CPPP statement on “Big 3” opening remarks

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CPPP Statement on Legislative Session Opening Remarks from Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen

AUSTIN, Tex. – At a group press conference this morning, Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen highlighted school finance, property taxes and other issues as shared priorities for the legislative session.

In response, CPPP CEO Ann Beeson issued the following statement:

“It’s great to see the Governor, Lt. Governor and House Speaker united in their commitment to remodeling our public school finance system this legislative session. Money matters in education to support dedicated teachers and investments in science, computers, art and other programs.

“We are ready to help with the details to ensure that Texas students from all ZIP codes and backgrounds receive the high-quality education they deserve. We will remind state leaders that recapture, or “Robin Hood,” is working as intended to level the playing field between school districts. It’s the underfunding by the state of the overall school finance system that leaves too many schools struggling.

“When the state begins paying its fair share of public education costs, we will achieve more equitable funding for Texas schools and lower property taxes.

“We look forward to working with state leaders to advance the big issues that matter.”

A renowned social justice lawyer, former philanthropy executive, and frequent public speaker and writer, Ann Beeson joined the Center in 2013. She was previously the Executive Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations, where she promoted human rights, justice, and accountability nationwide. Beeson was the national Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she worked from 1995-2007. She argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, litigated numerous cases around the country, and launched groundbreaking programs to stop the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security and to protect free speech and privacy on the Internet. Beeson has been recognized as one of the nation’s top lawyers by American Lawyer Magazine and the National Law Journal. A proud Texan, Beeson has embraced a wide range of innovative strategies to advance social change. Before joining the Center, she launched a new non-profit to involve the creative sector in social change. In 2012-13, she was a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas, where she co-produced a public media series to inspire more people to get engaged in their communities. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Texas. Beeson obtained her law degree from Emory University School of Law, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Barefoot Sanders, then chief judge of the Northern District of Texas.

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