Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas Republicans Pass State Budget That Attacks Education, Health, And Family Planning—TPA Round-Up

At the end of this post is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best politcal bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers who are working for a better Texas.

With the round-up this week comes the news that the Texas Legislature has passed a state budget.

From the Houston Chronicle

 ‘Texas lawmakers approved a $172.3 billion, two-year budget on Saturday that cuts billions from education and human services and uses accounting maneuvers to cover a budget shortfall… Public schools would receive about $4 billion less in state aid compared with what they’d get under current formulas through the next two years. Plus $1.4 billion for other public education programs and instructional materials would be cut. State funds to higher education would be cut by about $1.2 billion, although that would be softened a bit by funds allocated in separate legislation. Tens of thousands fewer students would get college financial aid than in the current two-year budget period. It would cut Medicaid reimbursement rates to hospitals — excluding children’s and rural hospitals — and leave unfunded $4.4 billion to $4.8 billion in projected state Medicaid costs, forcing the next Legislature to deal with the expense…”

Here is some of what Texas State Senator Wendy Davis had to say about the budget—

…“Cutting $4 billion dollars in state funding for public education will result in thousands of educator job losses, overcrowded classrooms and put an end to the state-funded prekindergarten programs,” Senator Wendy Davis said. “Throughout the state, school districts are already responding with massive layoffs and requests for the state to waive current restrictions on classroom sizes.” 

While those in charge try to defend the budget with false assertions that public education received slightly greater funding in this budget than the prior biennial budget, for the first time student population growth has not been funded. Defending the budget through slippery wording and fuzzy math, as Perry and Dewhurst have done, will do nothing to erase the harmful consequences of these cuts on Texas schoolchildren.

“Even more disturbing, this budget kicks the can of public education and healthcare funding down the road, with deferrals of current obligations totaling $7.1 billion that will need to be backfilled in the next budget cycle. Accordingly, when the legislature reconvenes in 2013, it will begin its budget cycle at least $7.1 billion in the hole. This is not responsible governance.”

Texans can decide what they think about all this. Republicans and the so-called Tea Party can go on and on about waste and illegal immigrants using up public services. My guess is that many people across the political spectrum in Texas have concerns about education and health in our state, and have concerns about how young people in Texas will compete in a changing economy.

The impact of this budget will be felt in many ways over the next two years. If the 2013 legislative session will be one that works to help Texans—or is one that once again attacks working Texans and engages in culutral warfare such as the forced sonogram bill—is up to each of us as Texans.

Here is the round-up—-

The Lege reached a budget deal on Friday. Off the Kuff explains why it is a bad deal for Texas.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson, in stating that “… by and large, Republicans aren’t as racist as they are greedy” makes the point that we must adopt a new form of populism in Texas.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker seeks to explain why snake oil is not a cure for evaluating teachers for purposes of improving public education. Check outSnake Oil, Classrooms and Teacher Evaluations.

Nat-Wu of Three Wise Men takes another in-depth look at Irving politics.

McBlogger notes that Democrats joined with Republicans in the House in a bipartisan effort to screw every Texan.

Public school funding and the Texas legislature get set to go back to the future — as in litigation. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs finds a twelve-year-old column from Mollly Ivins that both rehashes and pre-cogs the details.

refinish69 at Doing My Part for the Left asks: WTF? President Obama is now talking Drill, Baby, Drill?

Neil at Texas Liberal noted a new study that said billions of planets are flying around the galaxy that are not in the orbit of any star.

May 29, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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