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Archive for the tag “Sabine County Reporter”

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FAILURES.

To hopefully get more Americans to demand that our veterans are treated at least as well as illegal aliens please share this with everyone. I wanted to re=blog this article after my latest article was published.

If every politician in Washington was required to have read this article and letter from Bob Kustermann that was published eleven months ago, Bob might still be alive. How we treat our veterans is inhumane at best. I followed this article with another plea titled “What has happened to America”on September 17, 2015 and it appears that no one really cares if we just let these brave Americans just die and go away.

In Bob’s last visit to the VA last month he was deathly ill and while they were arguing on what to do he checked himself out and went home to die at 69 waiting to start dialysis as his kidneys were failing. I wonder how many thousand times this happens every day? The saddest part of this story is that no one really seem to care. Is there anyone in America who knows how to get the attention of someone who will do something to shut down the Veterans hospitals and at least treat our veterans equally as we treat illegal aliens free.

I have some 550 people who read this blog and If they all send it to people on their mail list maybe a copy will find one of the people running for President. Maybe if FOX news and Megan Kelly would ask this question in one of the debates instead of trying to defeat Donald Trump with “Gotcha” questions it would get exposure from the biased media. If we had a media that cared this issue would have been fixed a long time ago. Two people commented on the original article. One was my son and the other was a friend from Melbourne Australia. Please read the following and help slow down this tragedy. C Brewer 

AMERICAN VETERANS CARE – RED TAPE AND DISCRIMINATION! Published March 25, 2015

I sincerely hope this article makes you sick. The only people we have treated worse than the Indians, including illegal aliens, are our military veterans. I am extremely qualified to state the facts and verify the specific facts documented in the letter I ask to post as I am a veteran of the military. I am not a veteran of any combat or foreign service although I have likely visited and worked in more foreign countries, thirty-two to be specific, than 96% of every lobbyist, Congressman or the White House “Kingdom”. I volunteered and with my parents approval, I joined the US Navy Reserve in 1947 when I was 17. The Korean War seemed imminent and I volunteered for active duty in April 1948 and was honorably discharged on August 30, 1952. I had to serve an additional year as all enlistments were extended during the Korean war.

I only asked one time for any federal veteran benefit, some help with some uninsured drugs, and it was denied because I was earning more than the current poverty level. I did earn a military funeral but I have ask my wife not to even notify anyone from our government except my Federal Entitlement benefit that used to be called Social Security so they will not harass her. Writing this blog demands that I read facts and when I read a copy of this letter in our weekly local Sabine County Reporter, it disturbed me deeply. To even think we treat our veterans worse than illegal aliens is unbelievable. In essence an eligible veteran is treated worse by our government than the Democrats and illiterates (some are not both), who never worked or intend to work and draw welfare.

Even Medicaid is more responsive as the new VA Choice Card. The fact that all doctors in rural areas are not qualified is just another bureaucratic waste of time and money. The fact that our only hospital director or Board had no information is just another way to deny veterans benefits equal to aliens. They should be given the same benefits as I receive with Medicare and the government should pay their deductibles and premiums that I have to pay. Shut down the Veterans hospitals or make them available to everyone. Set the veterans free from oppression.

Please read this and pass this on to everyone you know. The really sad part is that the media, including Fox, has reported this change as an added benefit to our veterans. For Gods sakes how can what this letter describes be viewed as an improvement of any kind.

Bob Kustermann  is a good friend on mine along with all of the other veterans in Sabine County Texas.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to ask for your help with the new VA Choice Card. I received mine about a month and a half ago and called the number that was on the card to make sure I was qualified for this benefit, which it turns out, I am.

I live in Hemphill, Texas with the nearest VA clinic in Lufkin, Texas, approximately 60 miles away. The information I received indicated that if you live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA clinic or your VA appointment was more than 30 days away, you could see a local doctor.  The VA also indicated that our local hospital, Sabine County Hospital, and local doctors are currently eligible to participate. 

When I first called, the VA asked for my information and said for me to call back in 7 days  to see if I was qualified.  The VA then informed me that if I needed an appointment with a local doctor to call them back and the VA would set up the appointment.  The VA then informed me it would take another 7 days to get this appointment approved, taking 14 days from the initial call to just schedule the appointment, not yet seeing a doctor for treatment.

One of my concerns is that I am required to have a physical exam twice a year.  In order to accomplish this I must travel the 60 miles to the Lufkin VA clinic two weeks in advance of my physical exam for blood work, and of course the 60 mile return trip, for a five-minute lab test.  I then have to make the 120 mile round trip two weeks later for the physical exam.  Many of the veterans I help in Sabine County cannot either physically make the trip to Lufkin or cannot financially afford the trip.

I recently was granted the opportunity to make a presentation on the VA Choice Card to our local Hospital Board.  Hospital Administrator Diana Taylor informed me that she has placed several phone calls and sent two emails to the VA within the past month requesting forms and other information to become eligible to participate in the program, but has received no response.

It is my understanding that there is only one local doctor that is eligible to participate in the program, but getting in to see him is a very lengthy process requiring the veteran to phone the VA and request an appointment with the local doctor; the veteran is then required to call the VA back in 5 to 7 days to find out when the appointment is scheduled with the local doctor; the appointment will likely be scheduled around 7 days away, with the total days spent now at 12 to 13 days; if a prescription is written by the doctor, it takes another 7 to 10 days to receive the medicine in the mail, making the total time thus far 19 to 23 days.

Common sense tells me that if a veteran has to wait up to 2 weeks for an appointment and 3 weeks before receiving medicine from the onset of their condition, the likelihood of the condition worsening, or become fatal, is a real possibility, requiring additional, and likely, more intense medical care.

The bureaucratic strings attached to the VA Choice Card are NOT helping veterans, but merely painting over and covering up systemic problems in a widely documented troubled agency.

Any assistance you can provide, not only to me but to all veterans to expedite their receipt of quality healthcare will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Robert Kustermann

PO Box 74

Hemphill TX 75948

I ask that you send a copy of this letter to every Congress Person, Governor, State Representative and Senator if you can get their address. Knowing Bob for many years and the hundreds of hours of community service he and many other veterans provide are vital for our rural County. My personal thanks to them all for all of their service. 

Goodbye old friend, Sabine County Texas will miss your always smiling face and your willingness to give far more to help your fellow-man than you ever received. This old man will never forget you. You suffered far beyond normal and sadly forgotten by your own country. It appears to me that our Veterans Administration administers euthanasia successfully by just ignoring our veterans condition. If a regular hospital did this it would be called murder. C Brewer February 10, 2016

VOTER IDENTIFICATION STUPIDTY!

Our Justice Departments position challenging State laws that require picture ID to vote are beyond bias and stupidity. Actions like this clearly show how common sense is has disappeared from every government agency in America and ignoring the laws is encouraged by our hate filled President.

The purpose is quite clear that this common sense identification requirement will absolutely prevent the Progressive-Liberal-Democrats from allowing anyone dead, comic book characters and illegal aliens from voting.

My good friend, Ron Jenkins, lives in the San Antonio Texas area where stuffing ballot boxes, dead people voting, allowing the illegals and people like Poncho Villa, Mickey Mouse, the Pope to vote was invented. Lyndon Johnson who created more wasteful government welfare programs than anyone but President Obama, won his Senate seat with stuffed ballot boxes that recorded more votes than existed in several counties. I feel certain that Illinois was the original State that created most illegal voting methods in use today in far too many States.

Ron is and has been an election judge for several years in Bexar County and he just sent a letter to the local newspaper that does an outstanding job of detailing the stupidity of not requiring adequate voter identification and he allowed me to include it in this article.

Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2015 3:09 PM

To: letters@express-news.net

Subject: ID Bias Everywhere (ltrs to Editor)

Your paper continues to print letters from individuals who appear to have no understanding of the purpose, and justification for the requirement for to show a photo ID when seeking to vote. 

To re-state the obvious, the purpose is to prevent persons from voting who are ineligible to do so.  Non US citizens, convicted felons and people who have already voted are among those who are ineligible.

Poor and minority voters, US citizen voters and non-felons, are not included in those categories.

An Election Identification Certificate (EIC) is free for the asking and is accepted at any and all polling places. It is obtained at any Texas DPS, drivers licensing facility, without charge.  

How many minority voters don’t have or can’t get one of the myriad of forms of acceptable photo ID’s?  ID’s such as:  a Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, a US Passport or Passport Card; and any Department of Defense Common Access Card, all US active duty, retired military & civilian ID cards.

The most common photo ID is a Texas drivers license (and to a lesser extent, a Concealed Handgun license). 

And, finally, anyone who has applied to the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs and has been granted an exception to the photo ID requirement, because they have at least a 50% disability rating. 

So, who can’t legally obtain one or more of these forms of photo ID?  Probably someone who isn’t eligible. Critic’s point to the lack of documentation for the numbers of individuals who have voted illegally.The main reason for the lack of that proof is simple. There is no mechanism to record failed attempts to vote. Individuals who can’t prove eligibility, simply walk away and may try again at some other polling place. That would occur in precincts that require some sort of proof of a voters current residence.  

Never forget that voting is a privilege, reserved to US citizens, that has been fought and paid for by the sacrifice of countless patriots; soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.  Just being a resident in this country doesn’t make anyone eligible to vote. Please educate those who don’t know or who don’t care to know.

AS of today his letter has not been published and probably never will appear as the majority of newspapers left in Texas are either Progressive-Liberal or 100& owned by Demoncrats. The only daily newspaper where I live is the Beaumont Enterprise that is so liberal it makes me sick. We do have a local weekly newspaper, The Sabine County Reporter, that is so afraid of losing advertising any political letters must be bought Ad’s. This is one of the reasons I started this blog is to share my politically Conservative positions without the expense of advertising. I do not charge for the nearly 900 articles I have written and/or published.

We do have a new on-line newspaper, “dailynewsandmore”, that has ask permission to publish any of my articles they choose.

It is time to make sure that of all rights we have, voting, must be done with 100% integrity. C Brewer

VETERANS CARE REVISITED!

AMERICAN VETERANS CARE – RED TAPE AND DISCRIMINATION! Published March 25, 2015

If every politician in Washington was required to have read this article and letter from Bob Kustermann that was published eleven months ago, Bob might still be alive. How we treat our veterans is inhumane at best. I followed this article with another plea titled “What has happened to America”on September 17, 2015 and it appears that no one really cares if we just let these brave Americans just die and go away.

In Bob’s last visit to the VA last month he was deathly ill and while they were arguing on what to do he checked himself out and went home to die at 69 waiting to start dialysis as his kidneys were failing. I wonder how many thousand times this happens every day? The saddest part of this story is that no one really seem to care. Is there anyone in America who knows how to get the attention of someone who will do something to shut down the Veterans hospitals and at least treat our veterans equally as we treat illegal aliens free.

I have some 550 people who read this blog and If they all send it to people on their mail list maybe a copy will find one of the people running for President. Maybe if FOX news and Megan Kelly would ask this question in one of the debates instead of trying to defeat Donald Trump with “Gotcha” questions it would get exposure from the biased media. If we had a media that cared this issue would have been fixed a long time ago. Two people commented on the original article. One was my son and the other was a friend from Melbourne Australia. Please read the following and help slow down this tragedy. C Brewer 

I sincerely hope this article makes you sick. The only people we have treated worse than the Indians, including illegal aliens, are our military veterans. I am extremely qualified to state the facts and verify the specific facts documented in the letter I ask to post as I am a veteran of the military. I am not a veteran of any combat or foreign service although I have likely visited and worked in more foreign countries, thirty-two to be specific, than 96% of every lobbyist, Congressman or the White House “Kingdom”. I volunteered and with my parents approval, I joined the US Navy Reserve in 1947 when I was 17. The Korean War seemed imminent and I volunteered for active duty in April 1948 and was honorably discharged on August 30, 1952. I had to serve an additional year as all enlistments were extended during the Korean war.

I only ask one time for any federal veteran benefit, some help with some uninsured drugs, and it was denied because I was earning more than the current poverty level. I did earn a military funeral but I have ask my wife not to even notify anyone from our government except my Federal Entitlement benefit that used to be called Social Security so they will not harass her. Writing this blog demands that I read facts and when I read a copy of this letter in our weekly local Sabine County Reporter, it disturbed me deeply. To even think we treat our veterans worse than illegal aliens is unbelievable. In essence an eligible veteran is treated worse by our government than the Democrats and illiterates (some are not both), who never worked or intend to work and draw welfare.

Even Medicaid is more responsive as the new VA Choice Card. The fact that all doctors in rural areas are not qualified is just another bureaucratic waste of time and money. The fact that our only hospital director or Board had no information is just another way to deny veterans benefits equal to aliens. They should be given the same benefits as I receive with Medicare and the government should pay their deductibles and premiums that I have to pay. Shut down the Veterans hospitals or make them available to everyone. Set the veterans free from oppression.

Please read this and pass this on to everyone you know. The really sad part is that the media, including Fox, has reported this change as an added benefit to our veterans. For Gods sakes how can what this letter describes be viewed as an improvement of any kind.

Bob Kustermann  is a good friend on mine along with all of the other veterans in Sabine County Texas.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to ask for your help with the new VA Choice Card. I received mine about a month and a half ago and called the number that was on the card to make sure I was qualified for this benefit, which it turns out, I am.

I live in Hemphill, Texas with the nearest VA clinic in Lufkin, Texas, approximately 60 miles away. The information I received indicated that if you live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA clinic or your VA appointment was more than 30 days away, you could see a local doctor.  The VA also indicated that our local hospital, Sabine County Hospital, and local doctors are currently eligible to participate. 

When I first called, the VA asked for my information and said for me to call back in 7 days  to see if I was qualified.  The VA then informed me that if I needed an appointment with a local doctor to call them back and the VA would set up the appointment.  The VA then informed me it would take another 7 days to get this appointment approved, taking 14 days from the initial call to just schedule the appointment, not yet seeing a doctor for treatment.

One of my concerns is that I am required to have a physical exam twice a year.  In order to accomplish this I must travel the 60 miles to the Lufkin VA clinic two weeks in advance of my physical exam for blood work, and of course the 60 mile return trip, for a five-minute lab test.  I then have to make the 120 mile round trip two weeks later for the physical exam.  Many of the veterans I help in Sabine County cannot either physically make the trip to Lufkin or cannot financially afford the trip.

I recently was granted the opportunity to make a presentation on the VA Choice Card to our local Hospital Board.  Hospital Administrator Diana Taylor informed me that she has placed several phone calls and sent two emails to the VA within the past month requesting forms and other information to become eligible to participate in the program, but has received no response.

It is my understanding that there is only one local doctor that is eligible to participate in the program, but getting in to see him is a very lengthy process requiring the veteran to phone the VA and request an appointment with the local doctor; the veteran is then required to call the VA back in 5 to 7 days to find out when the appointment is scheduled with the local doctor; the appointment will likely be scheduled around 7 days away, with the total days spent now at 12 to 13 days; if a prescription is written by the doctor, it takes another 7 to 10 days to receive the medicine in the mail, making the total time thus far 19 to 23 days.

Common sense tells me that if a veteran has to wait up to 2 weeks for an appointment and 3 weeks before receiving medicine from the onset of their condition, the likelihood of the condition worsening, or become fatal, is a real possibility, requiring additional, and likely, more intense medical care.

The bureaucratic strings attached to the VA Choice Card are NOT helping veterans, but merely painting over and covering up systemic problems in a widely documented troubled agency.

Any assistance you can provide, not only to me but to all veterans to expedite their receipt of quality healthcare will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Robert Kustermann

PO Box 74

Hemphill TX 75948

I ask that you send a copy of this letter to every Congress Person, Governor, State Representative and Senator if you can get their address. Knowing Bob for many years and the hundreds of hours of community service he and many other veterans provide are vital for our rural County. My personal thanks to them all for all of their service. 

Goodbye old friend, Sabine County Texas will miss your always smiling face and your willingness to give far more to help your fellow-man than you ever received. This old man will never forget you. You suffered far beyond normal and sadly forgotten by your own country. It appears to me that our Veterans Administration administers euthanasia successfully by just ignoring our veterans condition. If a regular hospital did this it would be called murder. C Brewer February 10, 2016

Clyde Brewer

MEDIA SUBLIMINAL WAR UNDERWAY!

Unfortunately living in Sabine County Texas limits my ability to choose what newspaper I can read. We have a wonderful weekly Sabine County Reporter that chooses not to print editorial political positions and the only other newspaper available is the Beaumont Enterprise. The Enterprise is one of the most liberal newspapers in Texas. The Beaumont area is strongly Democratic and is as liberal as Austin. This area in South East Texas leans so far to the left I am surprised that Louisiana does not build a wall to keep them from moving east. I take the paper for the crossword puzzle that is not slanted left, yet!

My paper today has two lead articles, one on the first page and the other on the facing page three. They are both designed to start twisting facts and igniting the Democratic method to destroy the Republicans by civil war within the party. They have perfected this method of inciting them to destroy themselves with divided issues like abortion. The saddest part is that the Republicans fall for the bait every time and end up committing suicide by attacking each other.

The lead article is titled, “Challenge Awaits the Texas GOP’ and subtitled with “Can Republican leaders of widely divergent viewpoints achieve compromise and govern their state effectively? When you read the article the purpose is to start a war between the new Governor, Greg Abbott, new Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Joe Straus, Speaker of the House. Using terms to describe Patrick like calling him a “firebrand” are the hidden agenda tactics. By the way this article was written by Mike Ward and David Saleh Rauf and by lined from Austin. Austin is the San Francisco of Texas politically.

The second article is a national attempt to create dissention within the GOP by scenarios to stimulate war between the Republican Party and the so called Tea Party. The headline is, “Tea party sees GOP rise as a new threat”. This article was from the New York Times New Service. No one took credit for writing the propaganda. Taking quotes from different individuals the article is designed to stir up debate within the conservatives to create a civil war. This is just another attempt to change the pressure on voters to ignore the problems we face with jobs, Keystone, ISIS and a runaway government gone mad.

My intent is to hopefully wake up conservatives to stay on message and force Obama to stop wrecking our Constitution and freedom. If you missed my article, “Republicans Won-Can They Lead” that I posted on November 5th you will better understand my concerns.

America has been leaderless far too long. The only person I have watched that has the potential to emerge as a leader in either party is Dr. Ben Carson. Unfortunately he is not a career politician and is a conservative so he will be attacked by both the Democratic and Republican politicians.

If you have names of any Americans you feel are leaders that would help unite Americans again, send me their names and I will write an article using your inputs so people can hopefully start the uniting process. A continued divided America will eventually self-destruct.

C Brewer  

EDUCATION- A SUMMARIZATION

 

For the past several weeks I have written and posted numerous articles on https://cb75948.wordpress.com . All of the articles on education in Texas have been printed in the Sabine County Reporter thanks to Stephanie Corley.

The surprises I have discovered from factual sources have been unbelievable. Unfortunately less than one percent of the source information has been found in the main stream media. Mountains of information are available on the internet and I wonder how much is read by the general public? Based on the feedback I have received, most people other than teachers; really do not care about children’s education. I suppose that parents today are too involved with other matters and expect teachers to formulate both education and discipline for their children.

For those of you who live in a state with unionized teachers and administrators, you have let the politicians destroy public education. Unions and liberal elected politicians have sold their soul at the expense of your children. It is sad to read about the waste of adequate education to feather the bed of supposed professional educators with retirement benefits that are outlandish at best. Teachers who are paid in excess of $100,000.00 a year to do nothing, because they can’t be terminated because of tenure, is stupid. Creation of Fraudulent insurance arrangements that line the pockets of the unionized teachers is shameful.

In Texas we do not suffer with unionized teachers, yet. Unfortunately a teacher must align with a teachers group if they desire to purchase liability insurance. In Texas our politicians have let the university level educators create so many shadow groups aligned with or part of the Texas Education Agency (TEA); K-12 education is being destroyed. Sadly these tenured professors and money hungry administrators have our Governor and legislators mesmerized with trying to make every student a rocket scientist, doctor, and God forbid a lawyer.

Spending time with administrators in our local K-12 district has awakened me to the fact that we have major problems in the future. Professionals at this level have not even been contacted regarding the impact of additional credits now required to graduate from high school. The majority of these children will never attend a college or university. The peer pressure of lower grade diplomas will create an increase in drop outs of academically limited students. I have not read one article in the media that has addressed this obvious train wreck. Texas politicians will never understand what they have allowed to happen if it ran over them in the parking lot.

Texas allocation of funds to local school districts is a mockery of common sense. Politicians created the mess when they screwed up the property tax system. Rather than admitting they blew it, they spent millions developing a system no one understands called WADA. This added more costs to the small school districts that I have already posted. The new STAAR testing program, that I previously reported will go down in flames but we will have wasted a billion dollars. By then the State Senators who allowed this to happen will be retired and care less. It would be nice to know if any of our legislators own stock in the testing contractor.

As the Texas legislature has yet to finalize the massive budget reductions for education, it is impossible to evaluate the impact locally for the children. I will continue to monitor the situations and report my findings.

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).

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