Texas Democrats Plan to Force Education Votes

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AUSTIN, Texas -- How the state will pay for public schools will take center stage this week in the political theater known as the Texas Legislature. And it will likely remain there throughout the session.

Texas Democrats hope to set Republicans up for some potentially embarrassing votes that can be used against them in 2014. They are calling on the Legislature vote on restoring the $5.4 billion cut from public education.

These votes will force Republicans to either vote for increased government spending - which will get them in trouble in the 2014 Republican primaries - or get them to vote against public education spending. That would give Democrats an issue in the 2014 general elections.

The Republican leadership recognizes the trap and will do its best to side-step it.

Chris Tomlinson is the AP's supervisory correspondent in Austin, responsible for state government and political reporting in Texas.