Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told a Midland reporter last week that he is willing to tackle Texas’ troubled public school funding system in a special legislative session and “fix it once and for all.”
Not so fast, Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said Monday. Only the governor can call a special session, and Abbott would rather lawmakers fix school finance in the regular session that’s scheduled to start in January.
Abbott spokesman John Wittman told The Dallas Morning News the governor believes school finance can be “thoroughly debated and addressed in a regular session where responsible and hardworking legislators have plenty of time to address these serious topics.”
Except that, if history is any guide, they won’t. Odds aren’t even all that great that they would fix school funding in a special session — or several special sessions.
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The last time the Texas Legislature overhauled the school funding system was in 2006, after discussing it in at least two regular sessions and four special sessions. The logjam broke only after the Texas Supreme Court deemed the system unconstitutional and ordered changes.
There’s no such pressure from a court order this time.