Two top candidates for Texas governor talk education

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Education is always a hot topic and not surprising it's a big issue in the race for governor.

Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott were both in town Saturday, outlining their plans for the state's underfunded schools. They both had a different approach.

"I want to encourage you to keep it up," said Davis.

The people listening are usually the ones encouraging children whether it is parents at home or teachers in the classroom.

"Texas must become number one in the nation for educating our children," Abbott said.

It's a tough sell to convince Texas PTA members who has the best education plan in a state so desperate to regain funding for its schools after losing $2 billion in the last year.

"I think it's been sidestepped for a long time," said teacher Shelley Lemman.

"Our state has made a lot of growth in the last couple of years, as far as putting the kids first," said teacher Jeanne Miller. "But I think there's still a lot more to be done."

At Launch Houston, Davis urged members to keep pressuring Austin for more assistance.

"There is not a parent or teacher in the State of Texas that doesn't believe that our state needs to do a better job of making sure that our schools have the resources that they need," she said.

Meanwhile, Abbott addressed what he thinks needs to be done differently in the classroom.

"Our public education system has become way too centralized with one size fits all solutions being pushed down from the top," he said.

Beyond politics, one former educator says the focus is simple.

"I believe if we can teach the kids the skills, even if we don't get the funding, you can still teach the kids the skills," said retired educator Sandra Foshee.

Both candidates only spoke to the crowd and did not accept questions from the media.
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