Thursday, June 09, 2005

Perry, GOP Leaders Meet to Discuss School Finance

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Gov. Rick Perry met separately this week with the two other top Republicans in state government to discuss school finance reform, an issue that the Legislature failed to fully address this year during its 140-day regular session.

Perry met with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday and House Speaker Tom Craddick on Wednesday, Perry spokesman Robert Black said.

The Senate, where Dewhurst presides, and the House were unable to agree during the session on how to write two major bills: one that would have put a series of education reforms into place while increasing education spending by about $3 billion over two years, and one that would have cut billions of dollars in school property taxes and replaced those dollars with increases in other state taxes.

Perry's camp has said he will consider calling a special session if the two sides can reach an agreement on the bills. Black would not discuss specifics but said Perry was encouraged by this week's meetings.

A state judge declared the school finance system unconstitutional last year in a decision that is under review by the Texas Supreme Court.

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