Friday, March 1, 2019

#TXLEGE: All teachers are taxpayers; not all taxpayers are teachers....

"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
Proverbs 21:20

Cary Cheshire raises some very important points:
Nearly $4 billion.

That’s the current price tag of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s proposal to increase public school teachers’ annual salaries by $5,000 across the board, a proposal before the Texas Senate in the form of State Sen. Jane Nelson’s (R-Flower Mound) Senate Bill 3 (which is coauthored by a supermajority of the Texas Senate).

While SB 3 was initially anticipated to cost $3.7 billion, lawmakers realized doing so would increase the obligations for teachers and the state to the retirement funding. Nelson provided for that new obligation (and for the state providing the teachers’ funding) in her committee substitute on Monday—driving SB 3’s estimated cost up to around $3.9 billion.


As it stands, the $3.9 billion is in addition to $2.63 billion in increased public education funding in the state budget, and $400 million in the supplemental budget. Those numbers include $2.4 billion to fund enrollment growth, $230 million to maintain current health insurance premiums in TRS-care, $100 million for school safety improvements, and $300 million to address pension liabilities in the Teacher Retirement System.

For the folks counting at home that’s nearly $7 billion in new spending slated for K-12 public education under the plans proposed by the Texas Senate. And most observers expect that number to increase by perhaps another one or two billion more before lawmakers are done in Austin.

Meanwhile, taxpayers are being offered a paltry $2.3 billion for “property tax relief” on their school tax bills. Well, supposedly it’s that much.


It’s estimated the state will “recapture” between $5 billion to $5.5 billion from school districts through the Robin Hood tax over the next two years. Lawmakers could afford to abolish Robin Hood entirely—reducing school tax bills by more than one-third in areas with the highest taxes in the state—and still have a billion and change left over.
Cary is completely correct.  We are starting to discuss gargantuan levels of new state spending.  If that's going to be the case, then we need to have a much more serious conversation about ABOLISHING Robin Hood.

The only reason completely abolishing Robin Hood hasn't been discussed previously is because it's very expensive.  But the lege are the ones introducing numbers of this magnitude.  If that's going to be the case, then Dan Huberty and Larry Taylor need to examine their priorities.

This website has made it pretty dadgum clear that we don't, inherently, have a problem giving raises to teachers.  It's a worthwhile goal.  But not at the expense of taxpayers.

Bottom Line: If this level of new spending is on the table, then completely abolishing Robin Hood also needs to be on the table....


Representative Dan Huberty: (512) 463-0520.

Senator Larry Taylor: (512) 463-0111

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