by EVAN SMITH
The Texas Tribune
The battle of Washington, D.C., versus Texas continues — and this time it’s D.C.’s turn to be fed up. On the letters page of Wednesday’s New York Times, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, slams Gov. Rick Perry for failing to take $830 million in federal money that Perry and other Republicans complained had strings attached but that Doggett says would have prevented “anti-education ‘smoke and mirrors’ budgeting” by the state. The full letter is reprinted below:
To the Editor:
Re “The Texas Omen” (column, Jan. 7): We applaud Paul Krugman for highlighting Gov. Rick Perry’s disastrous use of “smoke and mirrors” budgeting. In 2009, the governor used $3.25 billion in federal education money to replace state education funds, denying any additional support for Texas schools.
When Congress considered providing new education financing for states last year, the Texas Democratic delegation worked to prevent history from repeating itself.
We acted in concert with Texas superintendents and major statewide education groups to craft a provision ensuring that $830 million of new education financing actually helps Texas schools. Our provision prohibits more anti-education “smoke and mirrors” budgeting.
But the governor refused to sign the three-page financing application because it requires him to use the money as Congress intended — for education.
Five months later, Texas is one of two states that have not been awarded funds from this bill, and the governor continues to delay to the detriment of Texas schools.
Washington, Jan. 10, 2011
The writer, who represents Texas’s 25th Congressional District, wrote this letter on behalf of the Texas Democratic Congressional delegation.
EVAN SMITH is the CEO and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.