Republican Gov. Rick Perry, in a Sept. 14 letter to the Texas Association of School Administrators, vowed to keep up his efforts to bring to Texas $830 million in federal education aid stalled in Washington.
"I will continue to work with the Department (of Education) to secure this money for Texas schools," the letter states.
For the funding delay, Perry blames U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who last summer tucked into federal legislation special conditions for Texas to get the money. One is that the state assure that it will maintain at least its current percentage of financial support for public education through 2013 — a promise that Perry says would require him to violate the state constitution. The state has sued to overturn the amendment.
Doggett faults Perry, saying that for the money to flow to the state, all the governor needs to do is sign a three-page application agreeing to the special conditions.
In his Sept. 14 letter, Perry asked the association to urge the Texas congressional delegation to repeal the amendment.
This month, Perry went further during a visit to Washington, meeting with several congressional leaders in Washington "to discuss efforts to defeat the Doggett amendment, as well as matters surrounding Medicare" and the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. She said that on Feb. 11, Perry spent time with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as well as GOP Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia, John Kline of Minnesota and Michael Burgess of Lewisville, who three days earlier had filed a measure that seeks to invalidate the Texas-specific provision.
Eight days after Perry's Washington meetings, the U.S. House voted 235-187 to add Burgess' proposal to a $1.2 trillion spending bill that was passed early that morning and sent to the Senate.
In a Feb. 19 news release, Perry said: "I commend the U.S. House for passing Congressman Burgess' amendment to H.R. 1, which would prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from enforcing the anti-Texas Doggett provisions."
Even though Perry's efforts do not appear to be in concert with the Education Department, as he specified in his Sept. 14 letter, his Washington meetings show he's trying to bring the money to Texas — without having to meet the special conditions to which he objects.
We rate this promise In the Works.