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Texas Education Funds

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by PineappleMama, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/06/1764299/texas-leaders-threaten-lawsuit.html

    Opening
    Post Just The Article

    AUSTIN — In the latest round of the Texas vs. Washington political battle, the state's Republican leaders Thursday blasted a U.S. Senate-passed mandate on education funding in Texas, with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst threatening legal action against the federal government if the House upholds the measure in a critical vote next week.

    The provision applies only to Texas and was crafted by Texas Democrats in Congress, who say they want to ensure that more than $800 million in federal education dollars earmarked for the state isn't diverted to other purposes. But Gov. Rick Perry and Dewhurst said compliance with the measure would violate the Texas Constitution and consequently prevent Texas from receiving the education funds.

    "Washington is deft at placing targets on the backs of Texans, and this proposal paints a target on our schoolteachers and schoolchildren," Perry said.

    Dewhurst, presiding officer of the state Senate, said he plans to ask Attorney General Greg Abbott to sue the federal government if the House complies with the Senate version of the bill and retains a House-passed amendment authored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat.

    Texas Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both Republicans, opposed the measure, which was part of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. A House vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

    The bill includes $10 billion in education funds that would be available to the states. Texas's share has been estimated at $800 million to $830 million.

    Doggett's amendment stems from Democrats' assertions that the Republican-led state government mishandled federal stimulus money last year, using it to bail itself out of a budget jam instead of drawing from a rainy-day fund. Democrats have also blasted Perry for refusing to apply for a share of $4.3 billion from President Barack Obama's Race to the Top school improvement program.

    Under the amendment, Texas would not have access to the education funds unless the governor certifies that the state will maintain the proportion of state education funding for the 2010-2011 fiscal year and for two more fiscal years through 2013. Perry and Dewhurst said the requirement violates a state constitutional ban prohibiting the governor from committing to future legislative spending, and they contend that means the state is unable to claim the education money.

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/06/1764299/texas-leaders-threaten-lawsuit.html#ixzz0vr5Y5FeZ
     

  2. 2nd Post... MY TAKE....

    Well this is NOT good.

    #1 Really obvious thing is that No Other State has ANY strings attached to their cut of these federal education funds. Only Texas.

    #2 Texas Constitution has a clause in it... you cannot budget more than you will take in. Period. Now overspending happens, but you cannot plan the budget that way. This is so the state doesn't end up in debt, if possible. IMHO it's a GREAT THING. The state's economy cannot purposely be sabotaged. California does not have such a clause, and look where they are at! So I'm all for it.

    The string on these funds is that the same level would be required the next year. Whether Texas has the funds available or not. That clause makes it to where Texas cannot put X on the budget if there's not a clear path for X to be paid for. So, in order to stick to that clause they would have to rob, say police, fire, rescue funds, in order to meet this requirement. They would have to design the budget solely to meet this requirement and to heck with anything else. And they'd be required to stick to it no matter what happens. IE if there was a surplus of these funds they could not redirect them to the police they robbed, it would have to sit there. What's the point in having education if you get shot on the way to school?

    So, the only option to meet this requirement AND still meet the state's other needs (ala police) would be to budget everything as planned and then throw the education requirement on top.... which would make the budget unbalanced... which violates the Texas Constitution blatantly. If Texas breaks that part of our Constitution, which part will Washington demand next? This is just WRONG.

    #3 It was Texas' own elected (DEMOCRAT) folks who pushed for this. They claim it's the only way to make sure the Republicans spend the funds the way that the people, sic Democrats, want. Last year the funds weren't spent the way Democrats wanted, so this year they went to Washington to try and force it. To me this is like the kid going home and telling big brother to beat up the class president because his motion to give everyone a free pencil wasn't passed... n'mind that the reason it wasn't passed was because they had to choose between a free pencil or going on a field trip and the majority chose field trip.

    #4 The Dems who wrote this, and I imagine the other state reps who are helping, KNOW about the clause. They KNOW it will become a choice between upholding the Texas Constitution and Education... THEY masterminded this choice... and IMO either way Texas loses. If the leaders cave for the sake of the kids, our state loses its sovereignty. If they don't cave, uphold State LAW, then they're the bad guys who don't care about Texas children or their education. Pretty darn sneaky of the Dems if you ask me.

    #5 One article had a quote from one of the Dems bragging that they had 33 school superintendents behind them on this. Made it sounds like this was an amazing majority. Thing is, there are over ONE THOUSAND school districts, and thus over 1000 supers, in this state. 33 is an extremely low percentage. I don't much appreciate them making it out like they're doing what the majority wants, what educators want, etc.

    It's just more political pandering... and Texas children are the ones that will suffer for it. Whether it's because our state stands by the LAW and just doesn't get federal funds... a major it... or whether it flat out breaks the law and robs safety funds, thereby lowering the safety of said children. Either way it's the children that will suffer. And I am BEYOND peeved that Washington has the nerve to attack Texas this way...

    And, I hope this little pattern doesn't continue... First attacking McCain's home state... and now they're coming after Bush's...
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    The feds should not be messing with internal state business. Just like states shouldn't meddle in federal affairs. Not sure on the federal level, but I know that in my state it is illegal to specifically target legislation at a single entity; doing so voids the legislation.
     
  4. Is that an Arizona specific thing or is that a federal thing that could be sited in this case?

    With this one... if Texas doesn't cave then they just can't have the funds... funds that are needed for schools... and that every other state can get without betraying their state laws...

    So... even if it did 'nullify' the law within the state... well I don't know how great that would be... if it's still valid as far as DC is concerned then they just don't release the funds...

    OY this bites.
     
  5. WyandotteTX

    WyandotteTX Songster

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    This is not surprising that Lloyd Doggett was behind this. He is the king of liberals in the state of Texas and is a true believer that the government should be in control. I live in the Austin area and see him on the news all of the time. He is nauseating to me personally. But, he will continually be re elected because his district is home to the University of Texas and the multitude of liberal thinkers that reside in and around that institution.
    I am an educator in the State of Texas and I dont want this money for the same reasons that Pineapple Mama stated. Its fiscally irresponsible in the long run for our state.
     
  6. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

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    Quote:Actually, California does have this requirement as well. What has happened in California has more to do with a 2/3 requirement to pass any budget, and more than 1/3 of the legislature not caring if any budget is passed.
     
  7. Ah gotcha. Sorry. I had a Cali friend back when IOUs were being written I think it was... say "Wish we had something like that" so I just assumed Cali didn't... *blush* Thanks for enlightening me on that one!
     

  8. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Songster

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    Stories like this drive me nuts.

    "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. "

    and

    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. "
    Thomas Jefferson
     
  9. http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/12/2396588/federal-jobs-bill-splits-texas.html

    It's been passed & signed with the Texas Only Sanctions 100% intact. Now Texas has to choose between education funds from Uncle O and upholding the Texas Constitution... Should we accept that Texas Democrats think using children for political gain is acceptable? So much so that they would target their own state, and... get their 'friends' up there to play along? THIS IS NOT WHAT TEXAS WANTS OR NEEDS... as evidence by only 33 of the OVER 1000 Superintendents willing to stand behind it. I don't consider less than 3% a majority... do you? I cannot believe the blue team has the balls to attack a state like this, to declare a war, and to use school funds to pay the butcher's bill.


    Posted that ^ on my facebook... and I my stomach was literally rolling when A TEACHER AT MY KIDS SCHOOL said this...



    Seems to me the problem is with the Texas Constitution.
    I have absolutely no problem with the federal govornment demanding that money given for education needs to be spent on education. If the Texas Constitution needs to be ammended, then so be it. I certainly do not want the money going to some other place. It is there for the schools and Texas should be able to say that it will go to the schools.

    [​IMG] That is SO the wrong answer to be getting from Texas Teachers who are SUPPOSED to be teaching the bloody Constitution and Texas Constitution in class. A state's laws shouldn't have to be changed to accommodate the ebbs and flows of Washington politics... good grief the things would be as thick as the Tax Code.

    If EVERY state was required to spend these funds only on education... fine, no problem if the law applies equally to ALL citizens.

    But that isn't the case here.

    Texas is being ordered to use State Only Funds to match For TWO YEARS what the FED (with NATIONAL resources) came up with for ONE YEAR.

    Why are MY children (US Citizens) being targeted for this financial burden and threat to their schools, but kids in Chicago do not have the same burden? San Diego? Miami? Washington DC itself?
     
  10. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

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    I just want to point out that amending the Texas constitution isn't exactly unusual. It has something like 450-500 amendments, with more proposed every session. And Texas routinely plays fast and loose with laws it has drafted for funds...the lottery supposed to be going to education and the hotel tax to parks are two that come immediately to mind.

    The fact that Texas balanced the last budget on stimulus money shouldn't be forgotten either.
     

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