Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Brains Prevail

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a move by our state Legislature to restrict funding to hospitals that provide "abortion-related services." I'm pleased to see that has been stripped from the related funding bill. (Registration may be required. Sorry.)

If you came expecting zombies, well, be it known that there is presently a filibuster going on to prevent passage of the budget unless more money is spent on education. I have mixed feelings here. Most school districts are top-heavy with administrators. From what I've read, most layoffs due to budget cuts are coming from the rank and file, and very few from the ranks of the well-paid administrators. Our district did cut one Assistant Superintendent, but I'd be happy to see most of the higher-ups take a pay cut. But on that infamous other hand, we have a new standardized testing regime about to come into effect. The state has also increased the Math and Science requirements for graduation. Where do school districts get the money to pay for this? 

Depending on the survey and the particular bit of academics being rated, Texas comes in anywhere from 44th to 48 out of 50 states. It makes me wonder about all these new jobs that are supposedly coming in, and who is going to employ kids whose high diploma qualifies them for either an increasingly unaffordable college education or a "do you want fries with that" job.

How do we root out waste, knowing that one person's waste is another's money well-spent? Yes, I've gone on about our Senior High football "palaces," that cost over $1million each. These were paid for with bond money, which the voters approved. Football also brings in some money through admission fees to games. So yes, I can see that side. But I have trouble justifying keeping those "palaces" climate-controlled all year long when kids have 10 year-old textbooks. 

And while I"m at it, it would be a fine gesture if our governor were to ditch his $10,000 a month residence for something even half as ostentatious. Sure, it's a drop in the billions of our state budget, but it's a gesture his Tea Party supporters might appreciate. I think.

Tags: Politics

Filed under: Politics            
5/30/2011 1:55:35 PM
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