The “general diffusion of knowledge is essential for the welfare of this state and for the preservation of the liberties and rights of citizens.”
Ann believes that our chief priority in Austin is education. Our state legislature has woefully failed to invest in our public education and neglected to prioritize our number one resource – children.
In 2011, Sarah Davis chose to vote along party lines to slash public education funding by $5.3 billion, eliminating over 10,000 teaching positions and cutting pre-Kindergarten funding. And, over the last 10 years, the Texas legislature has steadily decreased their share of state funding from 50% to 38%. Because our state has failed to adequately fund our schools, the burden has fallen on the local governments, and we have seen our property taxes rise to compensate.
Because the state does not adequately fund schools, the Robin Hood system – Texas’ attempt to equalize funding between rich and poor school districts – has become a total fraud and an excuse for the state to shirk its constitutional duty to provide a quality education for every Texas child. In Houston, HISD has had to send $300 million local funds back to the state through Robin Hood because HISD is labeled a property-wealthy district – even though nearly 75 percent of HISD’s 214,175 students qualified for federal free or reduced-price meals in 2017-18. Taking money away from these kids is unconscionable. Robin Hood needs to be revamped.
Following the election of 12 new House Democrats in 2018, the Texas Legislature finally increased funding for public education – temporarily. However, the Republican-led legislature failed to commit sustainable funding resources. Whoever you elect this year will decide whether our state reinvests in public education, or returns to the old method of slashing public education.
Ann believes that every student deserves a quality education and that all teachers deserve adequate compensation for the work they do. Ann will fight to have our schools properly funded by the state, increasing our quality of education, lessening the burden on individual’s property taxes, and preparing our state for a stronger future economy.