In Texas, our public schools should be second to none – which is why 2021 must be a year to build on the progress of 2019.
Abraham Lincoln once said that education is “the most important subject that we as a people can be engaged in.” John Turner agrees, which is why he’s glad that in 2019, we made progress in both funding and improving our public schools in Texas.
Before then, our state’s basic level of per-student funding for schools had been frozen for four years. And we had never truly recovered from 2011, when the Legislature passed the largest cuts to public education funding in state history.
But in the election of 2018, Texas voters sent a message.
That message said we weren’t satisfied with being in the bottom fifth of the national rankings in per-student funding. That we weren’t happy to see our statewide student performance stagnate. That we couldn’t keep asking schools to do more with less support. The message was heard in Austin when new public education supporters like John Turner were elected. This is a major reason why the Legislature passed House Bill 3, the most significant pro-public education bill we’ve had in decades.
John was proud to be a co-author of House Bill 3, which increased per-student funding to our schools by an average of over five percent. It led to better salaries for teachers and school staff. It provided new resources for students with dyslexia, for students in dual language programs, for teachers in need of mentoring, and for other innovative, research-based programs. And it lowered local school M&O property tax rates – here in District 114 by almost nine percent.
Now, the challenge is to sustain and strengthen our commitment to public education.
Even with the passage of House Bill 3, Texas has further to go. We need to ensure that the new investments we are making yield the results we expect. And we must resist the temptation to go backward, and fall back into the pre-2019 cycle of leaving schools with “whatever is left” in the budget.
As a product of Texas public schools, a public school parent himself, and a former lawyer for 88 Texas school districts, John Turner appreciates the importance of public education in Texas.
As your representative, John will stand up for our Texas public schools.