Monday, July 18, 2005

A Problem Of Historic Proportions

As the House and Senate Conferees try to salvage some kind of deal relating to their stated crisis regarding school finance and property tax relief, it's important to understand that what they are discussing now will do nothing to fix the "crisis". I'm not being pessimistic, just telling the truth. No matter what they agree on, in it's current form, this will be an issue during the next legislative session. Right now we are at exactly the same place we were at the end of the regular session and if Gov. Perry calls another one it's exactly where we will be at the end of that one too. It's no longer about fixing schools and lowering taxes on the citizens of Texas. It's about gutting schools to make the ground more fertile for vouchers and making sure the wealthy pay less taxes.

The Texas Observer has an article, What Goes Around, Comes Around, which tells us of the historic place public education and protection from corporations has in Texas. The exact things the Republicans are now trying to dismantle are the very protections put in place back when the Republicans were kicked out of power in Texas after reconstruction. Ironic isn't it?

Back during the regular session the Texas Observer blog had this post relating to vouchers, The Last Payoff, Part I:
What's amazing about all this energy expended on pushing vouchers in Texas is that it's not something the public particularly wants. There is no groundswell for vouchers. Instead, there is one very wealthy Republican campaign contributor who over the past 10 years has spent millions in campaign contributions for this day. That man is a San Antonio doctor named James Leininger. He is the last of the big contributors from the 2002 GOP campaign to get what he wants.
Here is how the votes went in the House on SB 422, the voucher bill, and you'll notice both Rep. Gattis and Rep. Krusee were pro-vouchers the whole way. I think the voucher twins - Gattis and Krusee - need to be asked a fundamental question: Do you believe in public education?


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