Friday, July 1, 2016 – Snarky Friday – Zero from Zero = Zero. Or Three Zeros under the Dome.

Friday, July 1, 2016 – Snarky Friday – Zero from Zero = Zero. Or Three Zeros under the Dome.

I see where the Big Three of Texas– The Governor, The Lieutenant Governor and The Speaker of the House – asked all state agencies to trim 4% from their annual budget. Budget cuts were always my favorite time of the year at my state agency. Nothing makes your summer go better than an environment filled with fear of job loss. It is that wonderful time of the year when one must justify their existence. This is usually done by which departments can generate mountains of spreadsheets with all types of data.

“Additionally, zero-based budget information will also be requested from agencies throughout development of the 2018-19 state budget,” the Big Three’s letter said.

Zero-based budgeting, championed by former President Jimmy Carter when he was governor of Georgia, begins every budget cycle with a zero for all agencies. The idea is that they will have to justify continuation of each of their activities.

Here’s what I’m thinking as it relates to the budget proposals and Texas public education. First, since The Big Three want to decline any Federal education funds and ensure your original DNA goes the proper bathroom. This takes out about a bazillion dollars leaving all federally funded programs like Special Education, Title I and all those other poor people kind of programs with $0.

A 4% reduction in the state education budgets, including mental health programs and public schools, the formula looks something like this: Last year’s public school funding = $0. With a 4% reduction, the formula is: ($0 – $0) X .04% = $0.

Therefore, the budget formula for public education is: $0 – $0 = $0. Therefore the budget for public school funding looks like this:

Austin Graffitti Wall 8.24.13 2013-08-24 139 (530x800)

Austin Graffitti Wall – 8.24.2014 – Austin, Texas. Photo by me.

What have you done today for the boys and girls of Texas today? Obviously these Big Three did Zero. Have we ever thought about asking the state legislature justify their existence?

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