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Thanks To Democrats’ Efforts and Public Outcry, Abbott and Patrick Finally Stop Holding Schools’ Funding Hostage



AUSTIN, TX — After months of sitting on federal funding earmarked for schools, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are finally releasing this funding to the Texas schools that need it.

Thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the federal government has provided $11.2 billion in COVID relief funding to help Texas schools cope with and recover from the pandemic. However, in a classic display of Republican incompetence and callousness, our disgraced governor and lieutenant governor have been holding the funding hostage — stopping teachers, students, and families from getting the support they need.

Teachers, unions, and Democrats have been working hard to get the funding released, including through the efforts of Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) who passed the amendment releasing the funds. Today’s news is a win for students, teachers, families, and communities across the state.

This is not the first time Texas Republicans have withheld vital relief funding from Texans. In August 2020, Gov. Abbott was revealed to be withholding $8 billion in CARES Act funding — much-needed federal dollars aimed at helping communities cope with the strains of the pandemic. Once again, Republicans have been holding communities hostage from getting the support they need and are entitled to.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“President Biden provided nearly $12 billion to help Texas schools get through the pandemic — but for months, Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick have been sitting on that money and blocking schools from getting the support they need. This was not just incompetence — this was Republicans putting politics over kids, and playing political games because they didn’t want President Biden to get credit for helping reopen schools safely. Texas Republicans consistently choose to hold our communities hostage rather than do their jobs and get help to Texans.

“Teachers, unions, and Democrats have been fighting hard to get this money sent out to schools, and today’s win is thanks to them. This funding is a lifeline to teachers, students, and families who have been struggling for more than a year to keep kids learning during the pandemic. I’m grateful to President Biden for making taking care of schools a priority, and I’m excited to see this funding sent out to help our Texas schools.”