Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4) today joined all members of the Texas Republican Congressional delegation in introducing legislation, H.R. 6108, to repeal language in last month's education funding bill that discriminates against the State of Texas and could prevent Texas from receiving its fair share of federal education funding.
This bill would strike the paragraph in the supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 1586, that calls for stricter requirements for Texas beyond those required for all other states in order to qualify for federal education funding. Specifically, the language requires Texas to make assurances that the percentage of the Texas budget to fund education in fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013 will be equal to or greater than the percentage spent in 2011. The other 49 states must only assure funding for 2011. In addition, the provision stipulates that Texas may not be granted a waiver by the U.S. Department of Education, whereas the 49 other states could receive funding even if they do not turn in an application and refuse to make any assurances about funding levels.
The Texas requirement was inserted by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), who stated that he added the language to ensure that the funds would be used for their intended purpose.
On August 6, 2010, all 22 Republican members of the Texas Congressional delegation, including Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to strike the language. Unfortunately, the language was included in the supplemental appropriations bill, and on September 9, 2010, Texas' application for $830 million in education funding was denied by the U.S. Department of Education.
"This stipulation unfairly discriminates against the State of Texas and deprives our schoolchildren of needed funding for quality education," Hall said. "I support Governor Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst in their efforts to access the $830 million for Texas schools, and I am pleased to join my colleagues in Congress in support of repeal of this onerous provision."
Senators Hutchison and Cornyn introduced the Senate version to repeal the language, S. 3768, yesterday in the Senate.