This time last year, Texans were treated to doomsday scenarios of closing schools and fired teachers unless the legislature gave administrators every dollar they wanted. Lawmakers didn’t cave, and today around the state many of those same teachers are getting raises.
As a percentage of the General Revenue budget (the portion legislators can control), public education has never been so well-funded. It now makes up 60 percent of GR spending. We’ve never spent more on K-12 education than is being spent right now.
That didn’t stop over-paid bureaucrats and their breathless shills in the press from last year pronouncing the end of public education — falsely claiming massive budget cuts were in the offering.
Interestingly, during this same time we saw school districts continuing to bulk up on more (and more expensive) administrators. The Dallas Independent School District recently hired a superintendent making a half-million a year. He, in turn, hired a fleet of highly-paid administrative advisors—including a spokeswoman making $185,000 per year.
Other school districts were talking about buying fancy new mega-size scoreboards out one side of their mouth, while suing the state for more money out the other.
Well, apparently the situation wasn’t as grim as we were led to believe by liberal educrat bloggers, editorial boards, principals, assistant superintendents, deputy assistant superintendents, superintendents and school board lackeys.
Rodger Jones of the Dallas Morning News wrote yesterday afternoon that despite the shrill cries:
… there haven’t been the horror stories I imagined. I was with a group of educators on Saturday from Garland ISD, and the two assistant principals at our table more or less shrugged when asked what impact the state budget cuts have had on their schools.
After holding teachers hostages last year—and using them repeatedly as human shields for their political fights—some school districts are now handing out raises. Good for them. But shame on them for playing such protracted political games.
That’s a good start.
Our teachers deserve even better than to be the last ones considered. For too long, administrators and politicians have used teachers as props and toys, rather than treated them like professional educators. For too long, the emphasis in public education spending as been on new ways to spend, rather than focus resources in the classroom.