Friday, May 25, 2012

A Penny Wise and Pound Foolish Education Policy

All expert economic analysts tell us that our country is in the midst of a soft recovery from the worst recession in our country's history.

Texas, however, seems to be weathering the storm better than most states.

At the same time the very thing that would strengthen our future. Yet the commitment to adequately fund public education in preparation for the growing number of children - particularly minority children - the employees and employers of the future, is missing.

My column in the Dallas Morning News, speaks to our state's 'penny wise and pound foolish' attitude toward our Texas' future...

"Short term, our state’s employment figures are good news. Nationally, the unemployment figures reflect a stubborn sluggishness, yet Texas’ outlook is comparatively robust. Our April unemployment figures were 6.9 percent, compared with the nation’s figure of 8.1 percent, about the state’s unemployment average one year ago.""Regionally, those numbers look even rosier: Dallas’ unemployment figure sits at 6.5 percent (down from 7 percent in March); Fort Worth is 6.3 percent (6.9 percent in March). Even more positive are the figures from Austin, 5.5 percent, and Midland, 3.5 percent. By any measure, these are encouraging numbers."
"Impressive job growth was seen in manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities industries. Construction jobs also showed a slight increase."
"However, economic analyst Ray Perryman offers a word of caution that should temper our enthusiasm: “The bigger concern is the long-term consequences for economic growth if we fail to provide adequate resources to accommodate the education and infrastructure needs of an expanding population.” In other words, refusal to invest in components critical to economic recovery, particularly in the area of education, could result in capping the potential of what appears to be a growing economy."

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