State Rep. Rob Eissler, the author of the repeatedly postponed HB400, the bill that distributes the $7.8 billion in public education cuts to individual school districts, says what may be my favorite thing this session:
Lawmakers who philosophically endorse reduced spending can balk at what that means practically: teachers losing jobs, getting paid less and managing larger classes. “There’s an ugliness to a lower-funded environment that people don’t like to face,” Eissler said.
Ya think? As always, the idea is that budget cuts are great as long as they only affect other people. The hypocrisy of people who fervently supported budget cuts for thee but not for me used to outrage me but now it mostly amuses me.
Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, said “there’s a tension” in his party about how to handle mandate relief. He led the charge against HB 400 from the right with an amendment that would have made any measures temporary, kept the class-size ratio intact and applied salary reductions and furloughs to administrators as well as to teachers.
“Those of us who represent districts that are smaller, it’s different than maybe those big-city districts where it’s much more a business,” Phillips said. “For our school districts, it’s not a business but teaching kids.”
Well, Larry, the fine people of your district votred 66.5% for Rick Perry, who has been very clear about the House budget being what the voters demanded and expect. It is clearly your duty to give the people of your district what they obviously want. I don’t see why this would be a problem for you.
As of this writing, a final budget deal appears to be in place, but the details are still a bit sketchy. The good news, such as it is, is that the conference committee has agreed to the Senate’s $4 billion in cuts for public ed instead of the House’s $7.8 billion, but that’s still a lot of cuts to be made. Without some form of enabling legislation, it’ll be done by proration. Pick your poison, Larry, and then tell your constituents you were just doing what they wanted you to do.