The fake teacher “pay raise” bill that the full Senate will vote on this week, perhaps today, is a product of an alternate universe, where trickery trumps reality and inhabitants believe they can take teachers’ votes for granted.
After all, Gov. Abbott, Lt.Gov. Patrick and the Senate majority – the lead inhabitants of this alternate universe — have been ignoring the needs of educators for years, and they are still in Austin.
Maybe that sense of hubris is what promoted Sen. Jane Nelson, the sponsor of the fake pay raise bill, to criticize House members for wanting to dip into the $10 BILLION Rainy Day Fund to pay for a real pay raise for educators. She called that a “false promise” and short-term solution.
So, how do Nelson and Dan Patrick propose “paying” for a pay “raise” for teachers and reducing health care costs for retirees?
First, they would put off a teacher pay raise until 2019 and then try to force local property taxpayers – who already pay for most education funding – to come up with the money. Then, they would use an accounting trick to delay payment to an under-funded health care system to allegedly give retired educators some limited, temporary relief.
The false promise, folks, is coming from the Senate leadership, and apparently the governor approves of the trickery because he hasn’t proposed an additional dime in state funding for teacher pay or education either.
The Rainy Day Fund – it’s the taxpayer’s money, not Dan Patrick’s or Greg Abbott’s – is $10 billion and growing. That is more than enough to raise teacher pay, improve health care for retirees and have lots of money left in the treasury.
It’s a real solution, not a sleight of hand designed to fool people on the eve of an election year.