On Wednesday, the Texas Senate passed it’s version of the budget by overriding the two thirds rule. All Democrats voted against, all Republicans voted for. Just what, exactly are the Republicans so proud of? This is just the start…
More than 12,000 Texas public school teachers, librarians, administrators, and support staff have left their school job in the roughly three months since the Texas Legislature released proposed budget figures for the 2012-2013 biennium, according to data released Tuesday by the Texas Progressive Alliance.
“There is no bunk in these numbers,” said Vince Leibowitz, chair of the Alliance, a group of progressive online activists including more than 50 netroots activists, bloggers, and online writers from across Texas. “These numbers are the cold, hard, truth and show precisely how significant an impact the proposed budget is already having on school districts across the state,” Leibowitz said.
More alarming, he noted, is that the more than 12,000 layoffs, firings, and voluntary or forced retirements represent only a fraction of the devastating toll the proposed budget is taking on public education. “These reductions come from a grand total of 60 of the state’s 1,234 school districts, less than five percent of all school districts statewide,” he noted. “Imagine how high this number will be when data is collected for all of these school districts,” he continued.
The Democrats in the Senate took the opportunity, since they were shut out of the process completely, to at least comment on the draconian cuts to the budget that will damage the future of the entire state and our nascent economic recovery. Sen. Jane Nelson decided she couldn’t let the criticism go unanswered…
“I think it is wrong to frighten people,” Nelson said. “We are frightening people right now unnecessarily.”
Unnecessarily? Jane, you just passed a budget that’s going to really hurt public education and the overall economy. You didn’t make a tough choice, you made the decision to sacrifice the good of the state for your political well being in your next primary. You gave into the most backward elements of your base and it’s going to cause a massive amount of pain now and well into the future.
Don’t think for a second people aren’t paying attention.