Finally a crack in the way Texas funds its schools.

But it is just a crack and there is a long row to hoe before the state’s system is corrected.

Since the start of the legislative session, there have been proposals, both large and small, about how to reform the state’s long-neglected and long-debated way of paying to educate its children.

And it is a tangled web state lawmakers have avoided for years.

With the debates, even now, going on over teacher pay, standardized testing, Robin Hood funding, pre-school funding and special education funding, only the most blind fool would argue the system is working.

But to think those issues are going to be solved this legislative session is a fool’s thought, too.

In addition to trying to unravel the education mess — yes, which includes funding, testing, teacher accountability and other things — legislators, the governor and other elected officials are going to have to balance that mess with other state needs.

Yes, the needs of schools are important, but so are the needs of those people hit hard by hurricanes in the Gulf regions or those hit by flooding in the Hill Country.

Yes, there is a balancing act legislators must do. But they said it was a job they wanted to do when they put their names on the ballot. Nobody drafted or forced them to do so.

What is encouraging, though, is that state and local issues such as school funding and disaster relief are taking a center stage in this legislative session, to only name two, rather than gender identity, sanctuary city or immigration/border wall issues, which are being argued on the national level, where those issues should be.

No, the school finance, disaster funding and other issues are not going to be fixed in this legislative session.

Finally, though, there is a crack.

The way Texas funds its schools has been widely condemned by everyone except the lawmakers in Austin. The Supreme Court of Texas has said it was barely legal and seriously flawed. School systems have sued the state.

No, the system is not going be magically fixed this session.

But at least the folks gathering in Austin this month as your representatives are appearing to be willing — as opposed to legislators in the past — to get their heads out of the sand and into the game.

• Dave Mathews

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258;

Managing Editor — Design

(4) comments

Jose' Boix

I am very pessimistic as to the Legislative Session developing and kind of effective school funding reform. Looks like a hodgepodge of individual bills to once again "band-aid" patch to give the illusion that something was done. The lack of strong leadership continues to be the key issue with me. The only ones being affected are our students; and that is sad! Just my thoughts.

Paula Flinn

Everyone pays taxes, taxes tend to go up if schools are not funded correctly. So everyone is affected!

George Croix

Some of us even pay taxes we're supposed to be paying because we legally abide where we're paying them....

Ma Gill

House Bill 3 is a mess - it removes funding for gifted education.

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