“I’m almost positive we have said publicly that we would take 80 percent less of the money if they’d give us 100 percent flexibility. We could cover more people and do it cheaper, but the federal government refuses to allow states the flexibility. They just don’t want to cede control of that almighty free money that they have up there,” Perry said Tuesday after a speech to a National Federation of Independent Business/Texas conference.
I would like to remind the good people about the budget choices and prioritization of funds that Rick Perry and the Republican party made for Texas the last few years.
5 Billion in funds cut to public schools.
This has led to the cutting of bus routes, school districts requiring payment for buses, the firing of custodians and asking teachers to do the work, the closing of schools, the congestion of classrooms and the loss of 10,000 teaching jobs among tens of thousands of other positions in the state. All while schools are being asked to perform at a higher level, and when the state is adding 80,000 new students per year.
But don't assume this only affects the lower grades. Higher education institutions, many tier one classed, are complaining as well as their budgets are reduced by 9%. This will force even higher tuition at a time when getting a college education is already at record highs. But hey, if you're a Republican, Mitt Romney's answer is to "shop around".
(This has, by the way, led to 600 school districts suing the state.)
In Health Care:
The defunding of Planned Parenthood leaving at least 50,000 impoverished women without reproductive services, while the current rejection of federal funds willleave the larger 130,000 women requiring services out in the cold.
And in a mixed topic, the budget also leads to the elimination of Texas' primary care residency program, reduces funding for family practice residency and eliminates 220 million from health science centers and their research. This during a time when researches in San Antonio, at the highly esteemed Biomedical Research Institue, are trying to fund a new breakthrough HIV vaccine patent. Not a cure, but an even more effective way of fighting the virus.
In.... Everything Else:
Well there's a lot. The Children's Health Insurance Program was cut, the Texas Historical Commission lost its ability to preserve landmarks (this drives me crazy considering how much Texas claims to love its past), 2 year colleges lost funds.
So hey great product Rick, only 22% of 8th graders go onto get a college degree within six years of high school graduation, we've got the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, we lead the country in minimum wage jobs and we don't have many college graduates. Oh, and your elevated high school dropout rates? You probably lied about that.
But hey gub'ner. You sure know how to run a lean, mean, effective state. I trust you to put the money where it needs to go.