FORT WORTH – Senator Wendy Davis has called on Greg Abbott to end the current lawsuit that has kept approximately 600 Texas public school districts — whose students include approximately 3 out of 4 Texas public school children — tied up in court.
As State Attorney General, Greg Abbott has forced Texas school districts to undergo months of unneeded and expensive legal deliberations in defense of a massive $5 billion cut to our neighborhood schools.
“Greg Abbott is putting the future of Texas at risk by refusing to bring an end to his politically motivated legal maneuvers that are hurting school children and their families,” said Senator Wendy Davis. “I am the only candidate with a strong record on education. I plan to prioritize the needs of Texas children, their families and their teachers. Greg Abbott offers nothing but more days in the courthouse.”
Contrary to facts and the law, Greg Abbott has maintained that as State Attorney General he was required to defend the $5 billion in cuts to public school funding enacted by his allies in the Legislature. But, case law dating back to the 1979 decision of Bullock v. Texas Skating Ass’n, clearly states on p .894 that:
“In matters of litigation the Attorney General is the officer authorized by law to protect the interests of the State, and even in matters of bringing suit the Attorney General ‘must exercise judgment and discretion, which will not be controlled by other authorities’ … It was within the discretion of the Attorney General, not that of the Comptroller, to decide whether to appeal a case in which the State had experienced an adverse judgment in the trial court.” (cite: Bullock v. Texas Skating Ass’n, 583 S.W.2d 888, Austin Court of Civil Appeals, 1979)
Davis said Greg Abbott knows that as Attorney General he can move to settle the school finance lawsuit. In 2012, he gave up his defense of a discriminatory Senate redistricting plan and then entered into a settlement agreement. Contending now that he must continue with extended litigation rather than move for a settlement is simply dishonest. ??
In 2011, Senator Davis fought against a budget that stripped $5.4 billion from public schools. During the last legislative session, Senator Davis continued to fight until $3.4 billion in funding was restored. Senator Davis’ relentless fight on behalf of public school kids stands in stark contrast to Greg Abbott defending an unconstitutional school funding system that threatens the long-term well-being of all Texans.
Davis has recently released two parts of her “Great Schools: Great Texas” education policy plan which focus on attracting, developing, and retaining Texas teachers and increasing dual-credit opportunities between Texas high schools and universities.