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TEX. LEGE AGAIN GOING AFTER ‘POT OF GOLD’ — PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND

Apr 20, 2019 by

“Tex. Lege Again Going After ‘Pot of Gold’ – Permanent School Fund”

By Donna Garner

4.20.19

Texas HJR 143 is just another way that the Texas Lege wants to wrest control of the Permanent School Fund from the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education.  HRJ 143 would change the Texas Constitution to allow the lege by a simple majority vote to control such funds, including the Permanent School Fund.

TIME IS SHORT – ACTION FROM PUBLIC NEEDED NOW:  HJR is set for a floor vote in the House this coming Tuesday, 4.23.19.

Text of HJR 143: https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=HJR143

Bill Stages:  https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/BillStages.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=HJR143

On 3.30.19, the State Republican Party Executive Committee (SREC) passed a Resolution supporting continued control of the Permanent School Fund (PSF) by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education.

Wording from that Resolution:

“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State Republican Executive Committee reaffirms our commitment that the elected State Board of Education remain directly accountable to Texas citizens and independent of the legislative and executive branches, responsible for managing the Permanent School Fund through transparent deliberations and active public engagement.”

Please contact your Texas Legislators immediately and ask them to vote against HJR 143 (see left side of Texas Legislature Online webpage for contact information) —  https://capitol.texas.gov/

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To read my rationale as to why the Texas Legislature should not be allowed to get its hands on the Permanent School Fund, please go to this article:

3.11.19 — “Do Not Put Politicians in Charge of Texas Students’ Textbooks” – By Donna Garner – EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/do-not-put-politicians-in-charge-of-texas-students-textbooks/

QUOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE: 

For eons, Texas Legislators have been salivating over the “Pot of Gold” – the Permanent School Fund. The PSF is the largest educational endowment in the United States; at the end of fiscal 2018, the fund balance was $44 Billion. The elected members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) are charged under the Texas Constitution to manage the PSF.  The investments from the PSF (1) put money into the Available School Fund which pays for textbooks and other instructional expenses for the 5,399,682 Texas public school students, and (2) helps school districts, including charter schools, to get lower interest rates on construction bonds.

As someone who has watched the SBOE carefully for more than 35 years, I can testify to the fact that there have been many highs and lows as various elections cycles have come and gone. The one thing that has stayed fairly stable is the fact that the majority of the SBOE members have always tried to preserve and invest wisely the PSF to make sure our Texas students have textbooks. 

With only a very few exceptions, the SBOE members are dedicated to the issue of education first and foremost. That is why they ran for the SBOE, and that is why they serve on the SBOE. They want to make sure that the curriculum standards (TEKS) that they adopt are implemented into the textbooks which eventually reach the students’ desks.   

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