Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Contact the TX Senate Finance Committee ASAP! #txedbudget #txbudget #savetxschools

I received an email this morning from Save Texas Schools reminding me that the Texas Senate is expected to issue its budget bill tomorrow, Thursday, April 21st. It is important that Texans concerned about school finance contact these Senate members and thank them for and encourage them in their efforts to create a budget that does not cut as deeply as the House version of the budget does.

If you doubt the difference, take a look at these cuts from Round Rock ISD and see the number of programs and jobs that can be saved under the Senate version of the budget versus the House version.

Save Texas Schools provided this handy contact list for the Senate Finance Committee members. Now you have no excuse for not contacting them! Even if your Senator is not listed there, contact at least one of them. As a Texan, their decisions impact you and your schools no matter where you live.

Here is a suggested email, also from Save Texas Schools.
Dear Senator _____________________, 

Education is the greatest investment we can make in the future of our state. I understand the current budget crisis, but I also know that Texans can find solutions to the toughest problems. I ask you to support the following: 

1. Finding new revenue and non-revenue sources of funding that will reduce the proposed budget cuts to education. Proposed cuts will put 100,000 teachers out of work, close schools and eliminate vital programs. 

2. Use of most or all of the Rainy Day Fund to reduce budget cuts. This is the time the fund was created for. Given the current price of oil, the fund will also replenish quickly. 

3. Fixing the ongoing structural deficit, so that we are not back here in 2013 with the same crisis. I am encouraged by Senator Ogden’s proposals to reform the failed Margins Tax. 

Texas is currently 44th in its investment in education, and will likely be 50th if the new cuts are enacted. This is not acceptable! We are a wealthy state and the current crisis is man-made. Let’s fix the problem, stop the politics, and invest in our children. 

Sincerely, (Name) (Address)

I encourage you to speak with passion from your own heart, however. I think emails that are individualized gain more attention; they do not look like one organization's "blast campaign", but show the true feelings of the constituents. That said, if all you have time for is the suggested email above, then send it! They need to know we care about education and we are paying attention to what they do.

Speak up, Texans! The future of our children depends on it!!