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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Ryan Prager (18) celebrates getting the last strikeout during A&Ms games against Vanderbilt on Friday, April 11, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Ring Day run rule
April 12, 2024
Sophomore LHP Ryan Prager (18) celebrates getting the last strikeout during A&Ms games against Vanderbilt on Friday, April 11, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Ring Day run rule
April 12, 2024
Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
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Dr. Weston Porter (top left) and researchers from the breast cancer lab. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Weston Porter)
New A&M research initiative provides cutting-edge cancer treatments
J.M. Wise, News Reporter • April 8, 2024

It has been 20 months since Michelle Pozzi, Ph.D, of Texas A&M’s Biochemistry and Biophysics department was diagnosed with cancer. However,...

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Sophomore LHP Ryan Prager (18) celebrates getting the last strikeout during A&Ms games against Vanderbilt on Friday, April 11, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Ring Day run rule
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • April 12, 2024

It was Ring Day in Aggieland when No. 3 Texas A&M faced off against No. 6 Vanderbilt on Friday night in the first game of a three-game set. The...

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Students, residents commemorates Eid Al-Fitr
Lasan Ukwatta Liyanage, Life & Arts Writer • April 11, 2024

This year's Eid Al-Fitr celebration, hosted by Texas A&M’s Muslim Student Association, or MSA, drew over 1,500 attendees on Wednesday,...

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Student housing located right outside off campus boundaries on George Bush Drive. 
Guest Commentary: An open letter to City Hall
Ben Crockett, Guest Contributor • April 11, 2024

City Council, As representatives of the Texas Aggie Classes of 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, we write to you today to urge a reconsideration...

Robin Hood’ plan needs replacement

Last year, the Texas Legislature decided it would do away with the “Robin Hood” plan for funding Texas public schools. However, it failed to create a replacement plan due to partisan bickering and posturing. It appears that this failure may force Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature this year to deal with this problem of school funding. Texas taxpayers and students deserve a workable plan to replace Robin Hood, but the way things are looking, more of the strife that dominated the Legislature in the past year is still to come, and little will likely be done.
Last year, legislative special sessions were the rage, with two being called to deal with redistricting. But in the fuss, important fiscal issues such as school finance were neglected. The only thing that was a priority in this area was to abolish the old plan, which was done by passing a law that would eventually repeal the current Robin Hood plan.
This seems odd, however, when compared to the vocal tendencies of the state’s top politicians on other matters. The only major elected official who even ventured to propose a plan was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. He told the Amarillo Globe News he wished to end local school taxes and replace them with a lower state property tax and increased taxes of services such as “alcohol or insurance.” But other state leaders are relatively quiet on the issue.
House Speaker Tom Craddick, apparently eager to leave his mark on the state and redraw its congressional boundaries, did not even bring Dewhurst’s plan up for a vote in the House, according to The Houston Chronicle. He has been relatively quiet on the issue, as has the usually-vociferous state Comptroller Carol Keeton-Strayhorn. Legislative Democrats have also been relatively quiet, except to complain about the repeal of the old plan.
Although Perry has comments about the issue of public schools in Texas, they rarely have to do with funding. He recently appointed a new state education commissioner, Shirley Neely. She was formerly with Galena Park ISD and, in a Houston Chronicle column, she said, “We must never, ever accept failure, mediocrity, the status quo or excuses (in the schools).” She needs to send that message to her boss, Perry, about funding for those schools.
But the appointment of Neely is just part of Perry’s recent kick on “educational excellence.” In an article in The Chronicle, Perry proposed three cash incentives for achievement. In total, he proposed $500 million in incentives, according to the article. The governor made no mention of where that money will come from.
Perry also opposed discussing new taxes in the article. But he cannot keep his head in the sand forever. Texas school districts have already begun to mobilize on a lawsuit over school funding, however. Although Perry wants to fund the schools at acceptable levels, this seems in conflict with his desire of excellence.
At least this time, unlike the last battle over the issue in 1993, the Legislature is not operating under the threat of a court order. It has the time to make a proper plan that should see the schools for the long run. Although Dewhurst’s plan may not be perfect, it at least recognizes the fact that the state will have to raise more money somehow to pay for schools. Perry, Craddick and the Democrats should drop the election shtick and own up to the fact that the state faces a serious funding problem in its schools, and the only way to fix it may be to restructure state taxes. Texas’ future may depend on it.

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