Texas Republicans seek repeal of Doggett education amendment

September 14, 2010
Dallas Morning News
Melanie Mason

Members of the Texas Republican delegation, led by Rep. Michael Burgess of Lewisville, introduced legislation today that would repeal an amendment in last month's education jobs bill that set requirements specific to Texas for the funding.

The amendment, crafted by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, says that in order for Texas to receive about $830 million to employ teachers, the governor must commit to maintaining state education fundings at the same level for three years.

Doggett has said the amendment would ensure education money would not be diverted for other uses. Governor Rick Perry said the requirement violates the Texas constitution.

Last week, the Department of Education denied Texas' application for the funds.

Texas Republicans in Washington have spoken up against this amendment before. Last month, all 22 Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation signed a letter asking Nancy Pelosi to strip the Texas-specific language from the bill.

Yesterday, Senators Cornyn and Hutchison introduced legislation in the Senate to repeal the amendment.

"This ridiculous education funding provision, which some have even called 'wacky,' has already prevented Texas schoolchildren and teachers from receiving their fair share of funding," Burgess said in a statement.

"The Doggett language must be repealed so that Texans are provided the same opportunities as residents of every other state," he added.

Perry praised the House and Senate repeal efforts in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"The repeal legislation is welcome news to Texas' hard working teachers and students, who deserve the federal education dollars that Lloyd Doggett has prevented Texas from receiving," Perry said.


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