A recent Associated Press headline makes it abundantly clear why Texas was right to turn down federal "Race to the Top" funding last month.
The story was titled, "Schools face big budget holes as stimulus runs out."
"The nation's public schools are falling under severe financial stress as states slash education spending and drain federal stimulus money that staved off deep classroom cuts and widespread job losses," the AP reported. "School districts have already suffered big budget cuts since the recession began two years ago, but experts say the cash crunch will get a lot worse as states run out of stimulus dollars."
The result, the AP added, could be "more teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, smaller paychecks, fewer electives and extracurricular activities, and decimated summer school programs."
States that relied heavily upon stimulus dollars -- and less on planning ahead and making economies -- will be hit the hardest.
"The situation is particularly ugly in California, where school districts are preparing for mass layoffs and swelling class sizes as the state grapples with another massive budget shortfall," AP reported.
That's one reason Texas was wise to turn down further federal "incentive" money -- a federal bailout, with no fiscal reform, only puts off the inevitable.
Gov. Rick Perry had other reasons, as well.
"Texas won't compete for up to $700 million in federal stimulus money for education because the program 'smacks of a federal takeover of our public schools,' Perry said," the AP reported last month. "The funding is from the U.S. Department of Education's 'Race to the Top' program, a $5 billion competitive fund that will award grants to states to improve education quality and results. The program, created in the economic stimulus law, is part of Democratic President Barack Obama's efforts to overhaul the nation's schools."
As Brooke Dollens Terry of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, the "Race to the Top" money would have been very costly, indeed.
"In order for a state to apply for its share of President Obama's Race to the Top stimulus funds, it will have to explain how it will use those federal dollars on a list of suggested education reforms," she explains.
For one thing, education is a state matter -- not a federal responsibility.
"Texas lawmakers control funding and school requirements, and the State Board makes decisions about curriculum," she says. "All of these are elected positions directly accountable to the voters at least once every four years."
And the federal funds would have to be "leveraged" by the state -- meaning we would have to spend money to get money. It could be as much as $3 billion (in revamping curriculums to meet federal mandates) to have access to a maximum of $750 million.
But the stark reality is stimulus money isn't limitless -- it will dry up.
Other states are already facing that reality. By prolonging the pain, Washington isn't doing those states any favors. Texas was right to turn down the funding. That's the lesson here.
<em>Texans for Rick Perry releases new radio ad, “Endorsement”</em>
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) PAC for re-election in 2010. Texans for Rick Perry also released a new radio ad, “Endorsement,” featuring Tom Schaz, chairman of the CCAGW PAC, which is now airing across Texas and is available at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSEHVIGg6Qs">www.YouTube.com</a>.
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"Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison talks like a fiscal conservative back home, but acts like a big spender in Washington," said Schatz. "She asked for $1.6 billion in earmarks last year, and called earmarking ‘a legitimate role of Congress.’ That is one reason why Senator Hutchison came in second in the voting for 2009 Porker of the Year to liberal Democrat Barney Frank. She also has one of the worst CCAGW vote ratings on wasteful spending and taxes among Senate Republicans. Her record stands in complete contrast to Governor Rick Perry, who has held the line on taxes, demanded greater transparency in the state budget, and vetoed $35.8 million in earmarks in 2007. Governor Perry is the real fiscal conservative in the race for governor. That is why the CCAGW PAC has endorsed Governor Perry and why Texans should vote for him in the March 2nd primary.”
The mission of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is to advocate the elimination of waste and inefficiency in government through nonpartisan public education programs. Each year, CCAGW tabulates its Congressional Ratings, evaluating how each member of Congress measures up on key tax and spending votes.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste PAC,” said Gov. Perry. “Their mission to eliminate waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in the federal government is to be commended. In Texas, I have worked with the legislature to cut taxes, reduce spending, and eliminate waste while calling for increased transparency. Because of these efforts, our state is best positioned to weather the current challenging economic climate.”
<em>Below is the script and sourcing materials for “Endorsement.”</em>
This is Tom Schaz, chairman of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste PAC.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison talks like a fiscal conservative back home, but acts like a big spender in Washington.
She asked for $1.6 billion in earmarks last year, and called earmarking “a legitimate role of Congress.”
That is one reason why Senator Hutchison came in second in the voting for 2009 Porker of the Year to liberal Democrat Barney Frank.
She also has one of the worst CCAGW vote ratings on wasteful spending and taxes among Senate Republicans.
Her record stands in complete contrast to Governor Rick Perry, who has held the line on taxes, demanded greater transparency in the state budget, and vetoed $35.8 million in earmarks in 2007.
Governor Perry is the real fiscal conservative in the race for governor.
That is why the CCAGW PAC has endorsed Governor Perry and why Texans should vote for him in the March 2nd primary.
“Bobby and I have worked together many times as colleagues and friends but I will never forget our efforts to protect the men and women of our respective states after coming face to face with devastating hurricanes,” said Gov. Perry. “I am proud that he supports our efforts to continue moving our state forward as families across Texas are weathering this global economic downturn. Texans know firsthand that the state needs steady leadership in these tough times.”
Jindal was sworn in as Governor of Louisiana on January 14, 2008. Jindal was born in Baton Rouge on June 10, 1971. He graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1988 and went on to attend Brown University where he graduated with honors in biology and public policy. Following his graduation from Brown he attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1994, Jindal went to work for McKinsey and Company as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies before entering public service. In 1996, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). In 2004 he was elected to the 109th United States Congress representing the First District of Louisiana. Jindal was re-elected to Congress in 2006 with 88 percent of the vote majority. Jindal and his wife Supriya have three young children.
Gov. Rick Perry today urged Texans to go to the polls and cast their primary vote in the early voting period, which ends on February 26th.
“By taking part in early voting, I joined with citizens all across our state who exercised one of their most cherished rights as Texans,” said Gov. Perry “When we vote, we make a statement about what truly matters to us. I am hopeful that Texans agree with me that the economy is not only our top concern, but also our greatest success story right now.”
Governor Perry visited Plano to speak at the Texas Conservative Coalition’s Tenth Amendment Town Hall. The Governor discussed solutions to restore Texas’ constitutional rights and hold Washington accountable for its increasingly intrusive and fiscally irresponsible policies.
View all the pictures from Governor Perry's speech at the 10th Amendment Town Hall Conference click here.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of former Texas Governor Bill Clements for re-election in 2010.
"After careful thought and a deep love for Texas, Rita and I have decided to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for governor. I have watched Gov. Perry lead our state with principled, conservative values that have made Texas a positive example for other states to follow. Gov. Perry has made tough decisions that have brought Texas to the forefront of the global economy, have helped provide Texans the jobs and opportunities they need to prosper. He has vetoed billions in spending, cut taxes for 40,000 small businesses and balanced five state budgets while cutting state spending. Under his leadership, Texas is number one in job creation and has the nation's five best housing markets. His commitment to creating jobs, keeping taxes low and fostering an environment that welcomes and rewards those willing to risk their capital is what will keep our economy moving forward well into the future. Gov. Perry has my full support and endorsement. Sen. Hutchison has been an effective senator for Texas and I hope she remains in that position."
Gov. Clements was the first Republican to serve as Texas governor since Reconstruction. He was the 42nd and 44th governor of Texas serving from 1979 to 1983 and 1987 to 1991. Clements is remembered for bringing his business acumen to state government, and insisting on sound budgeting and management policies. He also worked for tough anti-crime measures, improvements in the teaching of basics in public schools, and made strides to improve Texas relations with Mexico. Clements served as Deputy U.S. Secretary of Defense in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Mrs. Clements has served on a variety of governmental commissions, including the University of Texas Board of Regents, and on the boards of many philanthropic and public service organizations, including the Salvation Army Dallas Metroplex Advisory Board, Center for Human Nutrition and the Communities Foundation of Texas.
“I am deeply honored to receive Gov. and Mrs. Clements' support in my reelection effort,” said Gov. Perry. "The Clements have made a remarkable and lasting impact on the state of Texas – Bill through his efforts to uphold fiscally prudent policies that strengthened our state’s economic foundation, and Rita through her dedicated, selfless service on various government and philanthropic boards. Their legacy has left us a Texas that is strong and that has the foundation to weather the challenges that the national economy has posed in recent months. I am humbled to follow in Gov. Clements' footsteps as governor of this great state, and inspired by his accomplishments to continue fighting for the principles that have kept taxes low, upheld predictable regulations and maintained a business climate that offers all Texans the freedom to succeed.”
<em>Calls for restoration of state’s sovereignty and increased accountability in Washington</em>
PLANO – Gov. Rick Perry today spoke at the Texas Conservative Coalition’s Tenth Amendment Town Hall to discuss solutions to restore Texas’ constitutional rights and hold Washington accountable for its increasingly intrusive and fiscally irresponsible policies.
“Our voices here in Texas are being joined by a chorus of concerned citizens from across the country frustrated with a federal government that is rewriting the basic rules to expand its power and intrude further into our lives,” said Gov. Perry. “We’re not here to preach rebellion, subversion or insurrection, but to express our love for the greatest country on earth and discuss how to keep it from running off a cliff. We are part of a growing movement in this nation of sensible people from every race, creed and political party who cannot abide the ongoing assault on the values that made our nation great and the freedoms that set us apart.”
Gov. Perry pointed to the president’s newest budget numbers, which anticipate more than $5 trillion in deficits over five years, as the most recent example of the federal government’s ongoing failure to reign in its out-of-control spending. Furthermore, Congress has also sent legislation to the president allowing the U.S. to borrow another $1.9 trillion and hiking the national debt ceiling to an historic $14.3 trillion. These recent fiscal projections, combined with the Inspector General’s report on bailout legislation that points to possible criminal and civil fraud, tax evasion, insider trading, and public corruption, are evidence of the increasing need for stronger accountability in Washington.
“It is well past time for us to halt the endless intrusions into our lives, put a stop to the out-of-control spending and restore our commitment to a set of shared values: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Gov. Perry. “It’s time for the federal government to be less intrusive and more respectful of the wishes of the states and their citizens. We know that the route to success is lower taxes, smaller government and freedom for every individual, because it works for Texas.”
Gov. Perry pointed to recent analysis of Texas economist Ray Perryman who has noted that Texas is the “last in and first out” when it comes to the current economic downturn, because of the state’s job growth at the end of 2009 and an unemployment rate that has remained nearly two points below the national average. The Texas Workforce Commission has also reported that Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation, while Forbes magazine listed Texas’ debt level as the lowest of the ten largest states. Furthermore, Texas was last week named the top exporting state in the country for the eighth straight year.
The governor also spoke for the need of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, calling on states to lead the effort in pushing such limits, since leaders in Washington won’t do it on their own. In Texas, Gov. Perry has proposed amending the state’s constitution with two key provisions: requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve tax increases and limiting spending growth to the combined growth rates of Texas’ population and inflation. Both measures will ensure the continued fiscal discipline that allowed Texas to balance its budget in 2009, while setting aside billions for its Rainy Day fund and cutting taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses.
“We don’t ask for much: we simply want the powers-that-be in Washington to re-read the Constitution, retreat to the boundaries established by that remarkable document and free up our citizens to compete and prosper,” said Gov. Perry. “If we do this, our nation will remain strong and our state will continue to lead in all the categories that matter.”