DFW-area candidates address questions related to public education funding ahead of Nov. 6 election

Candidates running for local office in the Nov. 6 general election addressed several concerns related to public education during a question-and-answer forum moderated by Southlake Mayor Laura Hill on Wednesday evening at the Colleyville Center.

Among the 10 candidates in attendance were incumbent Texas House representatives Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, for Districts 92 and 98, respectively. State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, was not present but sent her legislative director, Christopher Paxton, in her stead.

Challenging candidates seeking to represent districts of Grapevine, Collevyille and Southlake include Gwenn Burud, Beverly Powell, Steve Riddell and Mica Ringo. Candidates from other districts were also present, including Nancy Bean, Laura Gunn, Jeromey Sims and Stephanie Klick.

The forum covered several topics, but at the forefront of the conversation was the topic of funding for public education. The question of how candidates would approach the issue was first posed to state Senate candidates.

Paxton, representing Burton, began by saying the Legislature has appropriated for enrollment growth and inflation and increased basic allotment as recently as 2015.

“What is changing is the ratio of state funding to local funding, but this only illustrates that [school districts] are taxing and spending more—not that the Legislature is spending less,” he said.

As a note, the school finance formula considers local revenue sources before allotting state funding, he added.

In contrast Powell, Burton’s opponent, said she advocates for increasing the state’s share to fund school districts to a 50-50 ratio, closing property tax loopholes and tasking education experts to reform the funding formula.

“It is time for us to do a strict line item review of our state budget to assess where we might accomplish adding some extra funding to public schools,” she said.

Running against the absent state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Burud said the funding formula is in desperate need of reformation, and the diversion of state dollars to charter school systems has eroded education funds. She, like Powell, is in favor of closing property tax loopholes to uncover lost revenue.

When the topic came up for state House candidates, Ringo said she plans to make changes in how the state allocates money. Ringo is running against incumbent candidate Capriglione.

“The first bill I propose would be complete and total transparency—that every dollar collected for education is spent on public education and not diverted to other issue,” she said.

Ringo, along with other candidates, also suggested hiring an auditor to review ways to reduce waste and inefficiencies.

Similarly, Capriglione said his focus remains on ensuring local residents see a return on investments in their schools and finding ways to alleviate their tax burdens. Some of his ideas include leveraging the state’s reserves in the rainy day fund and reducing recapture payments to the state.

“I believe that that money should be returned back to the school districts,” Capriglione said, advocating for more local control.

In a separate race, candidates running for Texas House District 92—incumbent Stickland and his opposing candidate Riddell—expressed different ideas for how to approach the issue.

“If you’re looking at a way to kind of shore up the emergencies that we have in public education right now, why not look at the economic stabilization fund—also known as the rainy day fund?” he asked.

The Legislature can use those reserves as members identify better revenue sources and strategies to address needs, Riddell said.

Stickland said he does not support using the rainy day fund, and lawmakers should focus on growing the state economy, which would lead to more revenue for the overall budget.

“If you start spending temporary, one-time funds on ongoing expenses, you set our schools up for failure,” he said.

Voters can support candidates by turning in their ballots Nov. 6. Polling locations, maps and schedules can be found on the Tarrant County website.

Some of the candidates who attended the forum will appear in the following races:

Texas Senate District 9
*Kelly Hancock (R)
Gwenn Burud (D)

Texas Senate District 10
*Konni Burton (R)
Beverly Powell (D)

House District 92
*Jonathan Stickland (R)
Steve Riddell (D)
Eric P. Espinoza (L)

House District 98
*Giovanni Capriglione (R)
Mica Ringo (D)
H. Todd J. Moore (L)

*Indicating incumbents
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Shangri-La World Travel is set to relocate to the Spaces Granite Place. (courtesy Shangri-La World Travel)
Shangri-La World Travel to open new location in Southlake

A business offering cruises and vacations is relocating in Southlake.

Texas Central and Mass. Electric Constructon Co. announced an Early Contract Involvement agreement for construction of the Texas high-speed rail connecting Houston and Dallas. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Texas high-speed rail construction could move forward following agreement between Texas Central, Mass. Electric Construction Co.

Construction on the Texas high-speed rail could continue to gain traction following an Early Contract Involvement agreement between Texas Central and Mass. Electric Contruction Co.

Carroll ISD recently approved the purchase of 15 new school buses. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
CISD purchases 15 buses to replace older models

Carroll ISD will have 15 new school buses joining its fleet.

Rocket Fizz is set to open in Grapevine. (Courtesy city of Grapevine)
Rocket Fizz sets Nov. 23 opening for Grapevine location

A new retro-themed candy and soda shop is about to open in Grapevine.

hard shell tacos with lime and salsa
Taco Casa comes to Southlake

A new restaurant selling tacos has opened in Southlake.

Attorney Jonathan Vinson presents a plan to extract parking spaces from a development and redevelop them for office and retail near Grapevine Mills mall. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine zones land for future retail and office development

A piece of Grapevine will be redeveloped for retail and office uses.

Crumbl Cookies is opening a location in Southlake. (Courtesy Crumbl Cookies)
Crumbl Cookies sets Nov. 22 opening date in Southlake

A new cookie shop is about to open in Southlake.

The Southlake barbecue restaurant has closed. (courtesy Fotolia)
Barbecue restaurant Soulman's Bar-B-Que in Southlake has closed

After being in business for almost two years, the Southlake restaurant has closed.

fajita skillet
Tio Carlos restaurant in Colleyville closes

A Colleyville restaurant has closed.

The gym at Cross Timbers Middle School flooded in June from the creek near the school. Now, the district is conducting a study of the creek's drainage. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
GCISD to conduct study of creek that flooded Cross Timbers Middle School gymnasium

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD will conduct a study of the creek near Cross Timbers Middle School to better understand the drainage impacts from the creek and help prevent flooding, if possible.

Cabinet Savie has moved to a new location in Grapevine. (courtesy Cabinet Savie)
Showroom for cabinet services relocates in Grapevine

Patti Allen relocated the showroom for her business Cabinet Savie from downtown Main Street in Grapevine to 600 W. Northwest Highway, Ste. D, Grapevine.

Back to top