Enemies of the State

Questioning Texas's legal and educational systems.

Set to Die

Online readers respond to "True Confessions?" by Mike Giglio, January 14:

Doubts emerge: You did great coverage on this story. This does create a doubt if Charles Raby actually did it alone. I think maybe Eric Benge might have more insight than he is sharing.

Sally Valencia
Phoenix

Wait: At the very least, the execution should be delayed and a full investigation should be done. No one should be put to death in the absence of physical evidence, and there should have been plenty of physical evidence in this case. Texas and its execution record should be investigated by the federal government. I fear an innocent man will be executed, and I'm sure he is not the first in Texas.

Ron
Chicago
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No, Thanks

Online readers respond to "Be Proud, Texas: Your Public School System Is So Great It Can Turn Down $700 Million," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, January 13:

Yes, Perry: Yes. Let your hate consume you. With every seething ­declaration, Bill White grows stronger.

Kyle

Texas proud: Apparently, Rick Perry is so "proud of Texas" that he wants to make sure it doesn't have a future.

Jordan

Wow: I never thought anyone could make George W. Bush or Clayton Williams look more intelligent than a turnip as a Texas governor, but Perry finally did it. I hope Texas Republicans get split between the Perry's Screaming Meemies and the Country Club Set with Miz Kay, and Bill White finally restores this crazy ass state to some sort of sanity.

Scott Bodenheimer

This was a good move, I think: The strings attached to "stimulus" money are causing trouble for states trying to balance their budgets. Additionally, it looks like teachers' associations are against taking the money too.

CBahr

Gud werk: I think its gud that Ric Peary wil fite to keep the yankees outa Texas. We dont want there monee and then we can teech our childrun about Jesus and God and beet some sens into them wen need be. Hes' rite to succeed frum the union and all. I jes wish I had a pitur of Pary to put with my pitur of Sara Paling.

Jethro

I must agree with Governor Perry: Publicly funded schooling is a cancer on the illiterate. They must learn how to educate themselves, if only to avoid becoming dependent on Big Government and the Nanny State for everything.

Ansel Rand Paul

Hurting business: Perry used the same excuse for turning down $555 million in stimulus money for the state unemployment benefits because it would burden the taxpayer, when in actuality, there were no strings attached. He then had to turn around and secure a loan of $170 million from the federal government to cover the benefits. The strings attached? The loans will have to be repaid, which will take about 20 years and will be paid off by business owners. So Teabagger Perry turns down the stimulus money and ends up burdening business owners.

jsc1

The "strings" amount to this: If the State of Texas takes $700 million for increased funding on education next year, then they are not allowed to spend less next year than they did the previous year on education.

In other words, they can't take the $700 million ostensibly dedicated to education, and then turn around and slash their education budget and spend the $700 million elsewhere. This is roughly the same as if a bum comes up to me on the street and says he's hungry but only has one dollar to eat, and I hand him another dollar with the proviso that he must spend it on food, whereupon he gives me my dollar back, complaining that it's unfair that I'm trying to prevent him from buying booze or dope with his money.

The NEA rates Texas public schools in 45th place nationwide; not content with that, they now insist on passing up $700 million in education funding, so they will be free to cut their public school budgets even lower. Maybe next year they'll rank even worse. God, am I ever glad I don't live in Texas.

W. Kiernan

Money from the mob: Take money from "the man" today and pay for it in triplicate next year. States would be better off borrowing from Paul Vitti than from Uncle Sam. I applaud Governor Perry for saying no.

Perhaps Mr. Connelly doesn't realize that comparing standard-test results is meaningless. Those tests are a waste of time. Too many districts worry more about teaching to the test that they forget to teach the kids anything meaningful. Most financial problems in schools are caused at the administrative levels. If a district administrator or school principal couldn't be paid more than the mean salary of the teachers in the district, suddenly you'd find an abundance of funds to pay for education. If we concentrated on teaching less about standard tests and more about the skills needed in daily life, you'd find the U.S. moving back near the top when compared to the world.

Jeff

Um: Rick Perry does know where that money comes from, right? It comes from taxpayers. And, last I checked, Texans were paying federal taxes.

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