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The House Select Committee on Constitutional Revision will "evaluate the public perception of the need for comprehensive revision of the Texas Constitution" specifically, the State Board of Education (SBOE) and the $20 billion Permanent School Fund (PSF). The PSF is used to purchase textbooks and with a potential $5 billion budget shortfall, legislators are salivating over the PSF and want to get their hands on it...we must support the SBOE in their effort to protect the fund. They are all that is standing between the fund and legislators who would raid the fund.
Let's remember that Acting Lt Gov Bill Ratliff had said that if the voters didn't elect a moderate SBOE, the Legislature would "have to take action." Let's remind legislators that this is a democracy - we want our elected SBOE to manage and protect the fund. The PSF, created in 1854, has grown from $2 billion to around $20 billion and is used solely for education. The Legislature has made numerous attempts to raid the fund (like for teacher health insurance) and will certainly continue to do so. The SBOE has done a tremendous job managing the PSF and it is rated among the top funds in the country. But big-spenders in the Legislature have attempted to cast a shadow over the SBOE's management. There is no merit to their criticism!
On Friday, May 31, the committee will meet at in Austin 9 am at E2.012 (2nd floor, Capitol Extension, Hearing Room 12) and will focus on portions of Article 7 pertaining to the State Board of Education and the Permanent School Fund. We are encouraging citizens to either write comments in support of the elected SBOE with authority to set education policy (not to be set by TEA educrats) and with full control of the PSF.
On Thursday, May 30, the focus will be higher education. The Committee will meet starting at 1 pm at E2.012 (Capitol Extension, Hearing Room 12).
If you are unable to attend, please call or write: Chairman Joe Driver, attn: Committee Clerk: Alexandra Huffaker Phone: 512/463-1443; address: Room: EXT E2.1016, P.O. Box 2910, Austin TX 78768-2910. Comments will be accepted through the end of next week.
OR call committee members.
Chairman Joe Driver; (972) 276-1556 in Garland
Vice Chairman Robert Puente; (210) 532-8899 in San Antonio
Rep. Anna Mowery; (817) 732-1372 in Ft Worth
Rep. Kevin Bailey; (281) 847-9036 in Houston
Rep.Harold Dutton; (713) 692-9192 in Houston
Rep. Glenn Lewis; (817) 536-6772 in Ft Worth
Rep. Burt Solomons; (972) 394-3904 in Carrollton