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Spending & Services
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  1. Spending & Services Ch. 13 Maxwell & Crain PPT by Teresa Nevárez

  2. Spending & Services • Texans have a conservative and cynical view of government power • The complexity of metropolitan life demands a growing role for government • Budgets reflect how much of which services the state will offer and to whom

  3. Spending & Services Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools • Public schools were accepted institutions in the North by early nineteenth century • The South begin to commit to locally administered, optional public schools until after the Civil War • Meaningful state support for public education started with a compulsory attendance law in 1915 • A constitutional amendment that provided for free textbooks was approved in 1918 • In 1949, the Gilmer-Aikin law increased state funding and established the Texas Education Agency (TEA)

  4. Spending & Services Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • In 1984, state wide accountability standards for student performance and teachers’ competence were established • Many legislators favor school competition through privatization by providing vouchers • There are about 4.6 million students • There are about 300,000 teachers • Public School Administrators • State Administration • The Texas constitution, the legislature and the State Board of Education (SBE) have established the basic framework for public education

  5. Spending & Services Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • Local administration • School districts are the basic structure for local control • Voters in independent school districts elect 7-9 trustee members • Trustees: • Set the district’s tax rate • Determine school policies • Approve budget • Contract for instructional supplies and construction • Hire & fire personnel • Hire a professional superintendent

  6. Spending & Services Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • The politics of public education • Most of the basic curriculum is determined by the TEA • Texas public schools are an agent of socialization • The curriculum is designed to reinforce existing community values • High school students graduate with few, if any , usable job skills • Textbooks • The SBE selects a list of approved textbooks • Conservative groups are very influential in the selection of text books • Textbooks on the acceptable list defend the status quo • Most controversial issues are avoided

  7. Spending & Services • Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • Faculties • The state board for educator certification establishes standards for qualifications • The actual hiring of teachers is conducted locally • Salary and working conditions are perpetual issues of dissatisfaction • 1/3 of beginning teachers leave the profession by their 5th year • Students • They are becoming more ethnically diverse • The no pass, no play rule forbids flunking students from participating in extracurricular activities

  8. Spending & Services Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • High Stakes Tests • 67% of all students taking TAKS were able to meet standards in 2007 • Many administrators have resorted to switching poorly performing students to special-needs programs • Many teachers teach the tests rather than the full curriculum • Some even give students actual test answers • Public School Financing • Federal grants • State funding such as the Permanent School Fund • The Foundation School Program • Local property taxes

  9. Spending & Services • Education in Texas • Elementary & Secondary Schools (cont.) • School Finance Reform • In the Texas case Edgewood v. Kirby it was determined that the state’s funding system was unconstitutional • Local Property Tax Relief • School districts finance an increasing portion of the cost of public education through property taxes • In 2006, a bill was passed to reduce the local property tax rates by increasing the state’s share of public education costs • School Privatization • The voucher system proposes to use public funds to enable students to attend private and parochial schools

  10. Spending & Services • Higher Education • Public institutions enroll 90% of all students in Texas higher education • Administration of Colleges and Universities • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board coordinates this complex system • The Coordinating Board appoints the board of regents • The board of regents outline the role of each public college and university • The University of Texas System • The Texas Tech System • The Texas A&M System • Single-campus institutions • The Texas State University System • The University of Houston

  11. Texas Higher Education EnrollmentsFall 2007

  12. Spending & Services • Higher Education (cont.) • Community colleges are established by voters to serve primarily area residents • The Politics of Higher Education • To increase faculty accountability, it has been suggested that tenure protections must be diluted • Most colleges and universities in Texas must struggle with relatively small budgets • To increase accessibility it has been proposed to close institutions with smaller enrollments, reduce duplication, restrict student services, and implement new degree programs • Retention is difficult when students are facing high costs, lack of course availability, inadequate academic preparation and personal issues

  13. Texas Resident Tuition & Fees30 Credit Hours

  14. Spending & Services Health & Human Services • Second most costly category of state spending • 60% of funding originates as grants in aid from the federal government • Regulations require recipients to prove need and meet basic criteria • Benefits have declined considerably over the years • Health Programs • Socialized Medicine: • Texas spends more than 1/5 of its state budget on the Medicaid program • 60% of that money originates as federal funding

  15. Spending & Services Health & Human Services (cont.) • Health Programs • Medicare • Medicaid • The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) • The Women, Infants, and children (WIC) • Health care delivery is becoming much more expensive • Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured Unemployment Programs • Unemployment insurance is possible through a partnership between the states and the federal government • About 40% of unemployed are eligible for unemployment benefits

  16. Spending & Services Unemployment Programs (cont.) • The Texas Workforce Commission provides the following: • A workforce for employers • Gathers employment statistics • Enforces child labor laws • Provides various special job-training and rehabilitation services Politics of Welfare: Myths & Realities • Many define welfare as the unearned, government-provided benefit • Financial bailouts, subsidies to agribusiness, etc. are more costly than poverty programs

  17. Spending & Services Politics of Welfare: Myths & Realities (cont.) • Old age, survivors, disability insurance, as well as unemployment insurance are not public welfare programs • Erroneously many believe that any poor person may be eligible for state public assistance benefits • It is difficult to determine the amount of cheating that occurs during the application and qualification processes • Public assistance programs alleviate rather than cure

  18. Spending & Services Highway Programs • In the early days, road construction was primarily the responsibility of the county • State governments have assume the major responsibility for highway construction and maintenance • The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provides funding for primary and secondary roads • State monies account for about 60% of TxDOT funding • The Trans-Texas Corridor is a controversial 50-year plan that will develop new state transportation systems • Project will be mainly operated by private enterprises • The objective is to stimulate economic development

  19. Conceptual PlansTrans-Texas Corridor