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Ogden: Texas Needs a Simple Plan

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

It's back to square one for the Texas legislature, when it comes to school finance.

Next week a second special session will continue, and State Senator Steve Ogden says a solution will mean making the plan less complicated.

"It's too big. It's too complicated. Inside the bill there's a little bit for everyone to hate and when you add it all up you can't get the votes to pass it," said Sen. Ogden.

Sen. Ogden says the school reform bill has turned into a monster, with over 450 pages.

And the Tax Bill that will fund it is in the same boat.

"What makes that so hard is it's not a tax cut bill -- it's a tax shift bill. It's a zero sum game," said Sen. Ogden.

Ogden says what causes the problems could also be a part of a solution.

Keeping it simple and focusing on priorities, like teacher pay and creating less reliance on local property taxes...are the ticket.

It's all starting to feel like de ja vu for some.

"To some extent we've gone full circle. When I was first elected to the house in 1990, we were in the same ditch. We went through three or four special sessions until we found Robin Hood. It was not popular but it worked," said Ogden.

And it may take even more time to find Robin Hood's replacement.

But law makers will keep working until they get it right.

Senator Ogden says money to start this school year has already been made available, its just waiting on the Governor's approval.


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