It's March 2021 and Democrats are in power again, the state budget is a bloodbath, and the coronavirus stalks the Capitol.
When the Legislature meets in January, lawmakers know they won’t be able to cut their way to a balanced budget. Instead, they should do what a certain Republican governor did more than twenty years ago: raise taxes.
Texas is facing an unprecedented deficit in the next legislative session, so to help our poor, overworked elected officials, I went ahead and balanced the budget for them. And good Lord! It wasn’t pretty.
Paul Burka talks about cutting $18 billion from the Texas budget, separating the essential from the nonessential, and spending money on bricks and mortar.
Oh, how our legislators are moaning and groaning as they try to cut the state budget. But we’ve slashed, chopped, trimmed, pared, and whittles our way through it—and save $1 billion. It wasn’t that hard. Really.
With public education facing an estimated $7 billion in cuts, the question on everyone’s mind is, Are Texas schools doomed? So we assembled a group of dinner guests (a superintendent, advocates on both sides, an education union rep, and the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency) to find out. Check, please?
The complete transcript of a roundtable discussion on public education hosted by TEXAS MONTHLY and published, in edited form, in the May 2011 issue.