COMMENTARY by Robert Pratt, Pratt on Texas
weekdays 5p-7p on News/Talk 790, KFYO

In regard to the big community-organizer rally for public school spending at the Texas Capitol this past weekend, James Golsan at the Texas Public Policy Foundation rightly said: “While no one should be completely immune from budget reductions in this tough fiscal cycle, teachers should certainly not be the first cuts – as too many school districts have proposed.”

“Over the last 20 years, state spending on public education has grown two-and-a-half times faster than population growth plus inflation. Between 1999 and 2009, Texas increased its per-pupil spending by 47 percent after adjusting for inflation,” Golsan reminds.

“Research shows that the most important factor in a student’s academic success is the quality of the teacher. But in too many cases, barely half of the money spent in public education makes it to the classroom. Texas schools employ as many non-teachers as teachers, and the non-teaching staff has grown by 76.6 percent since 1989… The salaries of central administrators have grown faster than teachers during the last 20 years…,” Golsan pointed out.

Most are sensitive to job security concerns of teachers but, that needs to start inside Texas school districts’ own management as state taxpayers have been generous for the past two decades. And that rally? Our friend Holly Hansen, who was on the scene said: “This was set up as a pro-teacher rally, but was turned into a blame Perry rally… Several of the speakers at this hate-Perry event [were] among those administration fat cats milking the taxpayers for huge salaries and benefits while pretending it's all 'for the children.'”

I’d like to ask some of these folk this: Exactly what budget for public education has Governor Perry vetoed? I don’t remember one.

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Robert Pratt is the host of the Number 1 rated "Pratt on Texas" heard weekdays 5p-7p on News/Talk 790, KFYO.  Pratt can be found online at www.prattontexas.com