As are many of his colleagues, state Rep. Scott Sanford of McKinney, one of the tea party darlings undermining public education, already is preparing for next spring’s Republican primary, where he will be courting the votes of ultra-conservative, anti-government constituents for a third term in the statehouse.
So he sent out an email this week bragging about his role in passing a “conservative, responsible state budget.”
The budget certainly is “conservative,” but it is far from “responsible.” While leaving billions of tax dollars unspent, it continues to under-fund public education, higher education, health care and a host of other state services. Many school districts will have less money to spend per student during the upcoming school year than they did five years ago.
In his email, Sanford spews bureaucratic talk about growth rates and spending caps without making it clear that education and other critical programs could have been more adequately funded without raising anyone’s taxes.
Sanford won’t be the only member of the legislative majority who will be bragging about their budgetary skills and priorities during next year’s campaign season. Voters who may be tempted to believe their line of baloney should take a look at all the “temporary” portable buildings being erected at their neighborhood schools or, after the new school year begins, ask a parent how crowded their children’s classrooms are. They also can ask a teacher how much he or she will be spending from a modest paycheck on classroom supplies.