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Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Future of Texas Public Education Hangs in the Balance


"Waving Goodbye to Public Education" 

June 2, 20ll 4:04 pm


Peter Stern - Texas Legislature doing what it does best....removing tax dollars from public education


Slightly more than 10 years ago the state provided up to 70 percent of the total budget for public education. Local government, mostly via home property taxes, provided the remaining 30 percent. Currently, those percentages are reversed and now the State is looking to provide even less to public schools in the Special Legislative Session under proposed Senate Bill 1 that seeks to cut public education financing down another 6 percent.


During the past decade legislators and various members of the elite business sector have given lip service to finding financing for Texas public education, but every year or two committees failed and fewer tax dollars were provided. The Texas Constitution outlines the State's responsibility to provide our children with a quality education; however, every year the Governor and Legislators have taken chunks of tax dollars slated for public education and have diverted them instead to various other special interests.


Few Texans should be surprised that the State wants to remove more financing from public education, since it has been doing so almost every year for the past decade. However, it is a sad commentary on a State that is almost last on the list of states providing quality public education for Texas children. Currently, it is quite clear that there has been an active push by the State to develop private education and to eliminate its responsibility for public education. In fact, many legislators already sit on the boards of private, charter and religious schools. Special interests continue to push for a voucher program to enable parents to take their children from public education and use the vouchers for private enrollment.


Viewing the education issue completely, we may see that the State wishes to maintain educational objectives for the wealthy elite rather than for the majority of Texans. Furthermore, by crying budget poverty the State sees the opportunity to remove most or all tax dollars that finance public education and to divert those tax dollars to other special interests.  It is sad enough that Texas Governor Rick Perry and Legislators have no problem shirking their responsibility to the majority of children in Texas by cutting the financing for public education, but it is callous, irresponsible and un-American to remove educational opportunities for the majority of our children and their parents under the veil of secrecy and cries of State fiscal poverty.


Our legislators are trying to eliminate public education behind closed legislative doors.  SB 1 is the largest attempt in any previous bill to eliminate the financing of public education for our children and it is a symptom of special interest politics permeating throughout Texas. If the majority of voters sits back and does nothing, Texas may succeed as the first state in the U.S. to eliminate public education.



Post by Lou McCreary

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Don't Set Us Up to Fail!"

Action Alerts from TEXAS Foward and Kids Well:
Today, the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees held public hearings on budget-related bills that affect every Texan. They are busy underfunding education and health care, and they are hoping you won't notice. Nine out of 10 Texans in a recent poll oppose cutting public education and children's health care, yet that's exactly what this budget does. What's more:
        - Over twice as many Texas voters oppose these cuts as oppose using the Rainy Day Fund.
        - Only 1 voter in 10 opposes all the revenue-raising measures the Texas Legislature opposes.
It is time for state leaders to stop being out of touch and start representing the views of the vast majority of Texans!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

See the Large Cuts in Your School District Under the Proposed Texas Budget

When It Comes to Budget Cuts in Texas Public Schools…

Look at the Numbers

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, killed completion of a proposed 2012-13 state budget that would take $4 billion out of Texas public school.

To get an idea of what this looks like for your school, go to:

Funding the 2012-13 Budget: Legislature Kicks the Can Down the Road

From: Center for Public Policy Priorities <>
Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 1:30 PM


At the beginning of the session, the state faced a $27 billion gap between anticipated revenue and the amount needed to fund current services.  Rather than relying on cuts alone to close the gap, CPPP urged a balanced approach that used the state's Rainy Day Fund and added new revenue to minimize damaging cuts. With the Governor putting the Rainy Day Fund and new revenue off limits, however, the Legislature has been left with no alternative but larger-than-necessary cuts reduced only to the extent possible by payment delays and tax speedups.

This Policy Page highlights the major provisions of Senate Bill (SB) 1 and House Bill (HB) 1, the fiscal matters bills introduced in the special session to fund the state budget for 2012-13. The bills are scheduled for hearing in Senate Finance and House Appropriations on Thursday. The bills are almost identical to the conference committee report for SB/HB 1811 from the regular session.  

These bills create the appearance of an additional $7.55 billion in General Revenue.  In reality, almost all of this "revenue" comes from a permanent reduction in state support for public education by $4 billion, deferral into the next biennium of a $2.3 billion payment to school districts and other transfers, and acceleration of certain tax payments. In addition, the bills would actually reduce state revenue by $171 million by extending the small business exemption from the franchise tax and creating new exemptions for certain other businesses.
Between now and 2013, Texas needs to give serious consideration to developing a tax system adequate to meet our needs.

Read the Policy Page

Save Texas Schools! Quote and Info Shared by Allen Weeks

Quote from Allen Weeks:
"I have no illusion that things will drastically change until we elect a new set of pro-education legislators. However, it is vital that we make sure people know how this legislature has betrayed our schools, leaving billions on the table that should have been used to preserve thousands of teaching jobs for no other good reason than their desire to shrink public education."
Mark Your Calendars- Save Texas Schools Statewide Conference
July 15 6-9 pm
July 16 8 am -4 pm
Austin, Texas (venue to be announced)
More information: