"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Monday, June 13, 2011

H E B Chairmain Asks Gov Perry to Reconsider on Education

A bit off topic.

The chairman of Texas' dominant grocery chain (and a good one!) pleads for sanity in the Texas education budget.
Our company has been serving Texans since 1905 and this recession isn't our first rodeo!

We kept adding people and stores right through the Great Depression of the 1930s until building materials became unavailable due to World War II. Company growth continued through the recessions of 1973-75 and the 1980s and we are building and hiring aggressively today.

For Texas to cut $4 billion from public school funding now, when a better-educated Texas can be a bulwark against future recessions, seems unwise, not conservative and, in fact, very risky for the state. Falling back isn't the way Eisenhower and Patton won World War II.

This isn't about political parties or national issues; it's about the future of Texas.

As business people investing annually, we are worried about the state's future if we start cutting education funding — lower per capita income and higher crime rates are almost certain to result. An educated workforce is essential to all industries.

With 160,000 children joining the system in the next biennium we at least need to fund at 2010-2011 levels.

In March 2011, the Financial Times reported Texas to be 44th out of 50 states in funding per student and said Texas had "one of the most underfunded - and needy - education systems in the U.S." Let's move forward (as Texas always has), not back.

I urge you to consider these views for the future good of the state we all love.

Thank you for your public service! Respectfully,

Charles C. Butt, chairman and CEO, H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio

via http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7603731.html#ixzz1PB6ESspc

HEB is not a liberal institution by any means. But they are a family business, rooted in Texas, and in it for the long haul. That even they are publicly raising questions about the ALEC policy portfolio shows just how far from "conservative" this party-of-pillage approach really is.

Meanwhile, as part of its response to the manufactured budget crisis in Wisconsin, the budget bill advocated by the majority has provisions that "would give a $150,000-a-year exemption from the state sales tax for snow-making and grooming equipment used by ski slopes and trails and a $500,000-a-year sales-tax exemption for direct-mail advertising."

These are worthy causes for cutting back on education, aren't they?


King of the Road said...

Reading this article from The Atlantic does not give me confidence that lack of money is the only problem or that sufficient money wil solve the problems of primary education. This should not be interpreted to be sympathetic to the idea of education funding that's analogous to the medieval medical practice of bleeding. But before condemning it I'd certainly need to know a lot more.

This article further reduces my confidence in the concept of more money equalling better results. I do note that your state and my state are adjacent at the bottom of the list.

EliRabett said...

Given the behavior of the Texas business community Eli is not sorry that they are getting what they asked for

Michael Tobis said...

Eli, the Texas-baiting on this blog really ought to be left to the experts, that is, those of us who have put in some time down here. Painting the Texas business community with too broad a brush doesn't seem helpful from where I sit.

EliRabett said...

Nuts, you are defining deviancy down. Oh yes, for an absolute rock bottom bastard, that one is a nice guy.

Eli is sick of people from Texas dumping on the rest of us and then crying for help. You made it you take care of it. Wonderful example this afternoon, John Kyl from AZ begging for more money to help with forest fire prevention. Let his get out front for a tax increase first.

Adam said...

Texas is the brown dwarf of American sanity. A few lost corporate souls whose morality rises barely above the smooth, collapsed surface are of little note.

In the crushing right wing gravity of Texas, pleading with Rick Perry for rational policy is akin to proposing a merry-go-round on Tau Geminorum.

Michael Tobis said...

Smile when you talk like that, buddy.

Texas may be mad, but it ain't no kinda dwarf.

Texas matters. Always has. Always will.

Adam said...

Oh, I'd never say Texas is insignificant, MT. Insane, yes; insignificant, no.