Late last night, the Startlegram's Bud Kennedy took to Facebook to pass along state Sen. Wendy Davis's heads-up that she was about to begin her filibuster intended to shut down (which is to say, temporarily delay) the vote that would have gutted public education. Said the Fort Worth Democrat and attorney: "I am filibustering because it is our duty to do better by Texas families." And so she spoke and spoke and spoke till the midnight deadline rolled around, thus putting off the inevitable till, perhaps, as early as tomorrow, when Gov. Rick Perry's expected to call his oh-so-special session. Rodney Ellis even took this twitpic.
Davis and other Dems are furious not only that the Lege refuses to dip into the Rainy Day Fund to make up some $4 billion in cuts, but that legislators have rewritten funding formulas that fail to take into account student population growth in the future and essentially make the fund hands-off when it comes to public ed. "We have a Rainy Day Fund, and we didn't use a single dollar of it to fund our failure," said Davis.
"In our own households," she continued, "if we had money in the bank and our homes were about to be foreclosed on, we would spend the money in the bank. It would be irresponsible for us not to do that. And so many of our constituents, our families, our school teachers, our school districts have asked us to use the money we have in the bank so we don't take this first step toward failing them. The response was not to do that. It was even worse than that ... It was to say, 'We're going to rewrite the formula that allows us to permanently wipe [funding for public education] off our balance sheet."