Education cuts hurt minority students

The winds are changing, and there’s trouble brewing in Texas. That trouble is coming in the form of a large state budget deficit that is threatening to place college out of reach for many students.

Gov. Rick Perry has the answer when he brags that Texas created more jobs under his direction than any other state in America. For a while, according to Perry, the state was unaffected by the woes of the national recession. This was partly true — Texas was a booming state with a bright future, but now we have a budget crisis that threatens that future.

The proposed solution to the budget crisis, with the consideration of raising taxes far out the door, is to heavily cut state funding for education.

To be fair, it has been a long tradition in Texas to discount the true value and importance of public education to the state — Texas was once a state that outright denied providing public education. So it’s almost natural that cuts in education would be so drastic and the first cut on the list, especially now that the legislature has more Tea Party members.

The Tea Party Patriots, a radical subdivision of the Republican Party known for its near-militant rallies and raging rhetoric, have made it a real point to make significant cuts in education. But if there’s anywhere the Tea Party and Republicans should want government, it’s in education.

An educated populace fuels the economy and democracy we live in, and the system tends to work better that way. However, to relate specifically to the situation students are facing in Texas, it usually lists very low on the agenda.

This is evident in the current attacks that Republicans are making in their attempts to fix the budget. Instead of making cuts to education, state lawmakers should be considering other departments, agencies and regulatory groups that are over-funded and largely irrelevant and inefficient.

The governor has slammed regulations as a key obstacle to job creation across the nation, even going so far as to make attacks on the policies in Washington for increasing regulations.

Why not make the case at home? Such measures would impede business interests. The governor stated many times that there was no budget crisis — apparently he’s convinced it’s a priority crisis.

The education budget funds many programs that inspire and encourage above-average student performance, and it also encourages more students to pursue higher education through its incentives. The largest of those programs offers state aid to students who could not otherwise afford the tuition at colleges and universities.

In a sense, the state makes an investment in its future by sending more students to colleges and universities, because it provides the market with professional and skilled laborers to attract better businesses.

Attracting those businesses would allow the state to collect more taxes, which are used to keep that same cycle running smoothly.

But it’s no secret that blacks, Hispanics and other minorities collectively rely on state aid as the difference maker in their financial aid awards. Cutting funds to education limits these awards and thereby limits the pursuits of aspiring minority students.

The budget has to be balanced, and if no taxes have to be raised, that’s great for everyone. But why should something as important as education be cut, especially considering that it is a key driving force behind getting more minorities and low-income students educated and prepared for an economy that demands college educated workers?

The cuts in education are not fair, nor are they logical or strategic. Considering the faces of those largely in opposition and those who will suffer the most, some opponents could call it racist, if such issues weren’t a thing of the past.

But to both the students that this legislation would affect and to those who sympathize, a vocal opposition is needed — and time is of the essence.

Lawmakers know and realize the potential of students, especially considering what has been going on in the Arab world. They may be acting in consideration of the fact that students and young voters don’t tend to vote Republican.

Whatever the case, Perry called Texas a land of opportunity, and someone has to call him on it.

If the cuts are made, that statement may not longer be true for the many students seeking an education and a better future.


  • I notice many of these authors don't realize that a majority of the budget in the state goes to two things Education and healthcare. The only way you could keep those levels with out drastically rasing taxes on the people and buisness would be to close down all the other agencies in the state. There is your 25% that would save you the money from a budget crisis. What we really need in this country and this state is to bring manufacturing back from over seas.

  • There’s always all this hoopla about “minority” students. It’s always assumed that white males have superiority in everything. “They all have plenty of money and they don’t need help.” Hell, I need help. With both parents unemployed for the last 8 months where’s my help?

    This stuff about minority students not getting money is what plenty of Caucasian males have been going through for a long time..

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