AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the third special session gets underway at the state Capitol, Texans are split on what educational priorities lawmakers should focus on.
Proposals for major new public school funding are competing with the Governor’s priority for private school subsidies as legislative leaders trade attacks more hostile than ever.
A poll of 1,200 registered voters, conducted in August by the Texas Politics Project, is shedding light on which ‘priorities’ are most important to the public.
The poll asked voters whether several issues should be an “extremely important” priority for the legislature to address.
Sixty percent of poll respondents said school safety should be a top priority, more than any other issue asked about. There was also strong support for improving school safety among both Republicans and Democrats.
Other issues were more polarizing. Sixty percent of Republicans, for example, said school curriculums — what students are taught in the classroom — should be an extremely important priority, compared to 36% of Democrats.
Teacher pay and retention was a top priority for Democrats, with 64% calling it extremely important, compared to just 30% of Republicans.
Parental rights was the most polarizing topic asked about in the poll, with 65% of Republicans, but just 25% of Democrats, calling it extremely important for lawmakers to focus on.
Education funding lead the debate at the Capitol on the first day of the third special session. The Senate moved swiftly to advance Senate Bill 2, a school finance package that would allocate $5.2 billion in additional school funding, including $400 million for school safety, and a $3,000 raise for every teacher in the state.
House leaders have also supported a teacher pay raise and school funding boost, but have been slower to act without an explicit call from Gov. Greg Abbott. The governor alone can set the agenda for the special session, and he has not yet asked for any public school funding measures.
https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/poll-shows-texans-split-on-what-education-legislation-lawmakers-should-focus-on/ Poll shows Texans split on what education legislation lawmakers should focus on