Teacher group president talks politics but is ignorant about Texas school finance

Pratt on TexasOver the years legislators have told me, off the record and including some who would be considered big spenders on public education, that among their biggest frustrations in dealing with school finance is the misinformation, and yes in a some cases, outright lies spread by the teacher union association groups.

It’s simply not possible to obtain worthwhile input about needed fixes to school finance when the loudest political pressure groups, with their bussed-in teachers, rallies, and local press coverage, have little knowledge about the subject upon which they so readily opine to the media.

Take Texas State Teachers Association local Lubbock Educators Association for example. Its president, David Ring who I’m told teaches “social studies” at Lubbock’s Coronado High School, demonstrated utter ignorance about school finance in Texas and yet he is one of those rallying teachers about how bad the Legislature treats them and the like.

TSTA union-local president David Ring thinks there has been no increase in property taxes that fund schools since 2006 and, as if that’s not bad enough, ignorantly thinks the Legislature levies a statewide property tax.

In talking to KJTV about how teachers need to be more politically active to score more pay for themselves, Ring actually said: “The elephant in the room is that it’s property taxes. Texas hasn’t raised property taxes since 2006 and property taxes are our key to generate funding for education.”

Mr. Ring apparently does not know that Texas does not have a state property tax and is prohibited from such by the state constitution. The state does not set, raise or lower property taxes.

Local school districts do levy property taxes and most every district has raised property taxes significantly, annually in most cases, because of appraisal creep. All you have to do is look back to what your property tax payment was in 2006 and you’ll find you paid more almost every year since then.

TSTA union-local president David Ring thinks there has been no increase in property taxes that fund schools since 2006 and, as if that’s not bad enough, ignorantly thinks the Legislature levies a statewide property tax.

How do legislators successfully deal with the problems of school finance in the face of such ignorance from those most involved and most vocal with the issue?

What do you think?...

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