Texas Can Spend More On Education, Dewhurst Says

NEW BRAUNFELS (AP) — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Friday that spending on public education can be maintained and even increased in the next two-year budget and the Senate, over which he presides, won’t agree to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes.

The Republican lieutenant governor’s vision is a far cry from the severe cuts to public education and Medicaid headed for a vote in the House next week. Lawmakers have been looking for ways to address a projected shortfall of as much as $27 billion.

Dewhurst recently announced the formation of a special committee aimed at finding “non-tax” revenue to help plug the budget hole. He said staggering cuts can be avoided by selling state land, reducing certain expenses and raising other revenue but not increasing taxes.

“We can still fund education, the Foundation School Program . . . at the same appropriated level we’re funding right this second, actually higher,” he said at a legislative conference in New Braunfels.

Maintaining current spending levels on the program that pays for basic school operations still would not account for about 160,000 new students expected to enroll in Texas schools over the next two years.

Dewhurst also said prisoners “will stay locked up,” and he predicted that universities would face “minimal” spending reductions.

“I’ve known the lieutenant governor to be able to work magic before and for the sake of Texas families, he’s my number one magician right now,” said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, leader of the Senate Democrats.

The House budget calls for the state to spend $77.6 billion of its own money over the two years. Even after an agreement to make a limited withdrawal from Texas’ Rainy Day Fund, the House plan still would underfund public schools by almost $8 billion and Medicaid by $4 billion.

A state study released Thursday showed the state would lose 335,000 jobs if the current budget proposal in the House became law. Data from the non-partisan Legislative Budget Board said the budget would eliminate 188,787 state jobs by the end of 2013 and private companies would eliminate 146,457 jobs under the House plan.

Experts also say a proposed cut to Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes could leave as many as 45,000 senior citizens homeless.

Republican senators said this week they were committed to using any available money to adequately fund Texas schools.

Republican Rep. Jim Pitts, the chief House budget writer, has warned that lawmakers in that chamber have little appetite for increasing proposed spending levels.

The differing proposals set up stark battle lines as the two chambers work to consolidate both drafts into one budget in the final days of the legislative session

Click here for more on the Crisis in the Classroom.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-can-spend-more-on-education-dewhurst-says/ Texas Can Spend More On Education, Dewhurst Says « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Texas Can Spend More On Education, Dewhurst Says What budget crisis? The Lieutenant Governor says Texas can actually spend more on schools next year, not less. Go to News Source […]

  • KeepOurFreedoms

    Don’t sell Texas land to huge corporations that will ruin our land, or those that are not US Ciizens.

    • Gumby Rules

      Good luck with that one. The state will sell its property AND, if yours is next to it and the company would like to have it for a parking lot, they will claim “eminent domain” just like they did for Jerry’s World in Arlington.Then they will give the company a tax abatement to build in Texas, further reducing income.

  • joevee

    we are all not taxed equitably. that….is the “elephant in the room” . The rich have their many loopholes and the big corporations as well. But “they” still insist on squeezing the little guy and the sadness for them is, there is not one single drop left to squeeze. the well is dry. and so we find ourselves in this quandary.

  • william

    sell the land to China.

  • Martha Vargas

    Where is the “monies” from Texas Lotto, and PowerBall going? Are they not
    for our schools, and Tx highways?? Perry and his “good ‘ole boys” are
    wealthy enough, it’s time to make “them accountable! Down with “Perry!”

  • pm

    I wonder what “raising other revenue” means, fee’s etc. etc… the dirty little secret.

  • Tim

    That is awefully white of Dewhurst ! I can not believe this idiot will be our next governor !

  • Hemroidious

    This guy looks too weird.

  • BIGD


  • G.J.

    Reduce teacher salaries 18 % and there will be plenty of money to keep them all employed and not raise taxes. Otherwise, hire displaced teachers from Japan and/or India that will work for that pay rate.

  • KeepOurFreedoms

    Does anyone actually audit our government? Where exactly does all that money go? Anyone getting kickbackis? From who or what?

  • Hemroidious

    Cut school funding. Our Education System is not working anyway and we are trying to educate mainly children of illegals who don’t even speak English.

    • NP

      Easy for someone not in the education system to say

      • KeepOurFreedoms

        Anyone can observe the failing education system. You don’t have to be involved with it. How come you don’t see it?

    • KeepOurFreedoms

      I totally agree. It is way past time to deport ALL illegals. They are draining us dry.

  • Cynt

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned these $100 coaches salaries? If football is such a revenue generating sport let the revenue pay the coaches salary and take them off the ISD payroll.

    I agree they need to be audited big time. I volunteer myself and my accounting friends to audit them and balance the budget. It’s hard for the wealthy to budget – they haven’t had to do it before.

    • Cynt

      Correction – $100K coaches salary.

  • G.S.

    Regarding public Schools in The United States in general:

    Too many overpaid School Supts. in D/FW. One makes 300K
    Cut out band trips to Las Vegas ,Miami etc.
    End PE,Art,Band, Drama Club, Tennis. These don’t help college entrance.
    Too many assistant coaches, layers of management in D/FW area schools
    Too many Administrators at most schools.
    Poor quality of education in The US leads employers to look elsewhere.
    America is 31st in Math ,17th in Reading and Science. Finland, Hungary,
    Singapore etc. have much higher test scores than the US at far lower costs.
    The public education system breeds mediocrity in The US. Bad teachers not
    punished because unions protect them , good teachers not rewarded.
    Teach kids by computer, close elementary schools and sell them to raise cash.
    America wastes billions of tax dollars on the Dept. of Education and other countries that don’t do better in testing.
    We saw one local school Dist. here in North Texas spend some 60 million dollars on a new football stadium about 18 montys ago, now there is no money for teachers. Well, duh.
    A modest sized town near Dallas just gave a raise to a School Supt. making more than 197K already. Places to cut expenditures? You bet.

    • KeepOurFreedoms

      This comment is Idiotic. “America wastes billions of tax dollars on the Dept. of Education and other countries that don’t do better in testing.”

      • KeepOurFreedoms

        Oops, I meant this one is Idiotic. “Teach kids by computer, close elementary schools and sell them to raise cash.”

  • KeepOurFreedoms

    Oops, I meant this comment is Idiotic. “Teach kids by computer, close elementary schools and sell them to raise cash.”

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