Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Today In School Finance

John Sharp, as OffTheKuff calls it, and his Committee Of One has only been meeting with editorial boards so far. Today he is in the Houston Chronicle, Chairman sees fix for school funding. What all this boils down to is...politics, what a shocker. The gist of this whole "task force" is that Gov. Perry appointed a Democrat to come up with a plan to raise taxes on businesses. Maybe he just couldn't find it in him to do it? In the article Sharp admits that property taxes can be lowered "...by trading new state taxes fro local property tax cuts". That's a tax shift from property tax payers to businesses. Didn't we just have 5 sessions over the last several years trying to do just that? Once again there is no mention of the part of the ruling on the need for more money to be put into schools. It is irresponsible for the governor and this task force not to be looking at how to put more money into education. That was the other part of Judge Dietz's ruling or does Gov. Perry already know that his judges are going to shoot down that part of the ruling? The two questions that needs to be answered by this task force are, (1) Who is going to pay more so that property taxes will be lowered, and (2) what form will they take?

While were on the topic of schools and task forces it appears that the "65% Ruse" task force still doesn't have a definition, you have to love this headline, Educators wrestle with how to count 65 percent. Rep. Grusendorf gives the task force some guidance though:
"Honestly, really, it should be a no-brainer," House Public Education Chairman Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington and a member of Neeley's 65 percent task force committee, said of the rule
But what does he know he's been trying to pass an education reform bill for 3 years now? This article wraps up by once again having a right-winger sum up what's wrong with school financing in Texas:
But Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity warned that threats of schools cutting counselors and nurses "are scare tactics." School administrators should be cutting the education bureaucracy, she said.
Remember the goal is to pitting teachers vs. administrators to break the union, she's just sticking to the plan.

At least the state is continuing to fund the schools while this game goes on, School payments made; ruling pending
October payments for school districts were sent out by the state on Tuesday, nearly a month after the Oct. 1 deadline set by a state judge to cut off payments if Texas' school finance system was not fixed by the Legislature.



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