The two-year budget passed by the Texas House is destructive, reducing public school budgets by $7.8 billion over the biennium. The budget passed by the Senate is better, but it cuts about $4 billion and leaves school funding woefully below what is needed to help students be successful.
Texas ranks 44th nationally for per pupil funding of public schools, and it will drop even lower if the devastating budget cuts are enacted.
Every recent poll shows that voters do not want to cut spending on public education. In a January poll, for example, 70 percent of voters opposed cuts to public schools. And in the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in February, an astounding 82 percent of voters opposed cuts to public education.
Some lawmakers say they fear tea party activists and anti-government special interest groups who demand a cuts-only state budget.
But legislators should be more afraid of reactions by angry moms and dads of public school students, community volunteers, school board trustees, business partners, educators and others who do the unsung work of educating future generations of Texans.
Next year, parents will point their fingers at legislators when their children are taught in overcrowded classrooms, art and music classes are eliminated, there is no tutoring for struggling students, and favorite teachers no longer work at their child’s school.
I sure hope that’s the case. This was written by Carolyn Boyle, the chair of Texas ParentPAC. People need to understand that the budget and all of the cuts to public education came exclusively from Republican legislators. No Democrats voted for it. If this isn’t what you wanted, then you need to swap out Republicans for Democrats, otherwise you’ll get more of the same. And if you didn’t vote last year, or you voted Republican because you were mad at President Obama or scared about deficits or whatever but didn’t intend for your vote to be an endorsement of this kind of policy, then you need to remember that not just in 2012 but in 2014 and thereafter. Your vote matters, and so does your lack of it. Please don’t make the same mistake again.