House Speaker issues border-related assignments to committees

Last week, Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan issued interim charges for 12 Texas Legislature committees. Each committee’s charges are related to the Texas-Mexico border.

Along with specific charges related to their work, each committee received a general directive from the speaker to review the distribution of federal pandemic recovery funds and to see how these funds could be used potentially to respond to the perceived crisis at the border.  

The Public Education Committee was directed to examine “the impact, including any financial impact, to the Texas public school system of an increase in the number of children crossing the Texas-Mexico border.”

We worry this charge is intended to blame immigrant children for the financial strain the Texas education system has been put under. The real solution to our underfunded education system is for the Legislature itself to enact meaningful changes to shore up funding for public education in our state.

Things promise to remain lively at the Capitol for the immediate future. The regular session of the 87th Legislature concluded a month ago, but legislators are scheduled to return for a special session later this week — with another special session likely on the horizon. Phelan’s statement also mentioned that additional charges on other issues, unrelated to the border, will be distributed at a later date.