Pastors for Texas Children’s Statement on HB3

FT WORTH (March 11, 2019) – We are encouraged by House Bill 3 and the prospects it holds to deliver much-needed new school funding for our children—funding that is not contingent upon a child’s test performance, but rather simply fulfills our constitutional duty to “make suitable provision for public free schools.”

While still short of what our children need, $9 billion is a significant step in the right direction. The people of Texas harbor a deep desire for dramatically increased investments in our children’s education, a conviction clearly conveyed in the recent 2019 elections. We are gratified that our House of Representatives is listening carefully to our fellow Texans and is working on a plan that reflects the will of the people.

We are much heartened by the structural and sustainable pay increases for our public-school employees in HB 3. Our dedicated Texas schoolteachers and staff deserve a raise. Holy Scripture says, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” There are no more deserving professionals in our state than those who work in our Texas public schools.

We are also pleased that HB 3 calls for fully-funded, high quality pre-kindergarten instruction for poor children, providing them the educational opportunities necessary to achieve the critical milestone of 3rd grade reading proficiency. 

We realize there is much work yet to be done, but we are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Chairman Dan Huberty, Vice-Chairman Diego Bernal, and the members of the House Public Education Committee in generating this proposal.

A budget is an intrinsically moral document, not merely a financial one. We pray that our Texas House and Senate will produce a final school finance plan that puts our children, and the ones who teach them, in the place of highest priority where they belong.