I must first start by stating that until now I have never had much interest in politics. The first time I can remember beginning to follow the actions of politicians was in 2005.
I was beginning my first principalship in a small school and began to follow education news each day through TexasISD.com. The legislature of Texas was in session discussing reducing property taxes. By the end of the 2005 session, they passed a bill that reduced the maximum a school could levy property taxes from a maximum of $1.50/$100 of value to the current $1.00/$100 of value. This amounted to 1/3 reduction in the amount schools could tax property in within their district boundaries. In order to pay for this tax reduction, the state in enacted a business tax that was supposed to cover the amount of the reduction. The projections of the possible revenue from their business tax were far greater than the amount received.
All the sudden, 2011 rolls around and the $25 Billion dollar hot check that the legislature had written in 2005 had to be paid. Their solution to help pay for this $25 Billion dollar hot check was to reduce funding to state universities, public schools and reduce other services. Universities were ordered to reduce cost by 10 percent and public schools had to cut teachers, administrators, and staff to make-up for the shortage. It is now 2017 and public schools are still funded at a lower rate than they were in 2011 before all the budget cuts and shortage of funds.
Since 2011, when legislative decisions began to effect the livelihood of my family and I have paid more attention to politics and the results of the decisions being reached in both Austin and Washington D.C. I have developed more opinions and taken sides on political issues.
Currently the 2017 the Texas Legislature is in session. There is division in the leadership between Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House leader Joe Strauss. From his bully pulpit, Lt. Dan is focused on unimportant issues like “bathroom” bills. There is not any discussion about education funding or improving state services, mostly bathroom bills. In the house, there has been some minor conversations about fixing education funding but I’m afraid it will not make it through the senate unless the house approves Lt. Dan’s bathroom bill.
With all that said, it has to a time in which I can no longer sit and watch as politicians do what they want instead of representing the people that they represent.
In my next post I will outline the issues that I will focus my attention on when I’m elected Governor of the State of Texas.
David R. Taylor