As anticipated, the needs of public schools and teachers were a very low priority for Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican presidential candidates during last night’s debate. One of the few times that any participant discussed education was when Perry was forced to defend the ax that he and the legislative majority took to Texas’ public schools this year. And, his defense was weak.
He claimed the $5.4 billion in public education cuts were “thoughtful reductions.” They were about as “thoughtful” as a bunch of college boys chasing a greased pig through a fraternity party. The only thought going through Perry’s mind during the budgetcutting exercise was how well it would play politically with antigovernment ideologues.
The Education Week blog linked below refers to $4 billion in education cuts in Texas. The total cuts were actually $5.4 billion in the next twoyear budget. That includes $4 billion slashed from funding obligations to districts plus $1.4 billion cut from public education grants.
Perry, who once again bragged about job creation in Texas, simply ignored the thousands of teachers and other school employees who have lost (or will lose) jobs as a result of his slashing public school funding. TSTA doesn’t have a firm number yet, but some respected analysts predict 49,000 school jobs will be lost by the time the second half of the budget kicks in next year.