Nearly 200 Texas Business Leaders Urge State Leaders to Support Child Care
February 14, 2023
Business Leaders Deliver Letter as Senate Finance Committee Meets Today to Discuss Funding
Austin — Texas business leaders are calling on the state Legislature to take a number of steps this session to address the state’s child care crisis. In a letter delivered to Governor Greg Abbott, legislative leaders, and the Texas Workforce Commission, 196 business leaders warned that the lack of affordable child care hurts Texas businesses due to “increased turnover, increased hiring costs, and lost productivity.” The letter states that “one of the best ways to ensure our continued momentum and economic strength is to invest in quality, affordable childcare.”
The letter calls on state leaders to more broadly implement the recommendations from the recent child care report commissioned by the Legislature. That report recommends significant increases in state investment — more than $1 billion per year — to recruit and retain child care educators, ensure programs have the funding needed to stay open, and serve more families without raising costs on parents. The letter calls for providing the funding with “increased efficiency, accountability, and transparency.”
The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing today at the Texas Capitol to discuss the proposed budget for the Texas Workforce Commission, the state agency that manages federal funding the state receives for child care. The funding recommended by business leaders is not in the first draft of the state budget that was recently filed in the Texas House and Senate.
Business leaders who signed the letter include Peter J. Holt, CEO of Holt CAT and chairman of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the San Antonio Spurs; Robert Kaplan, former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Michael Burke, Chair/CEO Emeritus of Tesoro Petroleum Corporation. A total of seven chairman-level executives, 60 presidents/CEOs, 23 business founders/owners, and 70 other senior business leaders signed the letter. The letter includes a number of organizations representing Texas businesses, including the Texas Association of Business, North Texas Commission, El Paso Hispanic Chamber, Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and chambers of commerce from Abilene, Austin, Longview, New Braunfels, Odessa, Round Rock, and Temple. Individual businesses signing the letter cover a variety of industries and regions of the state, including Smithville Brewing Company, Amarillo National Bank, Southern Distributing (Laredo), Magnolia (Waco), PNC Bank North Texas, and others. Signees from 34 different Texas cities and towns were included on the letter.
The letter cites a number of ways that Texas will benefit from a strong state investment in child care, including higher sales tax revenue, increased workforce participation, maintaining the state economic competitiveness, and boosting children’s educational readiness.
The letter is available online here.
Communications Director, Texans Care for Children