A Conservative View

Praying that Donald Trump can save Americas freedoms!

Archive for the tag “funding”

EDUCATION- IS THE TAXPAYER RESPONSIBLE FOR FRILLS?

 

I just read an article in today’s (5-25-11) Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that every tax payer in America should read; “Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills” by Stephanie Simon. I personally have some problems with every fact exposed, but I find some refreshing ways to even the burden on what I feel are pure frills. The facts I use are quoted from this article. 

Fact; “After adjusting for inflation, average spending per pupil has increased 44% over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education.” The WSJ article states; “The average salary for a public school teacher nationally has jumped 26% since 2001, though that growth didn’t quite keep pace with inflation.”

For the past few weeks I have posted many articles about education and it appears that Public Schools across America are facing significant reductions in state funding for education. Increasing personnel costs and lower tax revenues are shifting costs to students and their parents by new and increased fees in several parts of the country.

Some public schools have charged for extras such as driver’s education and field trips. Many school districts are now charging for supplies needed to take core classes. In some schools each class has a price tag. One interesting area that should get some specific attention is the costs of sports and other non-core education subjects like band, debate, drama, arts etc.

Some examples extracted from the WSJ article; Fees in Medina, Ohio of $200 for Band, $200 for Concert Choir, $50 to act in a school play and $660 to participate in a high school sport; A 52% increase this year in the Blue Valley ISD in Overland Park Kansas for enrollment and supplies that are typically $235; Next year the Wheaton (Illinois) North High School will charge $221 for baseline registration, $150 for each sport and class fees as much as $50 each. In addition Medina charges $75 for generic school fees, $118.50 for materials used in Biology, physics and other academic courses and $263 for Advanced Placement Exams. Other non-core cost examples included in the article were parking, struggling readers, advanced math, foreign languages and Chess Club.

All American children should receive a tax supported core public education that I had many years ago. The general public seems to agree that this is an American value. Each state has a constitutional requirement to educate our children, but it appears that the variables are significant from state to state. Each state should define “suitable” or “adequate” education that is to be funded with public money. If you feel that charging special fees like the examples included, then contact your State Representative or Senator.

I urge my state, Texas, to call a special legislative session, to define the tax payer’s education responsibilities. They should also force smaller school districts to consolidate. 1265 different school districts is an irresponsible legislative oversight to control spending. School boards refuse to consolidate because they are forced to give up sport nicknames such as “Bulldogs”, etc. This is as asinine as the ego trip for some to attain power of serving on a School Board. If a local school district desires extra benefits involving sports, academic enhancements, clubs etc., let them fund it with local tax increases.

It is time for the people to stand up and force the legislatures to do their job with fiscal responsibility. We have 254 counties and only two have County School Superintendents, Dallas and Harris counties, why? The State of Texas “IS” responsible for every child to receive the same educational opportunity. When will the Governor and Legislature stop blaming the local school boards and make sure all Texas children have equal and adequate opportunities?  

If you agree then pass this around, I would appreciate your comments.

CB

CONGRESS, COURTS AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IGNORE THE LAW

I ALWAYS THOUGHT AMERICA WAS A LAND OF LAWS. OBVIOUSLY ALL THREE BRANVHES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DO NOT AGREE. APPARENTLY ONLY NON-ELECTED CITIZENS MUST FOLLOW THE LAWS. ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE FREE TO IGNORE THE LAWS. LIKE THE DEAD IN MANY STATES THEY CAN ALSO VOTE. 

C BREWER

************************************************************  

By CHRISTINE ARMARIO

Associated  Press

MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to districts around the country Friday, reminding them that all students – legal or not – are entitled to a public education.

The letter comes amid reports that schools may be checking the immigration status of students trying to enroll, and reminds districts they are federally prohibited from barring elementary or secondary students on the basis of citizenship status.

“Moreover, districts may not request information with the purpose or result of denying access to public schools on the basis of race, color or national origin,” said the letter, which was signed by officials from the department’s Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice.

“We put this letter out now because we know school districts are in the process of planning for the next school year, and wanted to make sure they had this in hand,” said Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton. “We were concerned about the number of reports that we’ve received and heard about, and felt it was necessary to make it clear that this has been the law of the land since Ronald Reagan was president.”

A 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyer v. Doe, held that states cannot deny students access to public education, whether they are in the U.S. legally or not. The court ruled that denying public education could impose a lifetime of hardship “on a discrete class of children not accountable for their disabling status.”

The letter comes as the Office of Civil Rights investigates three complaints, and less than a week before the president is expected to deliver a speech on immigration during a visit to Texas.

The Office of Civil Rights is also currently evaluating a complaint filed last month by the Southern Poverty Law Center against schools in Durham County, N.C.

The organization claims discrimination against Latino students. In one instance, a girl attempting to enroll in a district high school was asked for her passport and visa and was told that if she didn’t have one, she must be an illegal alien, said attorney Gerri Katzerman.

Ken Soo, a lawyer representing Durham Public Schools, said the district was looking into the complaint and would correct any problems found.

Katzerman said the issue has become increasingly common in the Deep South as demographics change and more Latino families move in.

“We hear from them a very similar experience, where they attempt to enroll and are asked about their immigration status, are asked for documents they don’t have, and they basically disappear back into the population without having the opportunity to participate in public education,” she said.

Civil rights officials are also investigating a complaint in Hazleton, Penn., where school officials considered requiring four proofs of residency for new students. The proposal has been changed, though some believe the requirements are still too onerous.

Legislation has been introduced in a number of states this year that would authorize districts to inquire about immigration status when students enroll in the district.

Republican Rep. Becky Nordgren, of Alabama, for example, sponsored a bill that would have required students and their parents to provide proof of citizenship to enroll. She said her district has seen a rise in the number of undocumented immigrants and that this has placed an undue cost on the local government.

“Quite frankly, I believe that these issues need to be addressed,” she said.

Nordgren said that her bill stalled after she learned about the 1982 Supreme Court case.

The letter Friday said districts can require students to provide proof of residency within a district, such as phone or water bills, but that immigration status would not be relevant. Districts can also require a birth certificate to confirm a student’s age, but cannot bar enrollment if the certificate is from another country. Nor can they deny enrollment if a student does not provide a social security number.

************************************************************

This is sick. Thanks Tadpole

EDUCATION TEXAS-“WADA” A POLITICALLY CHARGED SOCIAL PROGRAM

 

What I do wish to expand on is how the State of Texas funds education and why the disparity I revealed in the article I posted on April 14, 2011.

To refresh your memory, the 1265 school districts in Texas receive somewhere between $4,000 and $13,000 per student per year. Trying to understand the reasons completely would take the rest of my time on earth. For years each school district received state money based on average daily attendance. If the state forced consolidation of the unnecessary small school districts, and duplication of expenses, there would not be a budget crisis in Texas.

Somewhere in time the Texas Education Agency “T.E.A” and the Texas legislature created and passed a myriad of House and Senate bills that created “WADA”. This was likely promoted by Austin’s progressive lobbyist as another share the wealth adventure. The last try failed miserably. I am sure WADA caused the rapid retirement of several school superintendents with due cause.

“WADA” is Weighted Average Daily Attendance. The word weighted resulted in a nightmare of formulas that I suggest you review yourself. The T.E.A. website has enough information that it was impossible to find the document. I filed a request for public information and in no time was advised how to locate the formula. What I found was a 50 page document that would require hundreds of hours to possibly understand. I am certain that the state had to hire an army of bureaucrats just to answer questions. There is no way to find out how many new business managers had to be hired by the 1265 districts to administer the program.

Some of the terms include; enrichment tax rate, recapture, equalized wealth, compressed tax rate, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, golden pennies, copper pennies, and terms I never encountered in a Graduate degree program and 44 years of business experience.

If there is one State Representative or State Senator that can honestly tell you he completely understands WADA, then ask him to explain it to you. I encourage you to use the following link the T.E.A. provided me and forward it to your Austin legislators.

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=7022&menu_id=645

I will share some features in understandable language of this abysmal abyss. For every pregnant girl you multiply by 2.41. For home bound students you multiply by 5. For students who require speech therapy you multiply by 3. For special education or medically fragile students you multiply by 3. Those needing help with English you multiply by 0.1. For gifted students you multiply by 0.12. There are many more categories included. Just imagine if you had a pregnant student who required home bound help and suffered speech problems you would get average funding multiplied by 10.41. Our local Hemphill Independent School District (HISD) has some 930 students and receive funding for over 1300 if everyone is there every day. I was awed to review their special education and medically fragile program. I will expand on this later.

When you add the other weighted features, it is no wonder the inner-city school districts and the districts in sparsely populated areas like the Big Bend get more money per student. The opportunity for fraud, duplication and misrepresentation is abundant and an army of auditors could not guarantee ethical conduct statewide.

As a business man, I can read this document and shiver with fear in thinking I had to forecast state revenue and produce budgets for a school board to approve. I have been invited to visit the HISD business manager. I hope to make this visit as soon as possible and see the program from the user standpoint.

Clyde Brewer

DHIMMITUDE- A NEW WORD YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND

          

          ALL AMERICANS AND ESPECIALLY DEMOCRATS NEED TO READ !!!!!!!!!
 
 
 
We are needing to be paying attention to what it sounds like.

-New Word For The Day – “Dhimmitude” – What Does It  Mean?

Obama used it in the  health care bill.

Now isn’t this interesting? It was used in the health care law.

Every day there’s another revelation of what Obama and his fellow  Democrats are doing to our country.

Dhimmitude —  I had never heard the word until now. Type it into Google and start  reading. Pretty interesting. It’s on page 107 of the healthcare  bill. I looked this up on Google and yep, it exists. It is a REAL  word.

Word  of the Day: Dhimmitude  is the Muslim  system of controlling non-muslim populations conquered through  jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-muslims in exchange for  tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting  conquered remnants to Islam.

Obama  Care allows the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia Muslim diktat  in the United States . Folks, this is exclusively an Islamic concept  under Sharia Law. So exclusive they had to make up an English word  to define the concept. Why would our government start interjecting  Sharia Law concepts into new broad and sweeping legislation like  health care that would control the US population?  ….Anyone?

Muslims are  specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase  insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam  considers insurance to be “gambling”, “risk-taking”, and “usury” and  is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on  this.

How  convenient. So a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed  against all of their assets, including real estate, cattle, and even  accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because they  refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. Meanwhile, Louis  Farrakhan and all other US Muslims will have no such penalty and  will have 100% of their health needs paid for by the de facto  government insurance. Non-Muslims paying a tax to subsidize  Muslims. This is Sharia Law definition of…  Dhimmitude. This is not a Western Civilization concept.

Dhimmit has two purposes: To enrich Muslims AND to drive conversions  to Islam. “Sure, I’ll be a muslim if it means free health insurance  and no taxes. Where do I sign, bro?”

I  recommend sending this post to your contacts. This is desperately  important and people need to know about it — quickly!

This  really is happening in your country. A fraction at a  time.

Wake up America ! They’re coming in the back  door.

To check it out on Snopes  click here: Health Insurance Exemptions.

 
 
Thanks Ray
 
 
 
 

EDUCATION TEXAS-IS STATE FUNDING ADEQUATE & FAIR?

 

I recently reported that we have 1265 school districts in the state. I have tried to understand the reason for this but there is none. Downsizing and digging deeper in an attempt to understand, I discovered that children in Sabine County where I reside, attend four different school districts. Even though the current census reported that we had surpassed 10,200 people, this makes no business sense.

While working at the local level, I wish to report some figures obtained from the Texas Education Association (TEA). The State of Texas appropriated $7,561 per student average across the state. The US state average is nearly $10,000 per student. The highest is Vermont that provides $15,139 per student. I asked our State Representative, Wayne Christian, in a letter last month why the two largest school districts in Sabine County received less than $5,000 per student. I have not received a response but he did have a press release issued on April 7th that addresses some of my questions. My two letters to Mr. Christian and his first response is on my blog should you desire to read them. I will post his news release soon.

Hemphill ISD received $4,806 and West Sabine ISD received $4,596 per student. For everyone’s information the Westbrook ISD received $13,121, Wink-Loving ISD received $12,526, Sundown ISD received $12,544 and Webb ISD received $11,057. It would be nice to see more people ask why! I hope I am not alone as a layman in trying to understand and improve education and equalizing the funding for all children in America.

My current focus is to visit with educators, administrators and school boards in east Texas. This will permit me to determine how to better understand how we can all help improve education. I will share the knowledge gained in future articles.

I had my first meeting with Mr. Glen Pearson April 7th and gained a much better understanding of the Hemphill ISD. I was surprised to find we do have some impressive vocational programs offered to the K-9-12 students in Sabine County. Mr. Pearson recommended that I meet with Ms. Lana Comeaux, at the Sabine Area Career Center, and let her provide me with the details of the various programs. These programs provide the area students with vocational opportunities and college credits. The Hemphill ISD pays for two courses each semester. These courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends. I will try to meet with Ms. Comeaux next week and write an article explaining the details as soon as possible.

Mr. Pearson was also concerned about the variations in state funding and it appears that Wayne Christian is also looking into the matter. My overall knowledge of Hemphill ISD was greatly expanded in the meeting. I will share some of the results of my meeting with Mr. Pearson in future articles. I hope to visit with Mr. Pearson again on April 21st.

One evening a few years ago, my closest neighbor, Dr. Michael Neal, told me an educational related story that I will never forget. He had a sixteen year old boy in for a physical. During the exam, he asked the boy how he was doing in school. The response was “OK”. He then asked him what he desired to be after his high school experience. The response was, “I just want to be a better hawg hunter than my daddy.” I will always respect this honesty and this is one example of education just wasting this young boy’s time.

Hopefully someday, we can find the right formula to educate the children and align them to their destined place in society. All children were not intended to be identical and some are not capable of being a doctor, lawyer, teacher or a rocket scientist.

Observing our political leaders in Washington D.C. and Austin over the past several years has me convinced that the education of all politicians has been an abysmal experience. As most of these politicians are lawyers, it is apparent that common sense is not a subject required or offered in our universities or law schools.

Clyde Brewer

EDUCATION TEXAS-SHOULD TESTING BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TEACHING?

 

 

The good news for teachers is that the ill-fated Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) testing will be given a well deserved funeral in 2011. This was an unfunded mandate that never deserved a breath and actually replaced valuable teacher time. Teachers were forced to teach for the test rather than teach to have students gain knowledge.

The bad news is our illustrious Legislature mandated 12 end-of–course assessments for high school students in Senate Bill 1031 in 2007 and created new graduation requirements for an additional year of math and science plus grade 3-8 assessments in House Bill 3 in 2009. This resulted in a new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness or STAAR test to replace TAKS. Wow!

So STAAR grades 3-8 test will include:

Grade 3 Reading and Math

Grade 4 Reading, Math and Writing

Grade 5 Reading, Math and Science

Grade 6 Reading and Math

Grade 7 Reading, Math and Writing

Grade 8 Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies.

STAAR High School tests will include:

English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History, and United States History. 

In plain language the new tests will be used beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Students entering ninth grade next year will be the first who must meet the extra course in math and science and be subjected to the end-of-course testing requirements. By the way they must also pass their classes, in order to earn a diploma.

Another tidbit you have to search for is what does all of this STAAR surprise cost? A concerned citizen, using the open record law found the answer. The STAAR testing program has been awarded to a for-profit company in the amount of $468,382,617.00 that will cover the period from 2010-2015.

By the way, there has been no additional training developed for the K-12 administrators or teachers and they face not having textbooks or any preparatory classes to prepare students for the additional science/math requirements. Like the TAKS program teachers will be forced to teach to the STAAR requirements. Any failure of students to pass the tests will be blamed on the teachers like happened when TAKS produced negative results.

If our Superintendents and teachers were allowed to demand discipline there would be no need for a testing program. It is criminal that teachers must have liability insurance to protect their personal property. No wonder we have a broken system. It should be no surprise that our Texas education system in our prisons is highly successful, why? There is no discipline problem with prisoners. Why can’t educators accept that until teachers and administrators are allowed to demand discipline, wasting money with testing is irresponsible! They do not care.

Texas current academic performance measured with all states has diminished over the past few years and we are planning to slash the state funding as much as 20%. It appears that someone in Austin is back to smoking weeds. Only dreamers like the State Board of Education and the legislature can develop these pie-in-the-sky grandiose programs. They believe that they can cut spending and snap their fingers and all Texas students will be ready for the universities and we will have thousands of Academics and Rocket Scientists, available to find unemployment?

When will someone in America wake up and admit that every child will not attend a college or university. We spend billions year after year preparing all children to go to a place of higher learning, knowing full well most will never go.

America is the only industrialized nation on the planet that has little or no trades education for those who will eventually be policemen, firefighters, plumbers, carpenters, cosmetologists, small business owners, etc. Maybe if we could have courses to prepare some students for a political future, we could reduce the costs of our Congress and Legislatures. Most politicians are lawyers and they could be free to return to doing the legal work they were educated to perform. The way they have screwed up America, I suspect some would have to be re-educated on how to chase ambulances again!

For those who read my article on education in the Texas prisons, providing free trades education in high school might help the ones who are lost or drop out of school. Knowledge that would help them find jobs might keep some from joining gangs, selling drugs or other criminal activity. They would fit into society at graduation. Now, if they desire to learn a trade after high school, it is not free and the ones who can’t afford higher education certainly can’t afford the trade school fees.

The only way to get a free education today without grants is to go to prison. It would be nice if the U.S. Department of Education could provide PELL grants for a trade’s education initiative. They spend billions annually to send the under-privileged and the ill-prepared to a college or university with little or no hope that the majority will graduate. They try to make the shoe fit even if it is impossible and accomplish a ten percent result. If we would evaluate every child after the eighth grade and have two courses of opportunity, trades versus academics, we would have the right shoe on the right foot.

What I have outlined is nothing more than common sense. Sadly the academics and politicians that design and fund education were never subjected to a course in common sense and most have never had to make a payroll every week. The really sad part is they really do not care about our children as they just want power and prestige.

For those who wish to keep up with education in Texas, you will find a lot of information on the Texas Education Agency website. I enjoy reading material at TexasISD.com which is the Homepage for Texas School Officials.

Clyde Brewer

RESPONSE FROM MY STATE REPRESENTATIVE- WAYNE CHRISTIAN

When I posted the article on Texas Education on Monday March 14th and it was printed in the Sabine County Reporter, I promised I would share any response from my State Representative or State Senator if received. The following is an “E” message on State letterhead from Mr. Christian today. Other than misspelling my name and some other typos it explains his position on education that you can review. I sincerely appreciate the response and I hope if Mr. Christian, or someone on his staff, will read my second posting on March 21st and another I am drafting for March 28th. The Sabine County Reporter printed the March 21st article in this weeks edition. I would like to thank the Reporter for sharing my research and facts with local citizens and will continue to print my work.

The intent of my work is not to criticize funding. I think it is time for someone in authority insist that a review is mandated to investigate the variation of funding and determine if every one of Texas 1265 school districts deserve to have funding reduced equally? I do not think that any one in Austin has the foggiest idea if every school district is equally screwed up. Punishing the good school districts with the same formula as the bad ones makes no “common sense” to me. Please see if you agree and send me your comments. I do not plan to stop my reviews as long as I have one breath left in the 80-year-old body. I care about the children of America on especially the ones in Texas.   C Brewer

March 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Brwer,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I share your belief that education of our children is of primary importance to the future of the state of Texas. Our Texas Constitution mandates it as a  priority of utmost importance of state government.  As your state representative, I have consistently upheld that principle for more than a decade. My record reflects that I have continually supported the  school funding measures and salary increases advocated by teachers and educational leaders in my district. My priorities have not changed and I continue to place education funding at the top of my list of concerns in keeping with the will of my constituents.

With all that is being reported and discussed about the revenue shortfall in Texas, I understand your concerns about the impact of anticipated budget cuts to funding for our schools. To further clarify the challenge before the Legislature in how to spend the dollars that are available, I want to share some information that you may not have previously seen.  As the statistics below will demonstrate, Texas has consistently put education first and increased the overall percentage and dollar amount spent on education. In the current biennium, education was funded at 60.7 % of the entire budget. The Comptroller has reported that Texas public education spending nearly doubled during the last decade, increasing from $28 billion to nearly $55 billion and spending per pupil rose by 63% percent to almost $12,000 per pupil.  If the Texas public education system were a private company it would be the fifth largest company in the world by employee count, employing 646,815 people during the 2008 fiscal year. While spending has increased for education, the teacher to non-teacher ratio has steadily risen from 5:1 in 1975 to 1:1 today. These statistics and the accompanying charts show that Texas has constantly put education first and has increased funding year after year above and beyond inflation and increased enrollment numbers.

During the decades when the Texas’ economy was booming, the Legislature invested the largest portion of the budget in public education. I have included some graphs that illustrate what I mean. However revenues have fallen due to the national economic downturn and while it appears that economic recovery is taking place in Texas, it is only occurring at about 2-3% annually which means we cannot expect to be back where we were until at least 2014. Based on the Comptroller’s report, the estimated shortfall indicates that we will have $18-28B less to spend for the 2012-2013 biennium.

So what are the options for dealing with this shortfall? The reality is that Texas cannot spend more than it expects to bring in. Our wise founders made sure of that by writing it into our Constitution that, unlike the federal government, Texas must balance her budget. Some are in favor of draining the Rainy Day Fund as a ready solution. However, spending down the entire fund of $9.4B will not “fix” the problem since it only covers about 1/3 of the shortfall and would leave us with no reserve. We would be in the same fiscal hole next budget cycle if we do not fix the underlying problem: We are spending more than we have. I  will consider utilizing some portion of the Rainy Day Fund to pay off non-recurring expenses, but  again  this does not solve the problem. So the most responsible action is to first focus on the core responsibilities and functions of government, become more efficient and cut waste. All state funded programs, not just education, will experience budget reductions. In my own office, I have cut the budget by 10% immediately and by 14% after the legislative session and eliminated one full time staff position.  Public schools must make the same tough decisions. I am of the firm belief that classroom instruction must be protected, while overgrown bureaucracy and inefficiency must be dealt with.

I agree with my constituents that there are many state programs that should be downsized before public education.  I have been trumpeting this message for some time as the budget for health and human services (30% of the total  budget) continues to increase. It is projected that the implementation of President Obama’s health care plan will grow Texas Medicaid rolls by 60% increasing the budget for health and human services so that it approaches or even surpasses that of education.  Much of the federal funding Texas receives for programs related to health and  human services, environmental regulation, highways and even education come with strings attached that force expansion of government and limit efforts to prioritize spending in accordance with what constituents and local officials say they want. Logical steps to restrain growth of the government in these areas are blocked because of the intrusion by the  federal government. I am standing against, and urging my colleagues to resist, the federal unfunded mandates which siphon off resources that otherwise could be used for Texas’ priorities, starting with education. This is a fundamental issue that must be addressed if  we are to manage our budget in accordance with Texan priorities.

Members of the Appropriations Committee have the responsibility to establish the amounts that each state agency will be allocated in the Appropriations bill.  Although I have not been assigned to serve on the Appropriations Committee, I will work with the committee members throughout the process, debate and vote on the complete Appropriations package along with my colleagues when it passes out of Committee to the floor of the House.

Fiscal responsibility makes for hard choices now, but down the road, Texas will benefit in economic stability and growth. We have a good foundation to build upon. The Comptroller reported on March 4, 2011, that  significant economic indicators, including job growth and  sales tax collections, signal  that the Texas economy has emerged from the recent recession. More people are moving to Texas than any other state. Our Gross State Product increased by 3.4 percent in 2010 outpacing that of the nation which increased by 2.8 percent.  Ultimately, fostering economic recovery and growth in Texas through sound fiscal policy is the best way to ensure that Texas schools are well-funded and equipped to provide an excellent education for the children of Texas.

Thank you again for writing me about your concerns. If I or my staff can be of assistance, please feel free to contact my office again.

Sincerely,

Wayne Christian

=======

COMMENTS:

tadpole75948
Mar 23, 2011 @ 19:54:45 [Edit]

Your blog —
“According to the latest figures I have obtained, Texas spends an average of $7561.00 per student annually to provide K-12 education.”

The Honorable Wayne Christian —-
“The Comptroller has reported that Texas public education spending nearly doubled during the last decade, increasing from $28 billion to nearly $55 billion and spending per pupil rose by 63% percent to almost $12,000 per pupil.”

Is it important to know which per student number is correct?

By increasing the spending from $28 billion to nearly $55 billion, did the quality of education for our kids double?

Reply

  • cbeck75948
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 20:30:56 [Edit]

    You are correct but that is a tricky figure. Some Texas school districts get over $12,000 per student most get less than $5000. One actually gets $13,121 according to the state. Hemphill got $4806 and Pineland got $4596 according to the latest WADA figures I can find. His $12,000 average is hogwash. I will publish some of the latest WADA figures in an article to be posted on April 4th. By then I will have had time to check all of the numbers in his letter. The passage of Texas House Bill 3, adding a fourth year of math and science in 2009 will increase the drop out rates of students that will allow the average to go up as there will be a lot fewer students. I am working on that bruhaha now. I doubt the Texas Legislature even know what the bill they passed will cause, I am certain they will not admit it. Money is not the answer, the system is broke and they do not even know it in Austin. The Universities have created the mess as the Legislature will not listen to the K-12 folks who know what needs to be done.

    Reply

Lisa Felske
Mar 24, 2011 @ 11:13:24 [Edit]

Mr. Christian obtained his data from the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI). I have major issues with this data. The staffing ratios in 1975 compared to today are not apples to apples comparisons. In 1975, the Texas Education Agency did not code many non-instructional positions, so people like custodians, bus drivers, school nurses, librarians and cafeteria workers were not included. Also not included are the many staff needed to comply federal regulations for Special Education students. Federal laws for Special Eduation were not enacted until 1975, and district now employ non-instructional personnel such as speech therapists and occupational therapists. Districts also now have to employ testing coordinators to comply with state testing (mandated by Texas but never funded). Mr. Christian’s “research” is highly questionable.

The assertion that Texas public schools receive $12,000 per pupil funding is just blantantly not true. It is true that a few districts do get that much funding (for reasons that are impossible to decipher), but over 1250 districts do not. Perhaps he is using data from expenditures in the Comptroller’s FAST report. Those numbers are for total expenditures, which includes capital expenditure (football stadiums) and debt service (payment on past stadiums). Maybe it is time to talk about cutting high school football instead of school nurses (who are non-instructional employees).

EDUCATION IN TEXAS PART 1-A SAD TALE OF FAILURE

 

For the past few weeks I have been posting the sad state of education in America, using Wisconsin as a benchmark. When you see what has happened in Wisconsin, California, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and other states that have closed shop laws, it is terrible. I think that somewhere back in time when the Unions took over leadership of public employees and introduced strikes, money making insurance schemes, etc., everyone forgot the taxpayer. Apparently the taxpayer did not care and in regards to education, everyone forgot the children.

Well, in Texas we do not have closed shops. We do not have the unionization of public employees. We do not have strikes. We do not provide adequate funding for our children’s education. We have no idea whether funding, greed, graft, capability or leadership is the reason our education system is inadequate.

Let me share some facts:

Texas has 254 counties.

Texas has 1265 school districts.

Texas has 4,331,751 K-12 students.

Texas has 289,480 full time teachers.

Texas has 33,630 ungraded teachers. 

These figures along with myriads of facts and statistics are available on the internet and I feel sure this will be figures that our state legislatures and Governor have never seen. When you finish reading this posting, you will likely wonder if the Texas State leadership should meet in Rusk rather than Austin. For the unaware Rusk, Texas is the location of the most recognized mental institution, “Funny Farm”, in Texas. 

This post will be the first in a series about education in Texas. I sincerely hope you will contact your local State Representative and State Senator to explain their position. There is no use in wasting your time with contacting the Governor, Rick Perry, as he has done more to destroy education in Texas than the federal government. He will likely be trying to succeed Obama next year and as far as education is concerned, he will try to make all states as bad as Texas.

Let me provide you with some questions to ask the politicians who represent you. This includes your local Mayor, School Board President and the loons in Austin, or maybe in Rusk. The ones in Rusk are at least incapable of spending your tax money. I was able to find one State Senator, Florence Shapiro, who represents District 8, I will exempt from my list of loons. She has challenged the proposed madness in writing and is a strong supporter for assuring our children are not education and political pawns for her entire career. If anyone else in Austin feels slighted, show me what you have written to support the kids.  

Unfortunately some of the facts that follow are as late as I can find for you to evaluate. If you find any pertinent information, please forward me a copy.

Facts of Texas rankings out of all 50 states (not Obama’s 57) including Washington D.C. which makes 51 positions to rank;

Expenditure per student in 2008, Texas ranked 43rd.

Student poverty rate in 2008, Texas ranked 8th.

Fourth grade students in math in 2009, Texas ranked 32nd.

Fourth grade students in reading in 2009, Texas ranked 41st.

Eighth grade students in math in 2009, Texas ranked 21st.

Eighth grade students in reading in 2009, Texas ranked 40th.

Nationally defined graduation rates, Texas ranked 35th.

*School finance inequity, Texas ranked 41st.

*School finance inequity – or the degree to which per pupil spending varies across districts within a state relative to the state’s average per pupil expenditure – is an important factor in determining educational equity. The U.S. Department of Education calculates school finance inequity for each state in accordance with the Education Finance Incentive Grant formula, assigning each state an “equity factor.” The more equitable the distribution of education funding across districts in a state, the lower the equity factor. For more detailed information on the funding formula and see No Child Left Behind Act – Title I School Funding Equity Factor.1

At this time you can digest this and ask two simple questions to anyone who will listen. Please ask the questions to your State Representative and State Senator. I will ask Robert Nichols and Wayne Christian to respond to this by sending them a copy, they supposedly represent me. Although I do not expect any written answer, if I get any response I will share it with you when received.

Question #1 Can anyone why we have 1265 school districts in Texas?

Question #2 What reasons justifies the over 20% reduction of next year’s education budget?

Wait until you see some more figures on what Texas spends for education and a wide disparity between the 1265 school districts. These figures will get you excited if you pay school taxes or have children enrolled in Texas schools.

The above sounds like I am a liberal democrat thumping the super majority republicans in Austin to fire up contempt. There is not a republican in the State of Texas more conservative than myself. I just can’t sit on my hands and watch the slashing of education with no thought concerning the negative impact on the children. That is not leadership.

C Brewer

AMERICAN ROYALTY-PART 5

Some republicans in the Senate recently showed some common sense and leadership that is refreshing. Someone in Washington finally acknowledged that the people are fed up with irresponsible spending. They actually blocked the pork laden “omnibus” spending bill and a few actually promised to eliminate “earmarks” in the future.

“Earmarks” are actually a way to hide ridiculous expenditures that are promised to those in their local districts or States so they can get re-elected forever. Another way to elevate themselves to “Royalty” status that we have been revealing.

It was sick to see the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, Daniel Inouye D-Hawaii seek support for the “Oinker” from some of the republicans like Thad Cochran R-Mississippi, Robert Bennett R-Utah, and Kit Bond R-Missiouri among others to try to muster 60 votes necessary to stop a filibuster that Jim Dement R-South Carolina and others including some democrats had promised. He was in a hurry as some of his old republican cronies like Bennett, Bond and George Voinovich were not returning to the Senate next year and were immune to worrying about re-election.

Even though Inouye’s measures would have replaced a slightly less expensive bill than the one passed by the House of Representatives. The House bill did not contain earmarks like road and agriculture reasearch projects, water treatment plants and grants for local anti-drug programs. House democrats would have jumped at a chance to accept the Senate version that had $80 million in grants to States and Indian Tribes to preserve pacific salmon and 13 million in clean water grants for Alaska native villages and other rural areas.

The methods utilized by both democrats and republicans to wait until the last two months of a term to pass spending of anything is deplorable. They sit on their hands for 22 months naming courthouses and planning for re-election before they go to work. Why do they do this every cycle?  Because we let them. Who is to blame, we are because we allow them to maintain “Royalty” status.

January will bring an opportunity for the newly elected republican majority in the US House of Representatives. The new Speaker, John Boehner R-Ohio will be the most powerful person in Washington for the next two years. We have all read how the House can stop some of the madness by just not funding the programs like “Obamacare”.

The newly elected majority in the House of Representatives and the real Senate conservatives will be able to even do more by eliminating useless government agencies. Why do we have a Department of Energy and Education for two? They do nothing but interfere with the States and were non-existent for some 200 years. How many of you common people really think that the republicans will actually do anything drastic to reduce the Washington power mismanagement? I don’t think they will do anything significant, just enough to get re-elected. Until we throw them all out and start a third party, nothing will change in the power structure because none of them want to!

For anyone else who is fed up with the “Royalty” status we have in Washington, do something. If you feel incapable then send me any information you feel will help and I will publish verified factual data. I know that I am just one 80-year-old veteran who is fed up, but at least I’m trying my best to stir up as many as I can.

My next part of this series will be to show some more inequities that the “Royal” have over us common Folks. Please send me any examples you might have read to show the differences. I read every article I can find to create these messages.

C Brewer        

Post Navigation