I raised taxes for education and for be used to keep him in some reasonable confinement. Alright, let’s get over to the school situation. . I would think that the first thing we would do, before we just threw money into the educational system we have today, let’s see what needs to be done to fix it as opposed to equalize it. I don’t want to be equally ignorant. I don’t want to be equally poor. I think that’s not the gain that we’re looking for and I hope that isn’t what the court’s trying to impose. I don’t think that it is. I think what we need to do is to go back and to see what the needs of a school would be in South Texas and go build us one that works. Don’t we already know that? Don’t we Yeah, we do. But we’re not doing it. We know it and we’re not doing it. We know what works and we’re not doing it. That’s why I’m running for governor! If I heard you correctly, you said that we need to see what needs to be done And then go do it. Every proposal you see right now is to add money. Every one of them. It’s all an add-money program. Well, if ALAN POGUE highways you think our school system today is the one you want, then go ahead and add some more money to it. You’re not going to get any change. What I envision is a school system that works for the kids that are in that school. And it breaks down to pretty much a unit-byunit, school-by-school, neighborhood-byneighborhood. The problems of South Texas are similar in ways, because of poverty, to some of our inner-urban schools. But at the same time they’re distinctly different because of the population in the schools. The problems of a poor white or Hispanic in Houston, or black in Houston in an inner-city neighborhood school, may be vastly different, and I think is a vastly different problem than the problem of a kid in Roma, Texas, or La Joya Independent School District .. . Then, you disagree with the premise that there is a relationship between funding and the availability of educational opportunity? I don’t think one necessarily follows; it’s how well you spend the money that really creates the result. But the court has identified equity in funding as the fundamental problem. But let me stress that the court doesn’t have a whole lot of judgement about and didn’t make a judgement over which program is a good one or a bad one. The court’s merely saying that the law requires you to have an equitable distribution of resources. Whatever those resources may be. But what I’m saying is that while we have this opportunity, why in the world don’t we make ’em good. Make it a good equitable distribution. Let’s separate the issues for a second. First of all, do you think that the way our schools are funded in the state is equitable? As a I don’t think that there is any question. I think that’s been decided by the court. I’d recognize the inequity of funding. When I was governor and I tried to put, and did put, more money into the poorer school districts than any governor in the history of Texas. Had they continued to do that, since I left, maybe we wouldn’t have had this court decision. If we were to revisit H.B. 72, what needs to be continued what needs to be What I’m saying is right now what we’re hearing is and maybe what we need to do in the near term is to just go ahead and comply as quickly as we can with whatever the court says and get the court out of the way. And then go into a very thorough, not study of, but implementation of programs that work in communities where our children live. And let’s make some sense out of this thing. I thought I’d made some sense in House Bill 72 when we had some rather uniform obligations spread across the state. I now know, as diverse as Texas is, that it’s very difficult to have a state law passed, that applies equally throughout the state, take into account all the different circumstances throughout the state. So, let’s just go build it for rural West Texas and let’s go build the finest school system for rural West Texas that works for kids that live in Ozona, or in Van Horn. You’re not going to have top-flight physics professor in Van Horn, Texas, the odds are. Now, how we going to teach physics in Van Horn? I’ve got some ways of doing that. That’s what we need to do! How are we going to teach, how we going to bring topquality vocational programs to kids in remote parts of Texas? ‘We can’t afford vocational programs in urban Texas. I’ve got some technology that will do that. Now, let’s go pay for it. That’s what I’m drivin’ at. You know what the difference is? People will be willing to pay for that. People want to pay for quality. Let me go back and show you what I did when I was governor. I raised taxes for two purposes. Unlike the current administration, which has raised taxes for everything and cut back, really, on the two things I raised the for. 20 JANUARY 12, 1990
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