Sunday, August 14, 2011

Texas Miracle? Perry cuts schools


by Andrew Leonard.
Let's outsource some commentary to Barbara Bush, mother of the last Texas governor before Perry. In an opinion piece published for the Houston Chronicle on February 5, warning against new cuts to education funding, she wrote:
Our schools are in crises: We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma. We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores. We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.
Two days later, in an article discussing Texas' $25 billion dollar budget deficit, the L. A. Times' Evan Halper, quoted Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's view on how to deal with the hole in state finances.
"A lot of the things we are doing arguably aren't priorities for the people of Texas," he said. "People could stake me and Gov. Perry on the ground and torture us, and we still would not raise taxes."
That's Texas: Don't even think about messing with taxes! And so, the inevitable result: This week Texas legislators took a big step toward resolving the state's financial problems by approving a new budget with $15 billion in cuts "to all levels of state government, including health care." $4 billion of those cuts will hit public education.
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