Governor Rick Perry, in a valiant bid to be talked about approvingly on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh's show, came to Houston today to announce he will be rejecting $700 million in federal stimulus funds for education.
Because, you know, Texas has the whole education thing covered.
"Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children's future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents' participation in their children's education," Perry said.. "If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached."
Take that, all you radicals spouting all that hot air up in Washington!!!
The "strings" attached to the funds are exceedingly onerous, having to do with standardized test scores. Texas does so great on those, compared to the rest of the bottom 10 percent of the nation, that it's difficult to see why it should concern Perry.
The Texas Democratic Party, naturally, was not as impressed as the teabaggers will no doubt be.
"What kind of Texan is not willing to compete for his children? It's widely acknowledged our schools don't have adequate funding, and hundreds of school districts were forced to raise local taxes, lay off teachers or eliminate programs due to the Governor's 2006 state education funding freeze.
"It's clear Rick Perry is more concerned with trying to be Governor for life than he is with the 4.8 million children who attend our Texas schools."
We'll post the reaction of the Houston Independent School District when we get it.
Update: HISD spokesman Norm Uhl says superintendent Terry Grier "was in favor of the state seeking the funding," but there were no plans "in the pipeline" on how to spend it.
Another update: Moments later, Uhl had this official statement from Grier: "While we respect the Governor's decision, we are disappointed that HISD will not be able to compete for these funds. The district, under the progressive leadership of our board, was well positioned to submit a very competitive grant."
Sounds at least a bit pipeline-ish.