Imagining that money flies

Peggy Venable, the Texas director of the antigovernment group, Americans for Prosperity, is at it again, perpetuating the moldy myth that Texas legislators are binging on public school spending. “We don’t want to simply continue to throw more dollars at education,” she is quoted in an article in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio ExpressNews.

Know anybody who’s ever been hit by a bag of money flying out of the state Capitol? Certainly no one who teaches in a public school.

For the record, the Texas Legislature has never thrown money at education, and it certainly isn’t doing so now. Texas ranks 38th among the states in average expenditures on student instruction and 34th in average teacher pay.

Is there administrative waste in public education? Most likely, but not to the extent that Venable and other governmentbashers would like you to believe. Waste should be eliminated, but there isn’t enough waste to spare teachers’ jobs and avoid overcrowded classrooms in many districts if the Legislature, as anticipated, makes deep cuts in the public education budget next year.

People who claim that Texas is “throwing money” at education aren’t helping the school kids or the taxpayers, and they aren’t trying to. The key to prosperity for young Texans is a strong, adequately and equitably funded public education system, not a meaningless sound bite promoting a shortsighted agenda.

The story by Gary Scharrer is linked below. School districts are getting closer to another lawsuit against the state over education funding but apparently will wait until after the session to give lawmakers one more chance to “do what’s right.”

I hope they are not wasting their time. Hope springs eternal – or until the next lawsuit.


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