Our friends, Pastors for Texas Children, have been strong allies in the fight to improve public schools.

They daily remind us that support for good public schools is bipartisan. Both chambers of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans, and many of them support their community public schools. Working with members of both parties, PTC and many parent groups repeatedly defeated vouchers in Texas

Now Charles Foster Johnson brings good news about school funding. 

We are gratified to report that the stalemate has ended on House Bill 3, the historic public school funding bill passed with virtually unanimous approval by the House of Representatives earlier this session. The bill has been held up for weeks over intense debate about certain measures attached to the bill by the Senate, mainly around property tax relief policy. 

While we are waiting for the actual bill language, it is clear that our neighborhood and community Texas public schools will get several billion new dollars in funding, that this support will not be contingent on our children’s performance on any standardized test, that teachers will receive a desperately needed pay increase, and that full-day, high-quality Pre-Kindergarten instruction will finally be implemented.

This is a new major development in the growing pro-public education wave sweeping our state and nation. It comes as the result of your incredible work and witness. HB 3 is a significant step in the ongoing journey to provide our children the education they deserve, God demands, and Texans desire. 

Our pastors and church leaders were in the Capitol every day of this 86th Legislative Session, building relationships with House and Senate members and staff, praying with these legislators, influencing them about the moral mandate to create school policy that will advance God’s Common Good. 

Modernizing school finance while offering tax relief is a complicated endeavor. The Legislature has heard our voice and received our witness about the moral imperative to fund our schools, fairly compensate our teachers, and give our youngest and poorest children the head-start they need in their education. Without your persistence and participation through phone calls, emails, sermons, messages, and visits– and those of countless tens of thousands of other fellow public education advocates doing likewise– this simply would not have happened. Well done, good and faithful servants!

As we end this legislative session next Tuesday, we look forward to getting back to our main work of helping local schools– and building community support for public education as the key institution of stable and civil society. We thank God for the privilege of doing this work, and doing it with dedicated leaders like you.