.

It reads:

Dear Governor Perry,

Texas children started school a few days ago.  Some are just beginning to learn their alphabet, while others are thinking about college.  Texas parents started school a few days ago as well, along with their children.  As parents we hope for a better future for our children. We tell them they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up.  We take them to school.  We help them with their homework.  We attend PTA meetings and contribute to the bake sales.  We do whatever it takes to help our children graduate, go to college, and make a decent living.

But we can’t do it alone. No parent in Texas can.

We depend on our neighborhood schools and our teachers to help us prepare our children for better lives.

Our schools and our teachers can’t do it alone either.  They depend on the state to help them help us prepare our children for better lives.

You have claimed that Texas has done a pretty good job.  You have said that education is a priority.  You have shared that it is one of the many reasons families move to Texas.  And you claim we’re doing better than other states.

Why change your story now?

Surely, you and other adults in our state and federal government can work towards a meaningful compromise with the U.S. Department of Education to keep our school doors open, our teachers teaching, and our kids learning.

Grown-ups don’t give up and point fingers, grown-ups find solutions. We’re Texas, right?  Complicated explanations full of legalese haven’t stood in our way before, and they shouldn’t stop us now.  We wouldn’t accept these finger-pointing excuses from our children, and Texans shouldn’t accept them from us.

We urge you to immediately direct your staff and TEA personnel to sit down with the Department of Education and continue to try to find a solution to this impasse, so that this crucial funding can do what it is designed to do – help fund our neighborhood schools and ensure that our children continue to learn.

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