Subject: Use of “Rainy Day” fund for recurring (budgeted) expenses
I know that you and all state representatives and state senators have been mercilessly pressured to maintain state school spending levels. School administrations have recruited teachers, students and parents to write, call and “walk the halls” in order to minimize budget cuts. Our own Rockwall ISD sent out an appeal along with “talking points”.
You and I know very well the purpose of holding money for contingencies. Our Texas “Rainy Day” fund was established to cover emergencies like hurricanes, floods, epidemics and wild fires – events for which it is impossible to budget.
Isn’t it the purpose of the budget to cover recurring state expenses? Is it wise to tap our emergency fund to placate school administrators? Even as I write and as you read this letter, over 1,000,000 acres of Texas is ablaze. Just this morning I heard reports of additional firefighters being dispatched from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Where will the money come from? What happens when hurricanes lash our shores?
Long-range weather forecast predicts 17 names storms, nine hurricanes – five major hurricanes – during 2011. Presently, our northern hemisphere is in a period of unstable weather. No doubt, you are aware of the extraordinary number of tornadoes wreaking havoc across the southern tier of states. It is this weather pattern that exacerbates west Texas grass fires.
I urge you to preserve our emergency funds and make the hard choice to cut state spending. As I have said before to you, the problem with school funding lies not with students or teachers. The chief problems are district indebtedness and bloated bureaucracies. Our opportunity is to preserve teachers’ jobs and represent the interests of students as we reduce administrative overhead. For the record: Rockwall ISD has a non-teaching staff to teaching staff ratio of 1:1.
Rockwall, Texas 75087