June 2016


Capital Tonight June 2: School Finance Reform


Donald Trump hasn’t particularly made winning over evangelicals a campaign platform. But he hasn’t had much of a problem appealing to that demographic, either.

On Thursday’s show we took a closer look at how Trump is winning over the typically crucial voting bloc Republicans. Plus, following the state supreme court’s school finance ruling, a top Texas lawmaker is heeding the justices’ call and directing House members to get to work on reforming the system. We’ll tell you what’s being proposed to make funding schools more “efficient.” And our guest was Democratic State Representative Chris Turner. He weighed in on the school finance ruling and de-facto severance pay among several state agencies.

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John Richie and Arthur Bea Williams’
School Board Presentations

Thank you Mr. President and members of the School Board for giving me some time to comment on the items on the agenda tonight for action by you. The issue I wish to discuss is the bathroom issue and the discussion of going into litigation.

There are some questions that seem to have been going around in my head since I heard the Lt. Governor speak last week. The main question I have is how will we make up the potential shortfall of millions of dollars that we will not receive from federal funding? I would think, however you want to spin it that is still a major loss to the budget of this district as well as other districts around the state. Will the district have to raise taxes? Will we have to purpose another bond referendum? How will we make it up? I realize that you do not answer questions during public comment but I feel these are the questions you need to consider.

I would think that there are a number of solutions that could be discussed, one of which being a gender-neutral bathroom to be used by those consistently professing their gender identification. Why the sudden urgency? Has there been a rash of criminal acts either by or against transgendered individuals that have taken place in the restrooms of the schools in this district? Or is this a solution looking for a problem?

Members of the board, I would ask you to not fall into the political trap this presents and provide for the education of our children which is your charge. That education is to be provided regardless of ones race, gender, socio-economic status or identity. I have 2 children in this district. I am a product of this district along with a mother and 2 uncles and now as a tax payer and a parent, I expect and rightfully demand that education they receive will prepare them for life beyond the schoolhouse door. There are members on this board in search of a problem and, as a whole; we need to be concentrating on your charge. I urge to vote no on the litigation and possibly form a task force to look into alternative ways to address the issue before us. The Ft. Worth District which was maligned by the Lt. Governor took a year or better to come up with a policy and a plan, why can’t we do the same?

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.




School finances ruling calls for a Special Session

Texas Senate Democratic Caucus responds to school finance ruling

Senator José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement on behalf of the members:

Today, the Texas Supreme Court abdicated its historical role in addressing the failure of the Texas Legislature to properly fund our Texas schools. The overwhelming evidence showed struggling schools, higher standards, and less funding for school districts across the state. The situation is even more dire for our school districts with little wealth and for English Language Learners and Economically Disadvantaged students. However, the Supreme Court ruled that constitutional deference must be given to the Texas Legislature. If that’s the case, now is the time for Governor and the Legislature to take up the challenge. Funding education is one of our state’s core responsibilities. It is how we build our future. Now that the issue is back to the Legislature, we call upon the Governor to call a Special Session so that we can give the issue the undivided attention it deserves, and we can provide our students, teachers, and parents better opportunities sooner rather than later.
The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus is comprised of the following members: Sen. José Rodríguez of El Paso (Chair), Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston (Vice Chair), Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, Sen. Judith

Zaffirini of Laredo, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville, Sen. Royce West of Dallas, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of Mission, Sen. Carlos Uresti of San Antonio, Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston, and Sen. Jose Menendez of San Antonio.





sba A compelling reminder – every woman needs to vote. Every time they have the opportunity ….

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