Monday, March 20, 2006

What's Needed For Public Schools

This is a great editorial in today's DMN, Get it right, Austin. It does a good job of laying out what we really need in Texas to fix our public schools. It also does a godd job of stating that it's probably too big a chore for us to expect with the current leadership vacuum we have in Texas:
Austin, this time you really do have to fix the mess. Will the upcoming special session bring an end to the mess? Do not bet on it. Here's the rub: Gov. Rick Perry supports lowering school property taxes but opposes increasing school funding. Moreover, fixing the state tax system so that it can generate the tax revenue needed to end all the problems is not being considered. Instead, the plan is to push through a small illusory fix that uses the state surplus and then publicly claim that all is well. In truth, our public schools will remain inadequately funded, our state tax system will still not have the needed capacity, and our courts will again have to intervene.

Texans expect a real fix and will see through any charade. Trying to sneak by with something less than a real fix will invite their wrath. Hopefully, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick and a majority of the Legislature will resist this route and do a real long-term fix.

In the absence of strong political leadership and courage in Austin, Texans can be sure of one thing - the mess will just get messier.
I have to disagree with the writer of this on one thing. Texans have been unable to see through charades for a while now and I think a surplus scam would work just fine on enought Texans to get most of these people reelected. I would be very happy to be wrong on that front. It does a great job of pointing out what's needed, courageous leadership.


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