Old Legislative Ghosts Haunt the Texas CapitolSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Financing Public Education

Old Legislative Ghosts Haunt the Texas Capitol

1 March 2009 at 9:36:38 PM

Public School Finance: The Road Least Traveled

Maybe we should put one of Gov. Perry’s proposed toll booths at the entrance-way of our State Capitol Building so that legislators and special interest visitors must pay a toll tax on their inertia regarding Public School Finance and other urgent issues?

The road to find solutions to financing public education has been paved with too many detours in it.  The fix is out there somewhere, but lawmakers just don't seem to want to solve it even if they run over some reality-based resolutions.

The insider poop is that school finance again will NOT be resolved in the current legislative session — and why should it?  After all, after one decade of the infamous "Robin Hood" clause on property taxes apparently few want public education to succeed.  Homeowners have shouldered the brunt of financing schools while the state’s mandated constitutional share has diminished visibly every year, being diverted onto local county governments to deal with.

Currently the state pays up to 30-percent of the financing plan. One decade ago it paid up to 70 percent. There in part lies the tragedy. The reason legislators don’t resolve public school issues is that they don’t want public schools to succeed and they don't want to spend state tax dollars on public education if they can get Texas counties to foot the tab.

Special interests, e.g., multi-millionaire Dr. James Leininger, many large Texas businesses, CEO Bill Hammond (Texas Association of Business) and others are motivated to alienate and/or shut-down public schools. Leininger simply wants a school voucher program, which in itself isn't a bad thought.  Hammond wants class sizes to increase to save on paying teacher salaries, and big business just doesn’t want to pay a fair share "tax" for educating our children --- the future Texas workforce. The governor and various officials are receiving wealthy special interest campaign contributions for going through the motions without actually administering the cure for public education’s ills.  Look at all the education committees we have had during the past decade.  Can't "the great minds of Texas" resolve financing public education?

Heck, just 6 years ago Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed publicly that there was no public school emergency in Texas!  After being reelected 1 year ago by a paltry 39 percent of the total votes, the governor using "smoke and mirrors" continues to call for resolutions and legislative actions that he knows well in advance will lead nowhere.  Perry does NOT give a "hoot" about Texas children.

As for placing the toll booth before the Capitol entrance, it is the most fitting monument to our legislators for having built a road that goes nowhere, especially in resolving those 7-year old urgent issues — number one on that list is how to finance public education adequately with alternate sources, while providing the majority of Texas children with a quality education.  What is so hard about that?

Isn’t it clear by now to Texas voters that no urgent community issue will be resolved until we get rid of our "39-percent" useless leader, vote-in a new governor and replace incumbent special interest legislators?



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