Now that Rick Perry is off the campaign trail and our official and acting Governor again, some people are calling on him to do just that, act as a Governor again.
The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), and the Texas Democratic Party have both called on Governor Perry to step up, and request Rick Perry to call a special session to restore the 5.4 billion dollar budgets cuts made to Texas education while he was running for President.
According to the TSTA, Texas has already lost over 32,000 school employees, including 12,000 teachers. Also, more than 8,200 elementary classes are larger than the classroom size cap set by state law, which is 22 students. Each district has to apply for its own exemption to the classroom size cap, and according to the TDP there are a record number of school districts applying for the classroom size exemption (to give you an idea of how many students the classroom size cap exemption affects, AISD is composed of 120 schools, 80,000 kids, and it's the fifth largest school district in the Texas, and the district has an exemption to the classroom size cap).
The solution is simple for Governor Perry: call a special session to restore these atrocious cuts using the well funded state savings account known as the Rainy Day Fund. The Texas Legislature last session did use some of the funds last session, $3.2 billion, to cap the projected budget shortfall, but Perry insured that not a lot of the money was used. The fund now has a 7.3 billion dollar balance funded by oil and gas tax revenue, which has recently reported increases.
TSTA has been circulating a petition to give to the governor, urging him to call a special session and stop at least some of the damage that has already started:
From The TSTA:
Gov. Perry insisted that the Legislature leave a large balance in the Rainy Day account, even while making deep cuts in state services, during last year's sessions. TSTA will be circulating petitions, urging the governor to do the right thing now and call lawmakers to Austin. Texans also can sign the petition at:
'It is time for the governor to cut the politics and stop cutting away at our children, their education and our state's future,' (TSTA President Rita) Haecker said. 'He can call a special session, stop the cuts and do what's right for Texas.'
I signed the petition, will you? Think of the kids this Valentine's Day Governor!