He first outlines the House budget of $209.8 billion stating it “provides additional General Revenue in transportation, invests in our public schools, and increases border security”. He does not address the percentage of the budget for securing our border. Nor does he address my comments:
More than 1/2 of 1% of the total biennial budget should be spent on closing our border. The Senate passed that amount, but the house has earmarked even less. Just like in a household budget, how the majority that is spent speaks as to what you deem as a priority, and apparently the Texas House under Joe Straus does not deem closing our border as a priority. When we talked with you last year about the importance of closing the border, you stated you absolutely agreed. The budget coming out of the House speaks louder than those words.
He did partially address my comments on education funding.
I also told Emily I felt funding should be cut to education. Throwing more and more money to education hasn’t created a better education – it has created a lesser education, but increased the size of staff to create a better indoctrination of our students. There are now more administors than teachers. When has more administration ever created a better product? However, you voted to spend millions for the cradle-to-grave Pre-K bill, which has been proven to make no difference beyond the first grade. This Pre-K bill is similar to “Head Start”, which is expensive and ineffective.
His response: “In 2011, before I was elected, lawmakers cut $5.4 billion from public education funding. As a result, more than 600 Texas school districts sued the state, claiming that the current school finance system violates the Texas Constitution. The Texas Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case this year. State District Judge John Dietz of Austin previously stated that the school finance system is unconstitutional due to inadequate funding, flaws in the distribution of money to districts, and the de facto imposition of a state property tax.
Legislation to boost the quality of prekindergarten classes in Texas, financed with an additional $130 million over the next two years, has passed in both the House and the Senate. The measure tracks a plan by Gov. Abbott to establish a high quality prekindergarten program that offers additional funding for school districts that adopt new standards such as hiring only certified teachers for the classes, implementing curriculum that aligns with the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines, and establishing a plan for parental and family engagement. HB 4 also requires school districts to implement the approved State Board of Education (SBOE) TEKS and prohibits the use of common core curriculum.”
He didn’t respond as to why student enrollment in Texas schools rose 37% from 1992 to 2009, while the number of administrators and other non-teaching staff grew at a whopping 172%. Nor did he respond about what the Texas Legislature has enacted, if anything, to end the discrepancy and if they have considered removing some mandates which they are obliged to fund.
There were also no comments about supporting Joe Straus as speaker and the ensuing childish antics occurring in the House under the leadership of Straus and Bonnen, save to comment on appreciating to hear my frustrations. He gave no details of the border funding (which is about 1/2 of what the Senate’s budget funds) and that it does not fully fund the DPS as the Senate bill does. He doesn’t address the fact that the author of the House Border Security bill, Dennis Bonnen, admits his plan won’t secure the border.
“The Senate proposal related to border security has substantially more teeth than its House counterpart. As Lt. Gov. Patrick noted on his Facebook page, the Senate’s plan keeps the National Guard on the border, provides additional funding for DPS, establishes check points, and allocates more resources for border operations than the House proposal. The record clearly shows that so far, the Senate has been more in line with conservative Texans when compared to the House.” (Cary Cheshire on Empower Texans)