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House repeals Doggett Amendment

This may be a partial answer to my earlier question about the status of the $830 million in federal education funds that await Texas if Governor Perry will attest that they will be actually spent on education.

In the latest round of the political feud over $830 million in federal funding, House Republicans, led by U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, passed a bill Saturday that blocks the enforcement of the Texas-specific Education Jobs amendment.

Republicans do not like the amendment, introduced by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, last summer, because it requires Texas — and only Texas — to guarantee that it will maintain state funding for education throughout 2013. Democrats support the amendment because it requires the state to use the federal money to supplement, rather than supplant, its public education funding.

[…]

“There is a clear path to get this money,” Doggett said. “All the governor needs to do is sign a three-page application, like the one he signed to get the $3.25 billion of aid he kept for purposes other than education.” That $3.25 billion would be the federal stimulus money— marked for education — Perry accepted in 2009 and used to offset spending in other areas of the budget.

In a statement, Burgess said, “The schoolchildren and teachers in Texas will finally have the opportunity to receive the $830 million they should have had in the first place. This money should have never been denied when the original bill passed, and it is a shame that Mr. Doggett put education funding at risk.”

The legislation still has to make it through the Democratically-controlled Senate, where U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have sponsored a companion bill.

Two points. One, if this thing makes it through the Senate I have a hard time seeing it get Presidential approval, given that Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently warned Texas to fish or cut bait. What possible reason could President Obama have to fold on this and give Rick Perry an unqualified propaganda victory?

And two, I seem to have lost the ability to determine when it is that federal funds for Texas are evil and fascistic and must be resisted lest they pollute our precious bodily fluids, and when they are good and wholesome and must be fought for. Is there, like, a Wikipedia page or something I could use as a guide to aid me in these matters? Thanks.

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4 Comments

  1. This is really interesting. Perry complains about the federal stimulus, then complains when he doesn’t get it, and also complains that there are strings attached. The simple solution is it must be used this next school year or this session (and biennium on education) and can not replace Texas funds. Perry can turn down the money of course and the legislature can cut funding to education and lay off teachers but there will not be any former teachers or retained teachers voting Republican in the future. When parents see crowded classrooms and understaffed schools the tide will turn Democratic faster than predicted. We have a structural deficit. What will be left to cut next session? All of the no new tax, cut taxes, especially property taxes crowd created this crisis with their “Gross Profit Margins Tax,” their tax swaps, and it has been brewing for 5 years now as schools have used reserves and are starting to go under because of short sighted or maybe even intentional lack of, or underfunding of education funding by Republicans. It must be time for another lawsuit about funding education in Texas. Maybe we will get it right someday.

  2. texaschick says:

    “And two, I seem to have lost the ability to determine when it is that federal funds for Texas are evil and fascistic and must be resisted lest they pollute our precious bodily fluids, and when they are good and wholesome and must be fought for.”

    Easy peazy. Federal funds are evil when Perry says they are evil!

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  4. […] US House had repealed the Doggett Amendment in February, but that was before the hostage standoff that resulted in last […]