Education steals spotlight in Texas race for governor

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WESLACO, Texas (AP) — Republican Greg Abbott is ready to shift the Texas governor’s race back to education – but not over classroom spending cuts.

Abbott on Monday is expected to unveil his early education plan at a Rio Grande Valley elementary school. The Texas attorney general isn’t ceding education-minded voters to Democrat Wendy Davis, who counts teachers among her biggest backers.

Davis has already criticized Abbott for defending the state in a lawsuit over $5.4 billion in spending cuts to Texas classrooms in 2011. Lawmakers restored most of those funds last year.

Abbott says his office is obligated to defend the state. But he hasn’t taken a stance on the historic cuts the Legislature made to close a major budget shortfall.

Abbott says education will be a top priority as governor.

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