Google
 
Web rhymeswithright.mu.nu

April 02, 2011

Texas Lege Votes Down Disingenuous Solution To Education Budget Cut

I'm not fond of some of the budget cutting that is going to happen in school districts around the state of Texas because of state budget issues this year. I've got friends who have lost their jobs, and know others who are "on the bubble" in their schools and districts. I don't like some of the solutions being proposed to provide "flexibility" to school districts, because they will invariably hurt kids and teachers while not getting to the real structural problems in school districts. So for just a moment, I was intrigued by an idea put forth by a Democrat -- even though it was voted down.

Representative Gallego presented a plan that would have allowed schools to stay open, save teachers' jobs, and keep children learning. The plan doesn't strip money away from any other program, and it doesn't raise taxes or create new taxes.

Instead, it would fund schools until 2013 - when the Legislature would be back in session. As they usually do, lawmakers would pass a supplemental spending bill to close the gap. At that time, they could take a look at funding those extra few months. Our revenue picture is improving: sales tax collections are up, and we have reason to believe the economy is improving.

Schools all over the state are threatened with closure, teachers are being fired, school boards don't know how they're going to pay the bills. They could use the reassurance that this innovative plan would bring - it's a shame that Republicans in the House didn't want to give them that.

Interestingly enough, no one can provide any links to the actual proposal -- the closest I can get is this on Facebook from the Texas Democrat Party.

Democrat Pete Gallego offers amendment that would fully fund schools for 21 months and save 100,000 school employee jobs. Amendment voted down by House Republicans.

And therein lies the problem. The amendment simply created a way for THIS legislature to dodge its responsibility by not fully funding Texas schools for the full biennium. Instead, the proposal called upon the legislature to punt,leaving it to legislators two years from now to make the hard choices. The Texas Tribune offers this in its liveblog of the budget debate.

Aycock accuses Gallego's self-dubbed "Save Our Schools" amendment which would move money allotted to the second year of the biennium to the first year, with the hopes that the Lege will come up with more money in the next session of "frontloading."

And Rep. Aycock is correct. Pete Gallego wanted to adopt a HOPE & CHANGE solution -- by having legislators HOPE that the teetering Obama Economy will CHANGE over the next two years and money will magically appear in the state treasury to close the gap.

The problem,of course, is that there is no way of knowing what will actually happen in two years -- and if the money isn't there in 2013, the reality will be that instead of cutting 100K teachers (under the worst-case scenario) we will need to cut even more in order to make up the unfunded budget gap for this biennium AND the whatever shortfall exists for the following biennium. Anybody want to see 150K teachers cut? How about 200K? Unless, of course, the goal is simply to dig a hole so deep that in two years there have to be tax increases of the sort that this state has never seen.

Of course, those are the tactics of the liberal side -- but folks on the conservative side are too often engaged in some of the same tactics and other stuff that is just as bad.

For example, despite the fact that the so-called "rainy day fund" -- actually the Economic Stabilization Fund -- was created to be used in situations precisely like the one we are in, it has become an article of faith among some in the GOP that it must not be used for that purpose. Unfortunately, those taking this position include the Governor, the Speaker, and the bulk of the folks from the Tea Party. Their presumption is that ONLY cuts can be considered -- that any efforts to raise new revenues through taxes are illegitimate and merely feeding bloated government. This includes the creation of entirely new revenue streams -- in a recent exchange with one prominent Tea Party activist (a candidate for state representative in 2010), I discovered that she opposed legalizing casino gambling in Texas based upon the fact that the industry would provide more tax revenue to the state!

Unfortunately, there are some real solutions that are not being discussed. While everyone is talking about cutting teachers, eliminating the minimum salary schedule, allowing salary decreases or furloughing teachers, no one seems interested in capping the number of district administrators in school districts (one district, for example, has put forward a plan to cut 1000 positions -- only three of them administrators). No one wants to talk about combining school districts to promote efficiency -- do we really need superintendents making $200K presiding over districts with four schools and a district office staff of 30? And I don't hear anyone talking about cutting or gutting Texas' sacred cow -- high school football -- in order to bolster what goes on in the classrooms in any district. Instead I'm hearing about more kids in classrooms and fewer classroom supplies (and less copy paper) on every campus around the state.

So while I lobby state officials quietly, I also wait. I wonder which of my colleagues will not be back at my school next year. I wonder what courses I will teach next year after the cuts go into effect. I wonder how I'm supposed to prepare students for the new state End of Course tests with materials that are a decade old and written to the previous set of state standards. And as I look down the road, I wonder if there is any prospect for things to be better in two years when the next budget is adopted.





|| Greg, 06:40 AM || Permalink || Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for Texas Lege Votes Down Disingenuous Solution To Education Budget Cut

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blog2.mu.nu/cgi/trackback.cgi/277794
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Texas Lege Votes Down Disingenuous Solution To Education Budget Cut'.

Comments on Texas Lege Votes Down Disingenuous Solution To Education Budget Cut

I have to say that I am very proud of the Arlington ISD (of which I am a member) -- our superintendent and school board, while making some extensive cuts (teachers teaching 7 periods instead of 6 and closing an alternative elementary school among others) have made a statement that they are going to make all of their personnel cuts on the administration side. Teachers may be moved to another campus, but the goal is to reduce the teacher force by attrition.

I'm not happy about teaching 7 classes on a block schedule (4 one day and 3 the next), but I am glad that the probationary teachers will not lose their jobs.

|| Posted by Sandra, April 2, 2011 12:13 PM ||

Simple,you do the best you can with what you have.
You substitute. If two kids have to share a book, well they share a book. Instead of using using paper which gets only one use each, use chalk and an easel which get many uses. If you have too turn your electricity off. Whats more importantant teaching or staying cool. If you cant stay indoors because of the heat go outdoors.
Research how things were done before all the fancy tech you are used to and do it that way.
It really wasn't all that long ago ya know.
Finally, your sacred cow. Too bad so sad. If you have the choice of educating your children or friday night football, you just go ahead a choose which one is more important.

|| Posted by GreenMountainBoy, April 2, 2011 03:58 PM ||

Well to be fair I did offer this suggestion"If you cant stay indoors because of the heat go outdoors." How was school taught before the invention of the air conditioner?
What happens if all the light goes out? You can't teach anymore? Hah never. I bet you would find a way. I bet you and your students would survive very well. Don't get trapped by convetional thinking.

|| Posted by GreenMountainBoy, April 2, 2011 10:22 PM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?


 

 





AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg






Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 175)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 392)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 656)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 477)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 64)
History (posts: 319)
Humor (posts: 83)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 16)
Medical News (posts: 53)
Military (posts: 271)
News (posts: 1533)
Paid Advertising (posts: 232)
Personal (posts: 103)
Politics (posts: 4962)
Race & Racism (posts: 263)
Religion (posts: 798)
Terrorism (posts: 849)
The Courts (posts: 304)
Watcher's Council (posts: 437)
World Affairs (posts: 339)

Archives

May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



MuNuviana



Licensing

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure

adpolicy.gif

About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site


Support This Site



Recent Entries

Stranger Words Were Never Spoken
Remember When Questioning Someone's Americanism Over Political Differences Was Deemed UnAmerican?
Judge Declares That DC Voters Cannot Override Constitution
White Man Claims Right To Determine Which Blacks Are Authentic Enough To Be Role Models For Black Children
About That Cabinet Nomination, Mr. Mayor
Castro To Cabinet?
Here's Why The DREAM Act Is A Problem
GOP Primary Runoff Endorsements
Watcher's Council Results
Hero Drafted In NFL Draft

Blogroll


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs