It’s only July and Democrats are already crafting narratives of false choices. This time, it’s liberal Democrat Sen. Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth who claims school districts are forced to hike taxes because of “underfunding” from the state. Apparently she hasn’t looked outside her district to see her doomsday prediction isn’t coming true.
Sen. Davis tweeted this morning that because of the Legislature’s decision to “cut” school funding, districts are now being “forced” to raises taxes to make up the difference.
Her assertion is wrong on two counts. First, the Legislature did not cut funding. It choose not to continue the trend of overfunding enrollment growth. Public schools saw an increase of funding from the previous biennium.
Second, to say that school districts are now “forced” to raise taxes is also wrong, and even more misleading.
Her local school district may be in need of some better fiscal management, but as a whole, ISD’s across the state are proving that the sky didn’t fall after all.
Dallas ISD, for instance, hired a new superintendent at nearly $500,000 per year, while hiring a $185,000 per year spokesperson.
San Antonio ISD decided to build a $3 million professional-grade soccer field, despite their lawsuit against the state.
Brownwood ISD planned to use school finances to purchase a new Jumbrotron, assuming suing the state for more money was successful.
Allen ISD, home of the $60 million high school football stadium, is building a $40 million bus barn… while suing the state for more money.
And that doesn’t begin to mention all the ISDs that are giving district employees raises! Doesn’t sound like they’ve been hit with massive funding shortages, does it?
In regards to the cries of the Chicken Little’s like Wendy Davis, a member of the Dallas Morning News said, “there haven’t been the horror stories I imagined.” Likely for Carroll ISD, which Sen. Davis used as an example, budget woes are over-dramatized too.
In the 2011 TEA Snapshot report, Carroll ISD was spending less than 35% of their total funding in the classroom. They only spent 43% in the classroom in 2010, following a 37.9% instructional spending rate in 2009.
Those numbers aren’t going to get any better if the Chicken Little’s get their way. Instead, those spending rates are likely to get even worse, while local and state taxpayers funnel even more money into a system that continues to produce stagnant results.
Liberals like Sen. Davis have proven they are not interested in providing an efficient public school system that doesn’t break the bank, choosing rather to spend first and ask questions later, if at all. Taxpayers aren’t buying her fairytale, and Tarrant County voters will have a chance to close the book on her legislative career in November.