Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Texas Federation of Teacher's Analysis Of Monday's TTRC Hearing

Check it out, Hearing Shows School Aid Must Increase, Even If State Leaders Don't Want to Hear It. Here's a couple of excerpts:
Former state district judge Scott McCown, now executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, made the same point even more emphatically. The Supreme Court's ruling, McCown said, means that the legislature cannot get away with a "revenue–neutral" tax swap that just "buys down" the local tax rate. McCown said the "meaningful discretion" requirement means the state also must come up with new revenue to let low-wealth school districts draw enough state funds to match the amount of revenue wealthy districts can raise at a similar local tax rate.

Commission chair John Sharp tried in vain to counter McCown's argument but succeeded only in revealing that his commission evidently has been put on a very short leash by the governor. Sharp suggested that the commission has leeway only to recommend a "revenue-neutral" tax swap, yielding zero increased dollars for education. The only hope Sharp offered was that a shift away from reliance on local property taxes might pave the way for lawmakers to pass increased school funding in the 2007 regular session or later.
The TTRC is kinda boxed in aren't they?


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