The hardest part about this stage of the legislative session is needing to be three places at one time. This happened several times this week as I needed to be in one committee to hear testimony, present a bill in a different committee, and cast a vote in a third committee. The only way to be everywhere I need to be is to work fast and coordinate with other senators who also need to be several places at once. My great Senate staff keeps me organized as well. As you can tell, it’s a busy time for everyone here in Austin.
Five important things that happened this week at your Texas Capitol are:
A vote for schools in Senate District 3
This week the Texas Senate tackled a piece of legislation that would increase the number of charter schools in Texas. After careful consideration, I decided to cast my vote in opposition of the bill which passed 30-1. I am not opposed to the concept of charter schools; in fact, we have several great ones in Senate District 3. However, prior to each legislative session, I make a point to visit with all 102 school superintendents in Senate District 3. One thing I have learned is that most public schools receive less funding per student than charter schools statewide. Additionally, public schools have more rules and state regulations than charters.
Unfortunately, SB 2 does not adequately address these two important issues. Until the playing field is leveled and school funding is addressed, I cannot support further charter expansion. I have often said the education of our students is one of the most important things we make decisions on in the state legislature. This week I was proud to stand up for the public school students of my district, even if it meant standing alone.
Gunmakers moving to Texas?