Saturday, March 19, 2011

82nd Texas Legislature Report Card on Education

Texans need to think of ways to evaluate the success of the 82nd Texas Legislature, now in session, regarding the planned budget cuts in education.   There are now 4,933,600 children in Texas schools.  We have a critical obligation to be vigilant and maintain the wonderful progress of the last 5 years!

Here is a suggested format for one report card on the effects of the budget work of the 82nd Texas Legislature on education.  It is a graph of the progress of the past 5 years with space provided to fill in the blanks as these same measurements are documented over the next 5 years.   How will the 82nd Legislature do? You may click on the above chart to see a larger image of it, print it out (landscape format), or email it to share with your legislator, or with your friends also working to help communicate the issues with our legislature.

The Excel format 1997-2011 enrollment by grade spreadsheet for all Texas children used in these charts can be downloaded from

We must put this crisis in perspective:

The Texas school funding crisis is only the smoke.

Almost 50 years ago I was waiting in a grain truck north of Hereford in a wheat field on my dad's farm. I was waiting for the combine to fill up for the next dump. The smoke I suddenly smelled is like the educational funding crisis!  While potentially deadly, the smoke was caused by the fire in the subble in front of the truck.  That fire is like the Texas state taxation system.  It is the real problem!

You cannot have a state taxation system that taxes the poor at a percentage of their income (12.2%) that is four times the rate (3%) at which the rich are taxed!  School funding is only the smoke, deadly, but still just the smoke!

The problem with this analogy is that the Texas state taxation system crisis is nothing new or sudden!


Bill Betzen