As the Texas Legislature enters the final six weeks of its 2023 session, there is reason to be concerned that legislators will not provide the funding resources needed for schools to address the teacher shortage, make up for costs driven higher by inflation, and meet the needs of students. In addition, legislators are considering private-school voucher proposals that would take even more dollars away from public schools.
Now is the time when legislators need to hear from constituents who support public schools and are concerned about the many threats to our schools’ future in the current session.
Key Messages to Share with Local Legislators
- Public schools have faced 14.5 percent inflation over the past three years and need significant new revenue to keep up with rising costs and to rebuild their teaching workforce.
- Meaningful investments in the Basic Allotment are the best way to deliver dollars to school districts in ways that reach the classroom and control Robin Hood.
- The $17 billion proposed for property-tax relief will help homeowners, including teachers who own their homes, but those dollars do not reach the classroom.
- Schools need sustainable investments upon which their communities can depend, rather than one-time funding that will disappear in a year or two.
- Education Savings Accounts will add to the fiscal challenges our schools face. In just a few years, ESAs’ net cost will grow to more than $1 billion per year.
Message to Share with Your Community
We encourage you to reach out to members of your community and share the following messages and sample content to help them reach legislators:
The Texas Legislature has about six weeks left in its session and it is imperative that we tell legislators that we need real investments in public schools. Please contact legislators and tell them that you want them to make meaningful, sustainable investments in Texas classrooms — and not just in property-tax relief. Encourage them to vote against vouchers and Education Savings Accounts that would send public dollars to private schools.
You can find your local legislators in the Texas House and Texas Senate here. Every Representative’s phone number to their Capitol office is on their Texas House website.
Also, if you want to share information with your legislators or with friends and neighbors, please see this one-page handout regarding the funding challenges schools face.
Below are messages that we encourage you to share with legislators and on your social media channels. If you have any questions about how to reach our local legislators, please do not hesitate to contact me. This is a critical time for our students and I urge you to get engaged.
Phone Call to State Representative/Senator
I am calling to ask you to please make real investments in public education. With a $33 billion surplus, the state should be putting more dollars into classrooms.
- Public schools face 14.5 percent inflation and are struggling to keep teachers.
- The Basic Allotment is the best way to deliver resources to our schools and hasn’t been increased in 4 years.
- Vouchers will only make things worse for public schools by funding private schools with no accountability.
Please invest in public education. Thank you.
Email to State Representative/Senator
Thank you for your service to our community. I strongly support our public schools and I ask that you please prioritize an increase in per-student dollars going to the classroom. The best way to improve funding is through the Basic Allotment, which has not been raised in four years. During that time, schools have struggled to retain teachers and manage the impact of inflation, which is making costs higher for utilities, insurance, and supplies. Please prioritize a higher Basic Allotment when deciding how to use the state’s surplus.
A voucher or ESA program for private schools will make things much worse. Please keep public dollars in public schools that are transparent and accountable to taxpayers.
Thank you again for your service.
Social Media Resources
Post for Facebook, LinkedIn, NextDoor and Message Boards
The Texas Legislature is nearing the end of its session. Without a significant investment of new dollars, Texas will continue to suffer from the impact of stagnant funding and high inflation. Texas ranks 40th in per-student spending and this could get even worse without more dollars for classrooms. Call our local state legislators TODAY and ask them to increase funding for schools.
Captions for Twitter and Instagram
- Texas ranks 40th in per-student spending. Putting new dollars in classrooms is the best way to use our state surplus to help kids and teachers. #txlege #txed
- Keep public dollars in public schools! Vouchers create an expensive new entitlement program that won’t help our kids and teachers. #txlege #txed
- We need more dollars in our PUBLIC schools to support students and teachers. We don’t need vouchers and ESAs that send taxpayer money to unaccountable private schools. #txlege #txed
Social media graphics to share (click image to download):