Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a state aid package that will help 160,000 teachers keep their jobs, and also provide funds for more cops and firemen. Despite strong Republican objection, our Democratic Congress passed aid to help protect the jobs of these professionals who do so much to uphold the fabric of our society.
In this package is a Texas-specific amendment that will force our state to spend education aid on schools and teachers, preventing Rick Perry from using it to plug budget gaps elsewhere. Kudos to Lloyd Doggett for making sure this money goes where it's intended--into our local schools and classrooms, making education better for all Texans.
Video of Representative Doggett's comments below, with full text (emphasis mine) following:
"Listening to the concerns of parents, the hopes of students, and the needs of our local Texas school leaders, today we are responding with essential federal aid to education, fully paid for by closing international corporate tax loopholes that should never had been there in the first place.
"Because we believe in local control of education, we require that the State of Texas, specifically, forward this new federal aid to our local school districts, not divert it or spend it on something else. The Texas Association of School Boards, Texas teachers, principals, and school administrators support this legislation and this approach.
"Now those, who have never wanted Texas or any other place in this country to receive a dime of additional federal aid to education, they complain that because we are holding Texas Governor Rick Perry accountable for proper use of these taxpayer dollars.
"There is absolutely no Constitutional limitation on doing right by our Texas schoolchildren. Instead of concocting phony legalistic arguments Governor Perry and his cohorts here in Congress ought to be joining us in supporting quality public education.
"You can be sure that Texas is singled out by this legislation-it was singled out by the Governor who grabbed $3.2 billion of federal aid to education to bailout a mismanaged state government-that's the bailout that occurred. It occurred last year in the State of Texas. We didn't send that federal aid for education to Texas to plug a mismanaged state budget; we sent it to help our schoolchildren.
"Today, in order to avoid history from repeating itself, we demand accountability, we demand support for quality public education and local control of education and not more mismanagement and interference from the State of Texas."
Any Republicans have problems with this? Using education money on education, not to cover up fiscal mismanagement? Actually funding our schools and teachers, in order to provide our children--all of our children--with the best education possible? What about closing the tax loophole that benefited corporations shipping American jobs overseas? Anything?
You go, Lloyd Doggett! You may only represent a portion of our state, but your amendment has ensured a brighter day for schoolchildren all across Texas.