From today’s Statesman, the “body count” detailing our shitbird governor’s massive veto of higher ed funding, first announced on Friday (ahhhh, late Friday, the noblest hour for all politicians). This is where I work, we’re drowning already, and the governor just fucked us over some more. The larger impact of the veto is still being digested, but I can say with surety that Perry has officially moved up into the spot of Public Enemy No. 1, edging out the craptastic Texas legislature, when it comes to advancing education in the state.
*the Bush-ian circular logic catchall “State needs a long-term plan for higher education before it makes such investments” excuse. Where’s the plan? Oh, there isn’t one? How conveeeeeenient
*the slash for a museum of fine arts at Angelo State. One, it’s hard to quantify everything contributes to enrollment and graduation; two, anything that helps stop the West Texas brain drain can’t hurt; and three, 300K isn’t going to break the bank, you cheapskate.
*the slap to the County Extension Service. Taking money away that would help 4-H programs, the families struggling to keep small farms and ranches afloat, and landowners trying to provide stewardship of Texas wildlands. Slick move there, dude. Wonder how that one would have gone over with the public if you hadn’t hidden it inside the small print of this bigger ed veto?
Here’s the rest:
Community colleges, $154 million for group health insurance. Governor’s reason for veto: A budget provision bars use of general revenue for employee benefits if the employees’ salaries are paid from sources other than general revenue.
New community college campuses, $3.3 million (including $390,000 at Austin Community College’s South Austin campus) for new enrollment. Reason: A separate appropriation associated with enrollment growth is adequate.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, $500,000 for a pilot system to track and improve student readiness for college. Reason: Board can do this with existing resources.
Angelo State University, $300,000 for a museum of fine arts. Reason: Contributes little to ‘Closing the Gaps,’ the state’s set of goals for improving enrollment and graduation rates.
Texas Cooperative Extension, $3 million to increase the number of county extension agents. Reason: Not a state priority.
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, $2 million for obesity research. Reason: UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is getting $18 million for obesity and diabetes research.
University of Texas at San Antonio, $3 million for a life science institute. Reason: State needs a long-term plan for higher education before it creates more tier-one research institutions.
West Texas A&M University, $5 million for engineering program. Reason: School did not request it.
Texas A&M International University, $5 million for a student success initiative. Reason: Campus already receives a disproportionate share of special items and excellence funding.
UT Health Science Center at Houston, $5 million for expanding the public health program. Reason: Funds are being provided for increasing the number of nursing graduates, a more pressing need.
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, $3 million for a life science institute, a collaboration with UT-San Antonio. Reason: State needs a long-term plan for higher education before it makes such investments.
UT Medical Branch at Galveston, $2 million for diabetes research. Reason: UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is getting $18 million for diabetes and obesity research.
Texas State University System, $1.7 million for operations. Reason: System did not request it.
Texas Tech University System, $3.2 million for operations. Reason: Other funding is adequate.
University of Houston System, $474,000 for operations. Reason: Other funding is adequate.
University of North Texas System, $1.6 million for operations. Reason: Other funding is adequate.
Source: Governor’s proclamation on House Bill 1
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