Gov. Rick Perry today praised legislation filed in Congress by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Congressman Michael Burgess to repeal language in the misdirected Doggett amendment that prevents Texas schools from receiving $830 million in federal funds. The Doggett amendment, part of the federal emergency education jobs bill (H.R. 1586), specifically penalizes Texas -- and no other state - by requiring the governor to make assurances that the Texas Legislature will make specific funding commitments, which is a violation of the Texas Constitution.
"The repeal legislation is welcome news to Texas' hard working teachers and students, who deserve the federal education dollars that Lloyd Doggett has prevented Texas from receiving," Gov. Rick Perry said. "Education has been and will continue to be a priority in Texas, where public education spending increased 82 percent between 2000-2009, and where legislators voted last year to increase formula funding to public schools by nearly $2 billion, or $180 per student. Unless the Doggett amendment is repealed, it appears nearly impossible for Texas school teachers to access these additional federal education dollars in 2010, if ever."
Gov. Perry also sent a letter to several public education associations to relay the state's various efforts to immediately access these federal education dollars for Texas schools, including submitting an application for funding to the U.S. Department of Education, which was recently rejected. The governor also called on the associations to urge the federal government to support the state's continued efforts to access this funding for Texas schools, including repealing the Doggett amendment.
"Congressman Lloyd Doggett and a congressional majority added an unnecessary, unfair and anti-Texas amendment to the Education Jobs Bill, which directly led to the rejection of these funds. I will continue to work with the Department of Education to secure this money for Texas schools," the governor's letter said. "And as importantly, please urge the Texas Congressional delegation to repeal this anti-Texas provision so that our teachers and schools can reap the benefits of these funds as soon as possible."