September 26, 2006
To the editor of the Austin American Statesman:
8 Billion Dollars.
Not 8 hundred thousand, or 8 million, but EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS.
This is what the Texas Lottery billboard campaign boasts along our Austin streets, and I, for one, would really like the Austin American Statesman to explain to me where that 8 BILLION DOLLARS has gone to improve our schools?
If this is the case, why have my property taxes doubled in 8 years, and why is it, on top of that, we parents in Barton Hills are being asked to give our elementary school an additional $160 per child to help educate our children? Why are all Texas PTAs still having bake sales, carnivals, and running ourselves ragged to help our kids? Where is all this amazing money going because it is NOT GOING TO THE SCHOOLS!!!
Between the school taxes we are already paying, and the $8 BILLION DOLLARS,
I would think Texas lower education schools would be able to give teachers a well-deserved pay raise, and our art, music and physical education teachers would be able to provide their quality gifts daily, instead of partially, to each school they work within.
On the Texas Education Agency site, they list that there are 7,956 school campuses in the state of Texas. If you divide the number of schools into the $8 BILLION DOLLAR amount the Texas Lottery is boasting, each school should have received $100,533.04, or $12,566.63 each year for 8 years.
And, while I’m at it, let me say this to Rick Perry: shame on you. Do you think boasting that $2000 per teacher is a raise? After taxes, a teacher is lucky to take home an additional $130 a month, or $41.66 a week. I’ve seen our teachers working: they teach from a place of passion, they want our kids to succeed, whether they are paid properly for their work or not. They show up early, stay after work and use their own monies to make sure their classes are prepared for a full day.
I think our government should show some humility. How about this: all of you public servants switch paychecks with teachers for a year, and you show up early and stay late because you want to make Texas the best state it can be, for all people, and spend your own monies to run your campaigns.
I’ll just keep asking questions until someone answers them….
$8 BILLION DOLLARS. Where’d it go?