An average of 80,000 new students per year are being enrolled in schools annually across Texas but over 60 percent do not speak English, State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) told a group of about 75 men and women at the Rockwall Republican Men’s Club breakfast July 11.
As a result, $2 billion dollars more are required each year in the state budget for funding education, he explained afterward.
“The figures show that each student costs about $7,000 to educate,” he said. “And since the courts have ruled that we need to educate the children of illegal immigrants, as well, the costs continue to rise.”
“But I’d rather build schools than prisons,” he added, since research shows that youth without an education run into more trouble with the law than those attending school.
“I wish all students could read, but they can’t,” the medical doctor continued. “I wish children under 18 didn’t become pregnant, but they do. I wish there was no mercury in fish and lakes, but there is. I wish water and energy was abundant and cheap, but they’re not.”
“So that’s why we have such a challenge allocating the funds to deal with these and many more problems,” he said, considering about 1,000 people a day are now moving into Texas.
“But we have to learn to live within our means.”
He further explained how the $12 billion federal stimulus is helping to balance the budget, plus how the $9 billion “Rainy Day” fund established by Republican lawmakers is of great benefit.
“In 2009, the budget deficit was $9 billion, but thanks to the $12 billion federal stimulus, we can balance the budget and still keep the Rainy Day fund,” he said.
In 2011, it’s projected right now there will be an $11 billion deficit, but the extra stimulus money plus the $9 billion Rainy Day fund should basically balance that out.”
He commented that the Democrats had wanted to spend the Rainy Day fund this budget year, as well, but Republicans were able to maintain the fund to help with future State financial problems.
Sen. Deuell further reported that 12,226 bills were filed in the 2009 legislature, 200 more than in 2007. A total of 7, 419 bills passed.