There’s really no other way to characterize this.
At a press conference this morning to discuss states’ rights, Gov. Rick Perry was asked about the thousands of Texas teachers expected at the Capitol this weekend to protest legislative proposals to cut billions of dollars in funding from school districts. Those proposals have prompted school districts across the state to begin laying off employees, including teachers, and the districts are preparing for many more layoffs to follow in the coming months.
“The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren’t going to hire or fire one teacher, as best I can tell,” Perry said. “That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts.”
He said school districts, like families and businesses, need to set priorities when funding dips.
“Over the course of the last decade, we have seen a rather extraordinary amount of nonclassroom employees added to school rolls,” Perry said. “So are the administrators and the school boards going to make a decision to reduce those, or are they going to make a decision to reduce the number of teachers in the classroom? I certainly know where I would point.”
But data from the Texas Education Agency does not suggest a surge in nonteachers over the last 10 years.
In 2000, according to TEA’s website, 48.7 percent of school employees across the state were nonteachers. In 2010, that number was 49.5 percent.
“I don’t think we’d be talking about layoffs if we weren’t talking about $9.4 billion in cuts in state funding,” said Richard Kouri of Texas State Teachers Association. “It’s disingenuous.”
How totally gutless of Perry, though given his other prevarications about the budget it’s totally unsurprising. I’m sorry, but you can’t claim you were elected on a mandate to cut the budget and then point the finger at others for the consequences of those cuts. This is what he wants, and it’s what he claims the people want. He should be proud of this, not running away from it. One a coward, always a coward. Texas Politics, Veronica Flores-Paniagua, Forrest Wilder, and EoW have more.