|Gov. Rick Perry Calls Special Session
of Legislature To Address Educational Excellence and Property Tax Relief
Governor Rick Perry announced on Tuesday, April 13, that he is
calling the Texas Legislature back to work on April 20 for a special legislative
session on Educational Excellence and Property Tax Relief. Part of the
funding for Gov. Perry’s plan would come from Video Lottery Terminals
(VLTs) at the Texas racetracks, contingent on voter approval.
"Since the implementation of the Robin Hood school finance scheme,
the brightest minds in Texas have pondered a permanent solution,"
Perry said. "The time for pondering is over; the time for action
Perry said that he wants a permanent solution along the lines of the
plan he has unveiled during the past few months, but he also said that
he looks forward to working with lawmakers on their suggestions and ideas
on school finance.
Last week, Perry announced a comprehensive Educational Excellence and
Property Tax Relief Plan that will cut school property taxes by $6 billion,
pump $2.5 billion new dollars into public schools, significantly increase
funding equity, and preserve Texas' strong job creation climate. Earlier
this year, Perry proposed a Taxpayer Protection Plan that will prohibit
local taxing entities from raising appraisals on residential properties
by more than 3 percent a year and limit revenues local entities can raise
from property taxes to inflation and population growth. Perry also has
called for Educational Excellence Incentives that will refocus attention
from minimum expectations to maximum achievement.
The governor noted that the months leading up to the special session
call make it clear that, regardless of party or philosophy, there is broad
consensus among legislators, educators, employers and families that the
current school funding system is outdated and unworkable.
"Property taxes are too high, and fast action is needed to help
our taxpayers and our schoolchildren," said Perry. "We agree
on many of the broad goals, but there is nothing like the certainty of
a session to bring greater consensus on the details."
To read Gov. Perry’s plan for Educational Excellence and Property
Tax Relief, click here.