08.31.06

The 65% Rule, Another Perry Failure

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006, The Lege at 2:50 pm by wcnews

Here’s the article from the DMN today, Classroom spending rule isn’t what some feared.

One year ago, Gov. Rick Perry ordered Texas school districts to start spending at least 65 percent of their money in the classroom an unprecedented action that angered and alarmed superintendents across the state.

But when the mandate took effect with the start of school this month, it was viewed by many school officials as a “paperwork” tiger thanks to the softening of its provisions by state and federal officials.

“It is affecting our financial reports to the state, but in terms of how we actually spend money, it’s had no impact,” said Ray Freeman, superintendent of the 700-pupil Itasca school district south of Fort Worth.

“Politically, it may sound like a neat thing. In reality, most districts are already spending everything they can on instruction. I’ve not talked to a single superintendent who believes this will improve instruction. Most see it as a nuisance.”

And the “wing-nuts” aren’t happy about the way this turned out.

Peggy Venable, Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, said the rule was weakened by a decision by state education officials to include salaries of counselors, librarians and nurses as classroom expenses under the rules. She said a recent move by federal officials to count the salaries of librarians also watered down the requirement.

“The definition has been so bastardized where everything but the kitchen sink is counted as classroom expenses that the rule is all but useless,” she said. “My guess is that most school districts will be at 65 percent with the changes they’ve made.”

Ms. Venable blamed the changes on pressure by school administrators and education groups. “They don’t want this kind of accountability in our schools,” she said.

The title of the article in her case should have been, Classroom spending rule isn’t what some hoped.  Don’t forget where this came from and what it was all about, Where did the 65% Rule come from? This is about creating a rift between teacher’s and administrators and further defunding public schools in order to bring about public school vouchers. This isn’t over either, unless we get a new governor, Chris Bell, and some new state legislators, Karen Felthauser and Jim Stauber.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » “65% Rule” follow up said,

    March 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    [...] Texas institute this arbitrary rule his appointees could never quite figure out how to define what “classroom spending” was. This list from an August 2006 DMN article shows why: A look at some of what does – and [...]

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