In 2006, former Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn sent a letter to state Gov. Rick Perry predicting a $23 billion shortfall over the next five years due to Perry?s tax plan. Local superintendents say they're outraged that state lawmakers saw this coming and didn't do anything to stop it.
Clyde CISD Superintendent Dr. Gail Haterius said she?s upset that the budget deficit is being blamed on the current bad economy.
?All of the "money people" that are in the know say this is a structural deficit,? Haterius said. ?It's not caused by the recession. There's just not money projected to be in there anyway and it makes it worse that that's exacerbated by the recession."
Haterius told KTXS she came across the letter six months ago and Governor Perry should have taken this warning seriously.
?You find something like this and you want to go, 'they knew',? Haterius explained. ?Hopefully, this mess will cause us to look at the funding system and that's what we want. We just want a plan that makes sense and is supported."
Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Burns said he is also outraged that state lawmakers blame the budget deficit on the current economy. He told KTXS in a written statement: "I believe that any politician that feigns surprise about this issue is likely being naive. To attribute shortfalls to spending means that the politicians must completely disregard the warnings of the comptroller. This is a revenue shortfall. It was predicted. It has arrived."
Haterius also said she just wants lawmakers to come up with a plan that will prevent this budget shortfall from happening again.
?They're the ones that created this structural deficit that we're in now and they're the ones that's going to have to pass the laws to get us out of the structural deficit."