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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The attack on public schools continues

Governor Perry wants to get rid of the already weak Robin Hood fund. The Robin Hood fund is an attempt to rectify some of the huge disparities between the public schools here in Texas, and it has been resisted every step of the way by people in the "better" neighborhoods who don't see why a penny of their money should go to educating "those people" but still manage to get irritated when fast food workers have bad grammar. Perry wants to try to get some more money to poorer schools by the favorite tax of Republicans--the sales tax. Yes, it's dressed up as a "sin tax", taking money from the wicked and giving it to poor children, but that's just a fancy way of avoiding the words "sales tax".
Regardless of the sinfulness of the product, a sales tax is a regressive tax. I don't like the property tax system of funding schools, either, but I don't think that replacing an already unfair tax with an even more unfair tax is the solution at all. It doesn't help poor people to hit them harder with taxes. We need to replace our outrageous property and sales taxes with an old-fashioned, progressive income tax.
In some school districts of wealthier neighborhoods, there is a computer for every student. In my school district, which was pretty much dirt poor, some kids had to get up at 4:00 or earlier in the morning to take the bus 80 miles to go to school because there wasn't enough money to build a high school in their town. This is not a situation that will be helped at all by shifting more of the tax burden from the rich to the poor.


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