House Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler continues to misrepresent House Bill 400, his antiteacher bill that the House may begin debating later today. And, he is in a parade of socalled legislative “leaders” who continue to misrepresent the Legislature’s options for dealing with the revenue shortfall.
In a story by Terry Stutz in The Dallas Morning News today, Eissler claims, again, that HB400 is “all about protecting teacher jobs,” a statement that is strongly disputed by his own bill. You don’t protect teacher jobs by permanently repealing the minimum teacher salary schedule, letting districts furlough teachers and cut their pay, permanently making it easier for districts to fire teachers and permanently weakening or abolishing other teacher employment rights. Or, by permanently raising the 221 class size limit for kindergarten through fourth grade to 251.
HB400 would do all of the above – and more.
“More money for schools is not an option right now,” Eissler said in the same article. “We have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. These are hard choices, but they’re necessary.”
In truth, more money for schools is an option. The House’s budget has left more than $6 billion of the Rainy Day Fund unspent, and there are billions of dollars in potential tax revenue untapped – because the governor and most legislative “leaders” would rather hurt school children and untold thousands of disadvantaged Texans than raise taxes.
The governor and the Legislature deal the budgetary hands. Everyone else has to live with them – or try to.