Permanent School Fund

Texas charges the General Land Commissioner with generating revenue for and overseeing our state’s Permanent School Fund (PSF) which provides state money for our children’s education. I’ll increase PFS revenue production to benefit our public schools, children’s education, teachers, district equity, and, yes, our local taxpayers by (a) assuring more careful and profitable investments; (b) advancing leasing opportunities with clean-energy sources; (c) ending all “sweetheart” relationships, insider dealings, and conflicts of interest in oil and gas energy leasing and land acquisitions and sales; (d) halting further bonding and funding for schools that don’t have publicly elected and accountable school boards; (e) advancing tech-savvy oil-and-gas and alternative-energy leasing, (f) releasing more money to the Available School Fund; and (g) seeking legislation to increase revenue input into our people’s PSF.

I am an ardent supporter of public education, teachers, and making our schools the best in the nation. We need to recruit and retain the most gifted and skilled teachers. I strongly support the state providing a greater percentage of the funding necessary to educate our children, rather than placing increasing responsibility on local homeowners and renters.

Incumbent George P. Bush claims he’s done a good job, but the degree of difference between the claim and the reality is as big as Texas is wide. In February, two State Board of Education Members complained in writing: “For [Bush] to claim he contributed over $4 billion to our public schools is disingenuous… He’s taking credit for our work.” And further: "To say the least, we are deeply disappointed by [Bush’s] misleading, inaccurate campaign representations…Texas students, teachers, parents and taxpayers deserve better."

Furthermore, my Democratic primary opponent never set a single foot a single day in a Texas school while growing up. He’s an out-of-state, oil-and-gas attorney voting in Texas for the first time just 15 months ago. We don’t need conflicts of interest injuring our public school revenues or this out-of-state, oil-and-gas fox watching the hen house, guarding our energy reserves or writing our people’s energy leases. Instead, we need to generate millions more for both the PSF and drive more resources to the Available School Fund to build the best educational system in the nation.

With a properly managed PSF, we’ll provide hundreds of millions more for the Available School Fund across the next four years, as legislatively enabled in 2011. We can put more money into effective teaching and student education and remove the increasingly heavy pressure on our local property tax payers and renters.