Parents, students and several lawmakers crowded into the governor's press room to witness Gov. Rick Perry signing legislation into law that changes the state’s public education system.
While there were a handful of bills on hand, the one that stood out most was a bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams students are required to take from the current 15 standardized tests down to five.
Both parties in the school finance battle have been called back to court to review what has happened in the legislative session, which could lead to an official decision.
Travis County District Judge John Dietz made an initial ruling that the way Texas funds public schools was unconstitutional, but did not make that ruling official, instead waiting to see what happened during the legislative session.
Last-minute changes to House Bill 1025, a spending bill that has been the glue for the Texas budget, is now causing things to fall apart.
Lawmakers in the Texas House said they are shocked by the changes tacked on to a supplemental spending bill still awaiting a final vote, and have said they will not send the legislation to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, has broken their agreement regarding an additional $200 million in education funding.
On Saturday, thousands of Texas school teachers and supporters of public education are expected to gather at the steps of the Capitol in Austin, and busloads of supporters are coming from San Antonio. The rally is called Save Texas Schools, and the goal is to convince the legislature and Governor Rick Perry to put back the billions of dollars that were cut from the public schools.
San Antonio State Representative Mike Villarreal is one of the rally’s organizers and speakers.