August 25, 2005
Thumbs down for Perry's decree

Govenor Perry may have talk radio hosts eating out of his hand, but the newspaper editorial boards continue to be unimpressed. I think we can add this Express News piece to the collection of Items To Save For Next Endorsement Season:

Talk about a desperate move. Gov. Rick Perry is telling the state's school districts how to spend their money.

What happened to local control? Hasn't that been the conservative mantra?

The governor's pronouncement that he's taking this action because the Legislature did not fix the school funding problem is the latest effort by a major state official to shift the blame to his colleagues.


By executive order, Perry is telling schools to spend at least 65 percent of their tax money in the classroom.

While that might sound reasonable, some school superintendents are saying this could lead to damaging cuts in such areas as transportation, school nursing care and security.

A major issue is the definition of what directly affects the classroom. As Northside School District Superintendent John Folks pointed out, many personnel, such as librarians, counselors and speech therapists, are required by law.

"So we're complying with the law and then we're being penalized for it?" he asked.


Perry's action is a ploy to move discussion away from the failure of state leadership to address school issues, which Perry declared in January to be the most important problem facing the state.

Sorry, governor, that won't work. The people of Texas will see through this thinly disguised effort to change the focus and shift the blame.

Will the SAEN editorial board remember writing these words by the time next October rolls around? Stay tuned and find out. Via Aaron Pena.

There's also this DMN editorial, which is equally harsh.

This much positive you can say about Gov. Rick Perry's dictum this week that schools must spend 65 percent of their money on classrooms: He gave Texans a clearer understanding about why Austin can't get anything done on school funding.


Meanwhile, it was odd to see a Republican governor telling local schools how they must spend their money. Only a few years back, then-Gov. George W. Bush made his mark arguing for local control of schools. Evidently, Mr. Perry doesn't share the same trust of them. His office says he's only calling for what those schools are saying themselves. But if that's the case, why give them one more mandate, particularly one that doesn't match the realities of managing a school district?

Buses face higher fuel costs. Health premiums keep rising. And there are the costs of personnel like librarians that don't directly connect to the classroom.

The best way to view the governor's move is through the prism of his re-election campaign. After four failed sessions on school funding, he wants to look like he's doing something about our schools. It's too bad he's out of touch with them.

Ouch. Via In the Pink.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

While the idea is good, I'll concede that the messenger has zero cred on the issue.

However, I've learned long ago to not pay much attention to editorial boards when it comes to matters of finance.

Journalism majors typically are bereft of much accounting knowledge.

Oddly enough, so are lawyers.

Guess who makes up most politicians?

And people wonder why we're in such a mess.

Still. the 65% plan is a good plan I'm surprised the Dem's hadn't thought of it first, especially since this is all "for the children"...waitaminnut...nevermind.


Posted by: Sedosi on August 25, 2005 9:20 PM

Governor Perry is showing a trend to "blame others" when his own failure of state leadership is exposed. His latest leadership failure was his inability to act responsibly and turn around south bounds and have contra-flow north bound lanes on all major highway arteries when it was evident that evacuation plan of millions who were desperate to flee Rita resulted in total gridlock failure. When asked about this he deflected the blame to the people of Texas by indicating that they failed to fill up their gas tanks before evacuating and that is not his fault. As one who did fill their tank before leaving and crept northward for 9 hours to get a miserable 27 miles from my Houston home, his answer ignites deep anger against the incompetent governor. With my fuel down by 1/3 of a tank and 250 more miles to go and all gas stations already out of gas I like many thousands of others had to count the huge time investment as a lost cause and turn around and go back home to face the then K4 Rita. My trip back home took a mere 40 minutes since the south bound lanes that could have been used by the Governor to make the evacuation successful were nearly empty. Only one person had the power to declare the formation of contra-flow lanes and that man is our incompetent Governor Rick Perry.

His other anemic leadership demonstration was his lack of aggressive support for the property tax reform that would have addressed the elderly who no longer have children enrolled in the school system and yet continue to be raped by the tax structure of the state of Texas.

Rick Perry must be removed from office and We the People must do it.

Pete Moore
Life Long Republican and
Former supporter of Rick Perry
Houston, Texas

Posted by: Pete Moore on September 26, 2005 8:30 AM