Sunday, June 26, 2005

New bills for Texas education getting nowhere

Dysfunctional Texas politics at its best:
the link

"Texas lawmakers began to reassemble the broken pieces of school finance and tax reform Wednesday largely by crafting bills similar to ones that crumbled in disagreement last month.

"We could very well have a train wreck," said Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, House Ways and Means Committee member.

The committee is pushing the same tax bill that the Senate refused to swallow last month."

"I am optimistic, Pollyanna, I guess, because we have come a long way," Senate Education Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said.

"Today our funding system ties all schools together," Sen. Todd Staples, R-Palestine, said. "The problem I see with (the House plan) it is that we are creating two classes."

Or, as Van de Putte described it: "The big dogs are getting real fat under the House version."

Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, Ways and Means vice chairman, said he is concerned with the proposed tax reform measure. "I came here to fund excellence in schools, and this bill does not do that," he said.

Perry's plan helps rich at others' expense
A Chronicle analysis shows wealthy would save, but renters would pay more. Gov. Rick Perry's plan for property tax relief would provide a windfall for the wealthiest families in Texas, but for lower-income renters the governor's plan would be a financial drain on the family budget, a Houston Chronicle analysis showed. And after more than a year of legislative wrangling over property tax relief, the tax savings for the median family in Texas would amount to about $150 a year under Perry's plan — a savings of about $12.75 a month.

The real winner of the school property tax cuts would be business, which pays about 54 percent of all the school property taxes in Texas."

The reality of the situation, IMHO, teachers and poor school districts will lose. The poor will pay the brunt of the cost and no real improvement will be made in our schools. What we need is a state income tax to get our schools improved.


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