For Immediate Release
September 5, 2012
Christine Sinatra, Texans Care for Children:
Texas AFT: (512) 448-0130
Robison, TSTA: (512) 476-5355
Health, Education Groups: Stop Pitting Health Care
and Schools Against Each Other!
Both are key to state's future, groups say,
calling for "real solutions" in Texas' finances
Texas -- Concerned that state leaders plan to impose another austerity budget on
the people of Texas, Texas health care providers and educators stood together at
a Capitol press conference Wednesday in calling for state leaders to make both
children's health and learning a priority. The groups also announced a petition
already signed by more than 2,100 Texans, calling for state officials to stop
blaming Texas's school funding woes on health services and instead "plan to meet
the needs of Texans." The educators and health care representatives came
together under the umbrella of Texas Forward, a coalition focused on adequately
funding today's needed public services and preparing Texas for future demands
through public investments.
want a bright future for our state, and that includes both a good education and
decent medical care for our children," said Eileen Garcia, whose organization,
Texans Care for Children, is a member of Texas Forward. "The choice ahead doesn't
need to rest with either depriving Texans in the classroom or in nursing homes
and doctors' offices. The real choice is whether to keep our communities
strong, healthy and primed for success."
next Legislature will have a large cash balance and an even larger and growing
Economic Stabilization Fund to help fund public services in the next state
budget. Yet in recent months, Texas officials have suggested repeatedly that
funding for public schools may decline if Texas is not allowed to cut Medicaid,
which serves low-income children, as well as Texans with disabilities and
seniors in nursing homes.
wrong to mislead Texans into thinking they have to choose between health care,
education or any other public service, when this is really a matter of whether our
officials will make children a priority," said Montserrat Garibay of Education
Austin, an affiliate of Texas AFT and the Texas State Teachers Association, which
are Texas Forward coalition members. "We should use the state's growing
cash balance and Economic Stabilization Fund, fix the hole the Legislature put
in our school finance system in 2006 and address the long-term erosion of the
state tax base that has cost our schools and health services billions."
students learn better, and education leads to better health and future success,"
said Dell Children's Medical Center pediatrician Stephen Pont, who is also
medical director for Austin Independent School District. "We can make no better
investment than in our children. If Texans want improved public health and a
stronger workforce tomorrow, the solution is making sure both our schools and health systems have the resources they need."
Texas Forward is a broad, statewide coalition of
organizations advocating for public investments that improve peoples' lives and
a state budget that allows for strong, safe and healthy communities and the
opportunity for Texans to reach their potential. More about the coalition at www.txforward.org.
To sign the petition visit http://tinyurl.com/txforward.