Texas schools required to display 'In God We Trust' signage

A controversial Texas law brings into question the line between church and state.

Senate Bill 797 requires Texas schools to display "In God We Trust" signage in a conspicuous place if donated. 

Katie Naranjo, the chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party, join FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to speak on the topic.

RELATED: Texas public schools required to display 'In God We Trust' posters if they are donated

Katie Naranjo: I think it's just another distraction from the fact the Republicans are not funding our public schools and our education professionals and deeply concerned that rather than focused on making sure that teachers, bus drivers, etc., are getting the support and pay they need to take care of our children and schools, they're instead worried about signs.

Mike Warren: Matt Mackowiak, would you agree that this is primarily a distraction?

Matt Mackowiak: No, in fact and Katie may be unaware of this teacher pay was increased in the legislative session last year and that's been significant and helpful. Certainly we can always do more in terms of funding education, but we also want to measure outcomes to make sure that the parents are getting the value that they really want to see for their tax dollars. You know, in this case, in God We Trust is our national motto. It appears our currency, it appears on our coins. It appears like government buildings. And in this case, because of a bill passed by the Texas legislature. It now can appear, if it is on something that is privately donated to a school. So it's not about spending money for it. It's about displaying it if it is donated to a school. It's a senator. Senator Brian Hughes, who authored this legislation which passed the House and the Senate, thought that was important. And I think most Texans will agree.

Mike Warren: Katie Naranjo, displaying In God We Trust. Does that come across as a form of religious indoctrination?

Katie Naranjo: It does, unfortunately. And while it is our nation's motto, the reality is what the Texas Republicans are doing to further their Christian beliefs upon every Texan, whether it comes to being able to access contraceptives as a woman or raise a child, how they would like to identify what our governor is doing is catastrophic to the mental health and physical health for millions of Texans and back to the teacher pay issue. Inflation rates have been insane recently, and quite frankly, the pay and the support for teachers as well as our education professionals across the board has not been sufficient. Once again, putting a sign saying In God we trust will make no difference. When a shooter comes into a school like we saw in Uvalde and the Republican leadership has done nothing to address school shootings as well as the economy in Texas and supporting our education professionals. We need to do better and Texas deserves better.

Mike Warren: Matt Mackowiak, where can Republicans and Democrats in the statehouse come together and compromise on something that would be helpful in education?

Matt Mackowiak: Well, we'll see. I mean, I hope Democrats in the legislature will fund students and not systems. With school choice reform starting in the legislative session, I think you'll see a very significant piece of legislation that will have broad support. That'll be one opportunity. Again, as I said before, we want to adequately fund our public school systems. And that teacher pay raise was important. You know, Katie wanted to make this about abortion. This has nothing to do with abortion or guns, gun safety or anything on these other issues. This is a question about whether you have pride in our national motto and local Democrats may not. I know a lot of Democrats who do, but the organization the Travis County Democratic Party may not have pride in our national motto. I think, again, most Texans do. And that's why this passed with significant majorities in the House and Senate. It's why the governor signed it into law. And you're going to see patriotic Texans around the state donate these signs to two schools, and we'll be able to display them across our state, which I think is something that, again, a strong majority of Texans will agree and support.

Katie Naranjo: I do duty to respond to that real quick. Sorry. I quickly am very proud to be a part of the American government system. And the reality is, is that we demand better of those serving our government for the people of Texas. And that's just as patriotic as a sign we like. We want actions, not words.

Mike Warren: We will leave it at that. We are all patriots here. Matt, Katie, thank you both very much.