Bell, Strayhorn Criticize Perry on Education Issues

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HOUSTON (AP) - Gubernatorial challengers Chris Bell and Carole
Keeton Strayhorn attacked Governor Rick Perry's leadership Saturday
and claimed he's turned his back on teachers and public schools.

Bell is a Democrat and former U.S. congressman. Strayhorn is the
state's comptroller who's running for governor as an independent.

They spoke separately at a luncheon sponsored by the Association
of Texas Professional Educators -- the state's largest teachers'
union with 108,000 members.

Organizers said Perry turned down an invitation to attend. A
spokesman for Perry says neither Bell nor Strayhorn has stepped up
to offer solutions.

Legislators are meeting in special session for the fourth time in two years to address funding for public schools.

Perry was prompted to call the session this time after the Texas
Supreme Court labeled the current school finance plan

Public school funding could be frozen if lawmakers don't come up
with a solution by June 1st.