If there were any lingering doubts that Gov. Perry and the current legislative leadership are less interested in adequately funding public education than they are in blaming local school officials for the negative results, they should be dispelled by Perry’s comments today about who should be blamed if thousands of teachers lose their jobs because of spending cuts.
“That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts,” the governor said.
This, of course, is the same governor who, so far, is demanding that the Legislature bridge a $27 billion revenue shortfall with budget cuts alone, which means cutting $10 billion from what public education needs to keep up with enrollment growth and meet other funding requirements. He also is the same governor who insisted that lawmakers in 2006 order school property tax cuts without adequately paying for me. That 2006 law now accounts for a huge chunk of the $27 billion budget hole.
Just yesterday, Sens. Florence Shapiro and Dan Patrick, the chair and vice chair of the Senate Education Committee, made it very clear they would rather pass the buck – and the blame for failure to school superintendents by repealing class size limits and other important, quality educational standards rather than paying for them.
Here is an Austin AmericanStatesman item on Perry’s comments: