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JESSE HERRERA easier for police to gather evidence against suspected drug traffickers. Perot spent at least $71,000 of his own money on the campaign to court lawmakers, who dutifully approved provisions that allowed covert entry into homes and businesses and contempt of court penalties for landlords, janitors or building managers who fail to “unobtrusively cooperate” with officers searching for phones to tap. Police were authorized to break into homes or offices on the basis of unsworn testimony of informants to install the taps or to search for evidence, despite warnings from criminal defense lawyers that drug use would be used as a pretext for invasion of privacy. Another provision limited complaints or recovery of damages by innocent parties against law enforcement officials who might abuse their trust during the legalized break-ins and wiretappings, as long as they were proceeding on “a good faith reliance” on a court order. Yet another provision required pharmacists to report all prescriptions for morphine, codeine or other schedule II or III drugs to the state police for entry into computer data banks. “When drug dealers look at those laws, they’re going to get out of Texas,” Perot said of the anti-drug package. But John Duncan, then executive director of the Texas Civil Liberties Union, said the elected politicians had turned off their minds and blindly followed Clements and Perot. “They’ve done an excellent job laying a foundation for a fascist state,” he said. Instead of driving drug dealers from Texas, the mandatory sentencing laws have filled the state’s prisons to overflowing, forcing the early release of inmates to make room for new convicts who are backed up in county jails around the state. Terral Smith, a Republican who chaired the Texas House subcommittee that worked on Perot’s bills, in 1988 told Texas Monthly the War on Drugs was naive. “It required a real financial commitment to law enforcement and to prisons. To really make a dent, it would take close to a billion dollars. That wasn’t even discussed.” In 1988, Perot was reported as advocating cordoning off sections of cities, such as South Dallas, and sending in hundreds of police for house-to-house searches for drugs and weapons. War On Teachers When Gov. Mark White tapped Perot to lead the assault on the state’s education bureaucracy, Perot attacked with an enthusiasm similar to what he had shown in the War on Drugs. He hired two of the top guns in the Austin lobby, Rusty Kelley and Jack Gullahorn, both of whom usually work for large corporate interests, and he brought in Rick Salwen, his personal lobbyist for the War on Drugs. He allied his lobbyists with representatives of the Texas Interfaith Network, which had been lobbying for equalization in education funding. Perot’s lobbyists worked the legislators they knew best those who usually protected the interests of business purveying the big business rationale: a good education system is critical for future business investment in the state, and the tax program to pay for it will be drawn up in the best interests of big business. When the House education plan, sponsored by Bill Haley, D-Center, was introduced, Bob Bullock, then the comptroller, said it carried “the fingerprints of the rich, a backroom deal.” The bill provided much less for property-poor districts than Perot’s special committee recommended, so Haley’s bill drew fewer protests from property-rich districts. White defended the equalization formula, saying the state should “avoid any suggestion of a socialistic tendency which is to pull everybody down to a level. We should pull everybody up.” The bill raised the standards for passing grades; it provided smaller class sizes in lower grades and a Head Start program for disadvantaged 4-year-olds. Its most controversial provision probably was the “no pass, no play” rule that benched athletes and others from extracurricular activities if they failed a course. For teachers, it provided an 11-step salary scale with a four-step “career ladder” for merit pay, but it also required all teachers to pass competency tests. Funding was based on average daily attendance rather than enrollment. The final bill included an equalization formula, although not as much as Mexican-American lawmakers wanted; the House’s price differential allotment formula was adopted to determine the ratio for district wealth at a lower rate than that called for by the Senate, which would have provided greater benefits for property-poor districts. The reform bill was to be administered by a 15-member board of education, to be appointed for at least four years; voters in 1988 returned the board to an elected body. The billion-dollar tax bill to pay for the teacher pay raises and school district equalization maintained exemptions on the sales tax for professional services but slapped the tax on a wide range of repair services used by consumers. The exemption for over-the-counter computer software was removed while special computer services, such as those offered by Perot, remained untaxed. Heavy industry kept its sales tax exemption for utility use. The bill also increased tuition for state universities but replaced a tax on bank shares with a franchise tax, saving banks an estimated 30 to 40 percent on their tax bills. Results of the reforms have been mixed. In the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the most widely used college entrance exam, the average math score has increased 10 points, to 463 of a possible 800 this past year, but the average verbal score has dropped slightly, to 411 this past year, the Dallas Morning News reported. Texas SAT scores remained below the national average. In state-administered basic skills tests, the News reported, students steadily improved in the first testing program the Texas Education Assessment of Minimum Skills. By the fifth year of the TEAMS, three of every four students was passing. But nearly one-half of students have failed a new, tougher exam introduced in 1990-91, the News reported. Teachers bitterly resented the competency tests, although politicians said they were needed to make the tax increases palatable. Approximately 600 teachers less than 1 percent failed the test, but many teachers worked against Mark White in the 1986 election, which Bill Clements won. A survey of the Association of Texas Professional Educators recently showed that 81 percent of 1,638 members surveyed said state-mandated paperwork consumes too much administrative time. More than one-half support a reduction in the suspension period under the no-pass, no-play rule. The most favorable response was for the 22:1 teacher/pupil ratio for kindergarten through grade four. But local districts complained that they were forced to assume the costs of the reforms as the Legislature failed to appropriate enough money, and the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state school funding formula was unconstitutional because of the gap in education resources across the state. The Texas State Teachers Association the state’s largest teachers’ organization walked out on the reforms, but the Texas Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, supported the reforms, and its state president, John Cole, said there is no doubt it has improved education in the state, although some of the potential was missed. “The biggest problem was that, after the reform legislation passed, the impetus for carrying on the reforms died,” Cole said. “Gov. 10 JUNE 5, 1992