Last spring, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, gave school teachers the back of his hand as he presided over more than $5 billion in education budget cuts. Teachers were losing jobs, but budget cuts were Perry’s first priority, even as enrollment in Texas’ public schools was increasing by 80,000 or 85,000 a year.
Now, Rick Perry, the Republican presidential candidate, is claiming another viewpoint for the national media.
The Fort Worth StarTelegram story linked below is another report about how Perry’s slashandburn approach to budgetwriting is undermining his claim to be a champion “job creator.”
Among other things, it points out that public sector jobs have grown at a faster rate than private sector jobs during Perry’s nearly 11 years as governor and that the loss in August of 11,500 jobs in local government, including schools, was a major factor in raising Texas’ unemployment rate to 8.5 percent.
Most of this has been reported before, but the article also found a quote from Perry, the national candidate, explaining (believe it or not) that population growth requires more teachers in the public schools.
According to the article, the governor said on CNBC: “Well, our teachers in Texas are public employees. So we’ve had a huge influx of people into the state of Texas. So you have to have more teachers, obviously, to do that as well.”
Unfortunately, Perry and the legislative majority deliberately chose to ignore the obvious last spring, when they were imposing the deep budget cuts on Texas’ public schools.
TSTA doesn’t have a running count of how many Texas teachers have lost their jobs so far under Perry’s antieducation budget. But the wellrespected Center for Public Policy Priorities believes that as many as 49,000 school jobs, including teachers, may be lost by this time next year. Meanwhile, enrollment in Texas public schools will have grown by 170,000 kids since the governor signed the budget.