Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

Friday, October 19, 2018

I nailed it: Republicans announce they are coming for Social Security

This is like shooting fish in a barrel. 

By Tom Toles of the Washington Post
From a previous post:
So now with a newly created $1.5 Trillion hole in the budget created by the trump tax plan, look for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Education, Environment Protection. 
The Republican Party has just announce their intentions of cutting so called "entitlements" the services and benefits Americans are entitled to receive because they have paid for them! They have called for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and you won't believe why they claim this is necessary. Here is Mitch McConnell:
"It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem," McConnell said of the deficit, which grew 17 percent to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. McConnell explained to Bloomberg that "it’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future." The deficit has increased 77 percent since McConnell became majority leader in 2015.
Yep. The tax cuts for the rich have created a $1 trillion deficit. This was expected. All economists predicted the cuts would benefit the top 1% and major stock holders. They predicted a huge deficit. And I predicted cuts to Social Security just like what happened here in Texas.
Creating a hole in the budget was all part of the republican plan because it would eventually justify massive cuts to education and services. Texas, by law, requires a balanced budget so what better way to cut education than to create a massive debt then blame the "out of control spending" by the public education community? And that is exactly what happened. Someone had to pay for the tax cuts for the business community so Education was hit by over $5 Billion in just the first year.
This was all part of the plan.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Texas State Representative Dennis Paul on education

Dennis Paul is heartbroken. Bless his heart.

According to Paul's website Dennis Paul is heartbroken about rising property taxes and school funding. HEARTBROKEN! From his website:

Every year, property taxes in HD 129 continue to increase. It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of residents being forced out of their homes because they can’t pay their property tax bills. I support revamping our property tax burden for school funds, helping fund our schools with sales tax proceeds and lowering our district’s property tax rate. But I don't intend to do a damn thing about it.

Ok. I added the last sentence, but it is true. If an elected official is so heartbroken about property taxes, then do something about it don't just yap about it. Paul needs to remember this is a problem created by his party. His party reshaped school funding over 15 years ago and its been an incredible failure resulting in a drop in funding, cuts to teachers, skyrocketing health insurance, and more. It's incredible that any teacher would ever vote for a republican. But they do. Ugh.

According to Reform Austin not only has property taxes skyrocketed, revenues from the state has continued to shrink. Right under Paul's nose. 

Consider Clear Creek ISD. In Fiscal Year 2016, CCISD received $129.3 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $280.6 million. By Fiscal Year 2018, state funding decreased to $106 million, while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $323.7 million. The state’s share dropped 18 percent while the local share went up 15 percent in just three years.
A similar situation is occurring in Pasadena ISD. In 2016, PISD received $358.8 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $157 million. In 2017, state funding decreased to $347.4 million, while local taxpayers’ share increased to $168.8 million. The state’s share dropped 10 percent while the local share went up 8 percent in just one year.

Dennis Paul may be heartbroken but he isn't listening probably because he has never had a town hall meeting with his constituents. Much like every other republican.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Isn't 16 years of Dan Patrick enough?

Texas Lt. Governor is too embarrassed to defend his record of achievements in Texas with his opponent Mike Collier, so he is going to debate Geraldo Rivera instead. From the Austin Statemen:
Democratic rival Mike Collier, who has been pressing to debate Patrick without success, was less than pleased, calling the Rivera challenge a stunt and dismissing Patrick as a “clown.”

From the San Antonio Express News
Clown is right. Patrick is the leader of the white wing of the republic party, the far white wing. He is lucky those in education, including teachers, parents, administrators, etc, still won't take the time to vote and those who do vote the wrong way. That goes for those in law enforcement, public sector employees and Hispanics. His record of leadership is one that would make any white winger proud.

Under Patrick's leadership teacher's salaries have not kept up with the national average. Spending for our public schools has dropped to record lows. Texas now ranks (or reeks) #43 in the nation for public education. Health care costs for retired teachers have skyrocketed and retirement benefits have been cut. This is nothing to brag about or debate your opponent about.

Patrick ushered in open carry of loaded assault rifles in Texas against the wishes of the law enforcement community and just about everyone else. He had the power to stop this insanity but instead fully endorsed it as if walking around the streets with a loaded assault rifle makes our streets safer. (it doesn't) When 5 policemen in Dallas were gunned down with an AK-47 type of weapon Patrick was silent. He was silent about his open carry bill when 26 were killed in Sutherland with a Ruger AR-556. He finally spoke up after 8 students were killed in Santa Fe by donating metal detectors for an ill conceived, limited protection, gimmick that did not address the issue of gun violence.

Patrick as a Senator and Lt Governor has created a tax haven for businesses in Texas passing the deficits on to the tax payers of Texas. Cuts to education and services followed, as planned.

Patrick has been the champion of the so-called "Bathroom bill", another brain fart of an idea. Instead of addressing gun violence, or teachers salaries, or property taxes, Patrick has focused on the number one issue on the minds of Texans, which bathroom kids should use.

So with his record of cuts to our teachers, assault weapons on demand, property taxes out of control, and policing of bathrooms, just to name a few,  it is no wonder Dan Patrick would decline an opportunity to debate his opponent.

Watch Geraldo kick his ass.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rarely do we ask: Is our Teachers learning?

Teachers aren't learning.

Years ago President Bush asked "Is our kids learning?". Seriously he said that. Today we must ask if our teachers are paying attention to the politics affecting their profession, or if parents of students are paying attention to the politics affecting their children's future, or if voters are paying attention to the politics affecting their family members and neighbors lives. They're not.

Each election cycle we see a number of pro-education organizations gather with correctly spelled signs on the south lawn of the capitol. I remember one with  over 5,000 in attendance. Another had 12,000, and yet another 15,000.  These are relatively huge crowds but there are over 300,000 public school teachers and over 600,000 employees in public education. Where were they? Where are they?

Our teachers have been hammered since the Republican Party took over the House, Senate, and Governorship. In 2005 the Republicans passed massive tax cuts to the business community which resulted in predictable massive deficits. In fact the Comptroller of Texas, Carole Keeton Rylander, in a letter to Gov Perry said:

As the state's chief fiscal officer, it is my responsibility to spell out exactly what the Perry Tax Plan means to our state's fiscal integrity. As you have known since it was made public, your plan simply does not pay for itself. As of this moment, this legislation is a staggering $23 billion short of the funds needed to pay for the promised property tax cuts over the next five years.
She was wrong. The plan was $27 Billion short and with that came massive cuts to education, $5 Billion in the first year. But teachers, their families, and friends kept voting for republicans. Over the last 16 years teachers retirement has been cut, the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed and healthcare costs for retirees have soared. Texas has fallen to #43 in the nation in education. Yet they keep voting for republicans or not voting at all.

Its getting hard to fight for teachers when they refuse to learn about the individuals they are voting for or refuse to vote. In the 2018 primaries there seemed to be a sliver of hope with a group advocating for Lt Governor Dan Patrick's opponent in the republican primary. They lost. Again.

If the 300,000+ teachers, 600,000+ public school employees, parents of the students, and their friends and family would vote in support of education, against the republicans in office, and vote their strength the disrespect for those in education would stop. Imediately.

And if 4.8 million Hispanics eligible to vote would vote their strength....

Friday, December 19, 2014

No Place but Texas: Less Racism in Texas School Board

This "No Place but Texas" post might become a series. God knows there simply isn't any other place on earth but Texas for stuff like this. 

You might recall: 
Chris Harris, an elected member of the Hooks Independent School Board, posted a viral image of a Ku Klux Klan member with the caption, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”
The Hooks Independent School Board was going to meet to discuss Harris. It was probably all they could do since he was an elected official. The only way he would be removed from the board is through a recall election, if that was possible, of if he resigned. A day later Harris gave the Board something else to talk about:
A northwest Texas school board member has resigned after posting numerous comments on Facebook referencing the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of the Ferguson riots and protests. 
Chris Harris, formerly on the board for the Hooks Independent School District, apologized for his posts — which included an image of a KKK member with the caption “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Harris has since taken down his Facebook account, Raw Story reported.
Problem solved. Harris seemed to have a recent history of Facebook racism running through his veins. He claimed his racist rants were caused by being accused of being a racist. Go figure.

Well, one gone out of our school system. Who is next?