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Can it get any worse? Why yes, yes it CAN!

Posted by Texas Education on July 10, 2008

I actually thought when I started this I would report on how badly the Lege has…well, let us down. Same ole’ same ole’ just out right turning their backs on education and everything about education. But, I’m finding out, it’s much worse than that. This is on a daily basis. At this rate, we might as well shut down the schools now, and save everyone the money now. Read on…

On the State Level:

This just in from the Dallas Morning news. The Texas AG tells school districts to pay for teacher benefits.

Attorney General Greg Abbott has sided with the Legislature in a $100 million dispute between the state and school districts over which should pay for teacher benefits stemming from a salary increase approved two years ago.

[...]

David Thompson, a Houston lawyer who represents dozens of school districts, said Monday that the attorney general issued an erroneous opinion “that was designed to reach a particular result” favorable to the state.

“We believe the law is very clear that the state must pay the Teacher Retirement System – on behalf of all school districts – an amount based on the minimum salary required by state law,” he said, citing the $2,500 pay raise as a requirement of the 2006 school finance law approved by the Legislature.

[...]

Mr. Thompson said the contribution increase would be particularly hard for districts since the school finance law had sharply curtailed their revenue-raising options.

“Our districts strongly support raises for teachers and other professional employees, but we believe the state should make TRS contributions for its own requirements and not shift those costs to local districts,” he said.

What is the state trying to do here?? Seems they are doing everything in their power to crush the educational system in Texas. We are practically last in categories that matter, and first in the categories that are horrible. Can the Lege not see how detrimental this is for the good people of Texas?

Now, instead of putting this under a different heading, things are not only getting worse for the State of Texas Education, but it’s also getting worse…

On the National Level:

Spellings Blasts Reading First Cuts

The nation’s education chief got worked up this week when asked about a federal reading program that could soon come to an end. USA Today has her reaction after the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to eliminate funding for the Reading First program.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings reacted angrily Tuesday to the “outrageous” cuts and called them “political theater.”

Under President Clinton, she notes, Congress put more than $300 million a year into reading.

“Now we’re going to turn back the clock, not only to pre-Bush but pre-Clinton (levels),” she says. “I bet it’s been a long damned time since the federal government spent no money—zero—on reading.”

She predicts that after the election, lawmakers will come to their senses. “I hope cooler heads will prevail,” she says. “If I had a nickel for every person who said, ‘Thank God for Reading First,’ I’d be a millionaire.”

I also hope this applies to our state level lawmakers, as well. This is why it is CRITICAL we get-out-the-vote, and vote in a legislature (national and state level) that will put $$$$ back into our schools and our educational system.

Hey, I’m lookin’ for some good stuff, gimme some good stuff, I need some good stuff to report on…

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