by David Safier
I've heard lots of predictions that Texas' budget is going to be looking worse and worse as the year goes on. The state's budget woes were off everyone's radar last year because the legislature only meets every other year, so it wasn't going through public budget battles. When everyone else was flailing around financially, Texas looked like a conservative success story.
Gail Collins details some of the state's education problems in a NY Times op ed today. How bad is it? Barbara Bush wrote a piece in the Houston Chronicle, “We Can’t Afford to Cut Education," because the legislature plans two year ed cuts totalling $4.87 billion.
Mrs. Bush pointed out that students in Texas currently rank 47th in the nation in literacy, 49th in verbal SAT scores and 46th in math scores.
Our entire test-based educational system ushered in by No Child Left Behind is based on the "success" of the testing program in Texas when George W. was governor. Worked out pretty well for them, didn't it?
According to Collins, Gov. Perry decided not to accept $830 million in federal aid to education because — wait for it — he would have to use it for education.
You may not be surprised to hear that Governor Perry has rejected new taxes. He’s also currently refusing $830 million in federal aid to education because the Democratic members of Congress from Texas — ticked off because Perry used $3.2 billion in stimulus dollars for schools to plug other holes in his budget — put in special language requiring that this time Texas actually use the money for the kids.
If you want some fun, read the delightful passages about Perry's defense of abstinence only sex education. He has no data to show it's effective, but he said, “I’m just going to tell you from my own personal life. Abstinence works.”