Saturday, May 4, 2013

Texas can't compete in global economy without Education investment

Dear Texas Legislators:

In The last 30 years I have been in nearly 50 countries on negotiating missions; therefore I have unique perspective when comparing Texas education to the USA and the world in which we compete in a global economy. I live in Texas so it matters.

I urge you to restore the full $5.4 Billion that was cut from the 2011 education budget because Texas is behind not just other states but behind the world in giving students the skills they need to succeed in this high-tech, global economy.

Texas has fallen to 49 out of 50 in per student spending, according to this Dallas Morning News report!

Today there are over 2 million high-tech, high-paying jobs available in the United States – yet they remain empty. Why? Because Texans and Americans do not have the skills to fill them! Chinese workers do. Indian workers do. Why would Americans not want to acquire the skills for a $70,000 year job?

One American company owner gives all applicants a test.  Ninety 90% of them don’t even qualify for training! Our math and science skills need improvement. We must up our skills or lose to our global competitors who are mastering those skills.

We can’t win in a high-tech economy without investing in the education of our next generation of Texans--all of them. Even the oil industry says they have a difficult time finding people with skills needed. Neglecting this issue sabotages our future as a robust economic state. High tech companies will need those skills available in Texas if they want to move to Texas.

Texas is adding 70,000 new students every year, which puts the legislature behind an additional 140,000 new students since the last legislature in 2011. So even the $5.4 billion leaves us short in preparing Texans for the future. The Rainy Day Fund should reimburse schools at least $8 billion - and make sure every Texas school kid has an Ipad or a laptop since they vastly improve learning in this space age century.

Therefore, I urge the Texas legislature to restore the education funding from the Rainy Day Fund, because it’s raining hard on Texas’ future right now.

Michael Fjetland, JD/BBA
President, Armor Glass International, Inc.
Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool
(Looking Back on the Future of America)

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