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Rick Perry on the Issues: K-12 Education


by: Ben Sherman

Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 01:44 AM CDT


(Ben is one of our new BOR writers. He'll be helping cover Perry's campaign, and provide issue primers like this.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

About one in ten American schoolchildren are Texan schoolchildren. Clearly, Texas must maintain an effective public education system for its own and the United States' sake. Rick Perry doesn't care.

Since 2000, enrollment in Texas public schools has increased by 874,000 to 4.9 million schoolchildren.

As Texas' schools were rapidly filling up five years ago, Perry mandated a gratuitous 33% cut in local school tax rates. Now, a shocking one in three Texas high school graduates in college require corrective work to learn math, writing and reading skills that their high schools couldn't afford to teach them.

But that was just the groundwork for Perry. When his own fiscal mismanagement led to a $27 billion budget shortfall this year, Perry used the opportunity to slash public education even more.

During the Legislative session, Perry pushed for and received a $4 billion cut from the public education budget, prompting tens of thousands of teacher layoffs across the state. This kind of buffoonery can only lead one place. "Heading into the new fiscal year, Texas ranked 42nd in per-pupil spending among U.S. states and 43rd in high-school graduation rates," Bloomberg News explains.

Is this terrible reality a product of Rick Perry's stupidity? Maybe not.

Perry recently suggested that our government's founding fathers' dedication to the "general welfare" doesn't mean that government programs have a right to promote the general welfare. Under Perry's insane view, public education is treated as unimportant.

Why else would Rick Perry purposefully fail to prepare Texas schoolchildren for their futures? Maybe because studies show that the poorer and less educated Americans are, the more likely they are to vote for Republicans.

Don't put it past him. Rick Perry only cares about one Texas child: himself.

Rick Perry Fails Our Kids

  • Rick Perry has robbed Texas kids of a quality education by slashing billions in public education funding.
  • Rick Perry's education policy has forced tens of thousands of teacher layoffs, bigger classes and less funding per student.
  • Despite being home to about a tenth of American schoolchildren, Texas ranks 43rd among the states in high school graduation rates.
  • One third of Texas high school students who go to college require corrective work to make up for what they didn't learn in high school.
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