Lt. Governor David Dewhurst named the six members of the Senate that will participate with the members of the House on a Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance. On August 6, the committee met for the first time for an organizational meeting. All members present briefly outlined their goals for the project.
The committee also heard an outline of proposed research from Dr. Lori Taylor of Texas A & M University (Dr. Taylor will serve as principal researcher), John Opperman of the Lt. Governor’s office, and Harrison Keller of the Speaker’s office. The summary and timeline for their proposed research is attached.
The full membership of the Joint Select committee is as follows: House members – Kent Grusendorf, co-chair, Talmadge Heflin, Fred Hill, Vilma Luna, Kenny Marchant, and Ron Wilson; Senate members – Florence Shapiro, co-chair, Teel Bivins, Eddie Lucio, Steve Ogden, Todd Staples, and Leticia Van de Putte.
The joint committee will be meeting once a month until December. The proposed meeting dates are September 10, October 1, November 5, and December 3, 2003. Tentatively, the meetings will take place in the House Appropriations committee room and will begin at 10am on each day.
The House Select Committee will continue to meet as scheduled. The next meetings are on August 21 and August 22 in Austin. The meeting location will be moved to accommodate the size of the committee. We will now meet in the Robert E. Johnson conference center just across 15th street from the Capitol. As the agendas for these meetings are finalized, I will let you know. We are expecting to hear a lot of interesting testimony and I would encourage you to attend one or both of these meetings if possible.
In addition to meetings of the full House Select committee and now the Joint Select committee, several of the subcommittees have been hearing testimony. You can visit www.house.state.tx.us to see the schedule of upcoming committee meetings.
As the legislators address ways to kill Robin Hood and lower property taxes, Texas CSE’s focus is on making sure the dollars we are directing to education make it to the classroom. Most school districts spend 50% or less of their dollars on instruction. We need more education for our dollars, not more dollars for education.