In additions to all the other problems we’re facing? Well that’s what state Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) said recently.
Texas needs to scrap its school funding system and start all over, Senate Education Chair Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said Thursday, as other members of a special school finance committee agreed that the existing system is hopelessly broken. [Emphasis added].
“We need to find a better system that works for all of us,” said Shapiro, who also is co-chair of the Select Committee On Public School Finance Weights, Allotments and Adjustments.
Whether the committee can develop a consensus before the Legislature convenes in January is uncertain.
Hopeless means there is not hope for the current system and a new system must be created. No more tinkering or failed tax swaps like in 2006. As Kuffner said put it, Scrap it and start over, “It’s nice to see legislators talking about this before the next lawsuit gets filed.” Of course Texas Rush has a plan that will raise taxes on working Texans while giving the rich a tax break.
And when we do get around to changing this system, let’s make sure we don’t make it worse.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, said he favors a sales tax increase to fund public education instead of property tax revenue.
“The homeowners and the commercial business owners can’t stand much more,” Patrick said, noting that all consumers would directly contribute to public education if the funding source shifts from property to sales.
Every penny increase in the state’s current 6.25 cent sales tax rate would generate $2.4 billion, he said.
What isn’t being said here is that Patrick would also cut property taxes by an equivalent amount. That would not only ensure that the schools remain perpetually underfunded, it would also give people like Dan Patrick a sizable reduction in their tax bill while imposing a significant tax increase on the vast majority of Texans. If you want Dan Patrick to raise your taxes, without doing anything to improve the schools, you should be cheering him on. If you want to see actual progress being made to fix this problem, you shouldn’t be. You should also be supporting Bill White, but I figure that goes without saying by now.
The state was already facing major issues in the upcoming session, at least a $21 billion dollar budget shortfall, Redistricting add to that a “hopelessly broken” public education finance system and the next legislative session is going to be doozy. With unemployment holding steady over 8%, and poverty skyrocketing, it certainly would be nice to hear something from the Governor, Lt. Governor, the Speaker, and those in their party plan on dealing with this “new” issue along with all the others.