What Do You Expect? They Don’t Believe In Public Education!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by wcnews

I believe the education issue – meaning well financed, quality, equal, public education – is not Republican or Democrat it’s more a fight between two sides, one that believes in it and one that doesn’t. There are many Republicans who are just as passionate about public education as Democrats. The problem is, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst may be the exception, none of them are in the leadership of the Republican party. Have you ever heard a Republican in power in Texas talk about the fact that public education is underfunded? I would argue that most of them believe that public schools either have too much money already or they are mismanaged. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, how can we expect people that don’t believe in public education to create a well financed, quality, equal, public education system?

If you’ll remember back to last year part of their fix was vouchers. Since then the governor brought us the 65% Rule, by executive order. I’m sure these people also believe that schools would be better off if they were run by for profit corporations or businesses. Charter schools, where teachers don’t have to be accredited and are lacking in student achievement. (Mike Krusee’s been involved in this). To see how that would turn out just see how the HHS privatization is going, Rep. Gattis is quoted talking tough in the article. My point in saying all of this is that the TTRC plan, or any plan that the Republican leadership has proposed over the last several years does nothing to disprove the fact that they don’t support quality public education. That’s why they can’t get anything passed. Who wants to raise taxes or restructure taxes when the plan does nothing to fix the long-term financing and equity issues? Or as Off The Kuff points out the new surplus numbers have changed the landscape too.

Evidence of public support for public education can be seen in the Texas Parent PAC’s success this year in the primaries. They had a very strong record against Perry and Craddick endorsed candidates with their pro public education message. I hope the Parent PAC will endorse our two house candidates here in Williamson County. They are very pro public education as opposed to the two voucher supporters they are running against. The people of Texas when they crack open this issue don’t want vouchers, charter schools, or gimmicks (65% Rule). They want well funded, quality, public education. Yesterday I pointed to two Democratic plans for public education using a state income tax. A state income tax is always denounced as being unpopular but other than raising cigarette/sin taxes, maybe, do you think any tax hike is popular? The point being that people are willing to sacrifice if they think what they will get in return, in this case well educated children, is worthwhile. Isn’t leadership about doing what’s right, what needs to be done, and not what’s popular or what your donors thinks is right?

A state income tax, done right, is a much better and fairer way to finance public education than what we currently do or the TTRC plan. But it won’t be discussed, debated, or even acknowledged, during this special session. That is what stands out to me. Many Democrats share the blame on this too. They believe that if they were to embrace a state income tax it’s political suicide or the party would be in worse shape then they are right now. Really? I say prove it. Is there a Democrat in Texas that’s been defeated because they came out for an income tax? Are people just saying it’s political suicide or is there an example of someone being run out of office because of it? I’d rather we lose being for something we believe in, than lose putting forth a plan that’s like the Republicans but just not as bad. Like I said yesterday it would be great to see the Democratic Party in Texas embrace a state income tax as a permanent solution for public school financing.

There is an option out there that has a much better chance of solving this problem than what’s been proposed so far and it won’t even be discussed. If it’s so bad, it would seem the Republicans would bring it up and tell us why it’s so bad, or why your plan is so much better, or use it to beat the Democrats over the head. But if the current Republican leadership believed in public education, as they say they do, shouldn’t they look at every option? All they will say is it would never pass a public vote. I know a state income tax has to go before the people and other taxes don’t but would this new business tax or would a cigarette tax pass a referendum?

With the governor and the Lt. Gov. lining up big money for advertising you’ll be inundated soon about the “greatness” of this plan. No matter what they tell you about this plan, remember, it’s not a long-term fix and we’ll be right back in the middle of this shortly. But what do you expect from people that don’t believe in public education? I’ll bet an income tax, or any tax for that matter, would have a great chance of passing if the people were told this is a long-term fix, we won’t be bothering you ever again about this and your schools will be taken care of and the youth of Texas will be well educated.


  1. Eye on Williamson » State Republican Leadership Is Out To Get Public Education said,

    April 20, 2006 at 11:34 am

    […] I hit on this yesterday but we more from JAB, Highland Park Windfall Proposal Will End School Funding: A procedural rule will be introduced tomorrow in the House as the first frontal assault on teachers, schools, and school districts. The rule will dictate the procedure of the house and will regulate amendments, costs, and most importantly the required focus of the legislation. […]

  2. Eye on Williamson » It’s All Over But The…. said,

    May 13, 2006 at 8:22 am

    […] Pink Dome and Capitol Annex have post-mortems up as well. To answer PD about what I would have done I will refer to another early session post, What do you expect… , it’s fair and it rhymes with nincome fax. […]

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