Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate vote to pass H.R. 1586, legislation that includes language singling out Texas and reprehensively punishing Texas schools:
"Washington is deft at placing targets on the backs of Texans, and this proposal paints a target on our school teachers and school children," Gov. Perry said. "I applaud Sen. Hutchison and Sen. Cornyn for opposing this effort. If this measure were to pass into law, Washington would be taking yet another step toward usurping the state's authority by determining how to fund our schools, and what's worse, no other state is subject to this provision. It is appalling to think other elected officials in Congress, especially Texas' Democratic Congressional delegation, would forsake the interests of Texas school children for partisan politics. I urge the House to make sure this measure does not ultimately pass."
Following similar efforts by House Democrats last month, the U.S. Senate has added language to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 1586) that effectively kills about $800 million in federal funding for Texas schools. This amendment mandates that the governor guarantee the Legislature will provide a certain level of state funding through 2013, a funding scheme prohibited by the Texas Constitution. It will be at least June 1, 2011, before the Legislature passes and the Comptroller certifies the 2012-2013 budget. That means Texas -- the only state singled out with this mandate -- might not be able to use any of these funds provided to states.