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Texas Freedom Network Applauds Bipartisan Efforts On School Finance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2004

AUSTIN - The president of the Texas Freedom Network today applauded the bipartisan efforts of moderate Republican and Democratic legislators who have pledged to work together to fund public education in Texas.

Samantha Smoot, president of the Texas Freedom Network, said she was encouraged that some legislators were working to return state government to the days when our leaders worked across party lines to bring progress to Texas.

“We hope that Gov. Perry and legislative leaders will hear the call for bipartisanship — a call that puts kids over politics,” Smoot said. “School finance is not a partisan issue. Our state’s leaders should reject efforts by special interests to use school finance as a smokescreen for pushing narrow, ideological agendas like private school vouchers and gutting quality education standards for public schools.”

A February draft report from the House Select Committee on Public School Finance included proposals for vouchers and for “home rule,” which would allow cash-strapped public schools to abandon quality education standards. The March report from the Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance also included proposals for “home rule.”

“Private school vouchers take money out of public schools — exactly the opposite of what is needed when we are struggling to fund our neighborhood schools right now,” Smoot said. “On top of that, abandoning the very quality education standards that have helped children achieve, and that were put in place by Ross Perot and George Bush, would put our children on the road to failure.”

 

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