Governor Names Sharp to Head School Finance Panel

9-21-05 - Republican Gov. Rick Perry appointed Democrat John Sharp on Wednesday to lead a panel charged with restructuring the state tax system to pay for public schools.

Sharp, who'd been considering a run for governor against Perry next year, said for now he's bowing out of politics. Sharp, a former state comptroller, ran unsuccessfully against Perry for lieutenant governor in 1998.

Sharp also ran for lieutenant governor and lost to Republican David Dewhurst in 2002.

Other members of Sharp's school finance panel will be appointed later.

A lawsuit brought by hundreds of Texas school districts challenging the way the state pays for public schools is on appeal before the Texas Supreme Court. The court is expected to rule within the next few weeks.

Perry called two special legislative sessions this summer on school finance that resulted in failure.