Wrong information on the education situation in Texas and in America is being circulated by leftists who continue the exercise of attempting to divide conservatives. This week the focus is on clarification of misinformation circulating about education and teaching professionals. Americans for Prosperity sponsored a teleconference featuring Senator Florence Shapiro. Senator Shapiro was a former educator and small business woman who truly understands budget challenges facing Texans. Currently the Senator is chairman for the Education Committee in Texas. Her ability to paint the picture for listeners was useful, and showed a great depth of caring for children and the education system. The Education budget will necessarily need to make cuts, just as many other state government departments will need to do in this biennium. What does this mean to children, teachers, and everyone concerned about quality education in Texas?
- Many people have received fliers in their children’s weekly take home information, stating Texas wants to cut teachers and are going to hurt the children. This simply is not true.
Fact: The education budget is bloated and necessary cuts will need to be made, just as all the other departments in the Texas budget are facing cuts. The budget cuts for education will be left up to the local School Districts as to how it is handled.
- What is causing the “bloat” in the education budget? We know the teachers must supply schoolroom materials from their own money in a lot of cases.
Fact: The current ratio of non-teachers in the education systems in Texas is 1 to 1. This means for every teacher there is another person! Why? The non-teachers on the education payroll account for billions of dollars in salaries and benefits. In a recent call with Governor Rick Perry, it was pointed out that the non-teaching staff in Texas has grown 300%! This is the same kind of outrageous growth across the country.
- The teachers deserve more money. This isn’t fair.
Fact: The state will have to make significant decreases to the overall Texas general budget at all levels. No one is mandating teachers be taking pay cuts or be let go. The decisions are being left up to the local ISD as to where they cut the budget. Studies have shown there are many duplicate efforts that should be eliminated, “perks” that should never have happened, and services that can be shared among multiple ISD administrations. All Texas citizens will need to share in the sacrifices being made due to the strain of the unfunded mandates. Budgets can be cut, without cutting teachers.
- Why are the teacher unions protesting in other states, if teachers are not being hurt? It looks like the government is out to “get” the teachers!
Fact: When the union negotiates with the government for pensions and raises, it is the taxpayer that must pay for additional benefits and monies. A good example is the state of California. Example: There are currently over 9,800 people who retired from a public job and are receiving over 6 figures for the rest of their lives. These people did not contribute anything to the pensions and many are under the age of 50. Economic hard times prevail currently in the country, and the pensions and spending levels are unsustainable.
Closer to home in Texas, data is offered on the Local ISD. Please take the time to read the charts. There are dozens of bureaucratic positions that make no sense, look redundant in functionality, and also…….they are not teachers in the classroom!
Go to this website, to gather the data on your local ISD and hold them accountable: http://www.redappleproject.com/
Want to know what cuts are being made in education and other departments? Look at the following legislature passed this week in the Texas State Senate on budget: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB4
The quarrel is not with the teachers. In fact, the teachers should be up in arms over the money being wasted by the bureaucrats in the ISD. The money stops at local administration level, and does not reach the classroom. Less than half of each dollar intended for education, actually reaches the classrooms.
What is the answer? The state is leaving the power and decision on how to change the system at local level. This plan on budget cuts and how to achieve them is sponsored by the state legislature. These are bi-partisan members that came up with the plan. The children deserve benefits afforded by a system focused on education. Instead, the children and the teachers are currently getting the crumbs left over by the ISD bureaucracy. It is not the Governor, nor the legislature causing the problem for the local schools. It is time for the parents, grandparents, and taxpayers in general to stand up and say ENOUGH!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )