Radio Address - April 9, 2004
Gov. Rick Perry
Date: April 9, 2004
Topic: Education Finance Plan
My fellow Texans...
As governor, my chief aim is to build a Texas of unlimited opportunity and greater prosperity for all our citizens.
That's why, as we prepare to begin a special session on education, I have announced an education finance plan that will take Texas down the pathway to prosperity... a plan that balances educational excellence and economic development, without harming one in the name of the other... a plan that will link the children of today with the jobs of tomorrow.
Education and the economy are bound together. Our employers will depend upon our schools to produce well-educated graduates to fill positions in the 21st Century economy.
And our schools are dependent upon the labor and ingenuity of the private sector to provide the tax revenue needed to fund our schools today, and create the jobs for our graduates of tomorrow.
My education finance plan offers Texans the best of both worlds: It invests more than three billion additional dollars into public education, focuses our schools on the goal of educational excellence... and... it gives millions of Texans who are over-billed and over-taxed an immediate and substantial reduction in school property taxes.
I believe we can reform our school finance system without a major tax hike... without a broad business tax that will hurt job creation... without an across-the-board rate hike on the existing tax base... and without a personal income tax in any shape or form.
As we ready for a special session on education, legislators have a choice: they can chose a plan that will produce long-lasting gains in our schools, and long-overdue relief for property taxpayers... a plan that will protect jobs, not chase them away... a plan that will be more equitable, not less so... and a plan that will put substantially more money into education.
Or, they can pass a major tax bill that will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $16 to $20 billion dollars - without even one new dime dedicated to education... and with the risk of harming the Texas job climate.
I don't think it's a difficult choice.
Employers and individual taxpayers win under my plan. Texas will remain the top state in the nation for attracting new employers and new opportunities. And our schools will not only get more money... taxpayers will get more results for their money.
My plan is the balance we need for the results we want.