Monday, June 27, 2005

more losers, less funding

Governor Calls Special Session, Vetoes School Funding
Governor Perry called a Special Legislative Session beginning Tuesday, June 21 to deal with school finance. He also took the dramatic and drastic step of vetoing all of Article III of the budget. All the funds for public education are in Article III and by vetoing it he has created a scenario where schools may not be able to open in August.

Information on House Bill 2, which goes to the floor on Tuesday:
The Comptroller's letter of June 21 indicated the Legislature has only $1.9 billion available to spend on schools without tapping additional revenue sources. That would mean less new money than needed to pay for inflation and the spending required for the new mandates in HB 2.
HB 2 contains a so called “average” $1,000 teacher pay raise that is not an across the board pay raise. It provides a sum of money to the districts equal to $1,000 per teacher and lets districts allocate the money any way they want.
HB 2 provides teachers only a $500 “pay raise” that is really the restoration of the teacher health insurance stipend that was taken away in 2003.
Coupled with funding lost with the SB 1 veto, HB 2 eliminates the health insurance stipend for educational support staff (except for charter school staff).
HB 2 rewards only a few teachers based on merit pay tied to standardized test scores. The bill provides no new funds for this; just requires school districts to pay for it.
The “new” education money provided by HB 2 would provide our schools less state education money in 2006 than they received in 2003, when adjusted for enrollment growth and inflation.
HB 2 caps local property tax increases and requires a vote for any local tax increase at all.
HB 2 weakens due process provisions that protect professional educators from being fired without just cause.
HB 2 would allow districts or campuses rated exemplary to effectively become “home rule” districts exempt from almost all state standards that helped them achieve that status; including class size limits, contracts, minimum salaries, and teacher certification requirements, removing all accountability measures.
HB 2 would allow public schools that are rated "academically unacceptable” to be taken over by private, for-profit companies without any measure of local accountability.
Under HB 2, “instant administrator” certification could be granted to those who run public school campuses, including for-profit “management team” leaders who have no previous experience in a public school.

this is taken from the tsta website. if you live in the lone star state, i urge/plead/beg you to call your representatives. tonight or tomorrow (you can usually leave a message at night).


Blogger la maestra said...


5:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home