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Today in “The Free Market”

School Bullies: Texas oil refineries want Texas school districts to pay for the pollution-control equipment the refiners are required to install. They claim they cannot afford to stop polluting the environment unless they get huge tax refunds. Win or lose, little Johnny should get an education.

The refineries want the tax breaks in exchange for buying pollution-controlling equipment. But the cost to public schools would be dear, coming only months after lawmakers slashed education spending by more than $4 billion. An intense odor of burnt chemicals hangs over the town. “There are days when we can’t go out because our children’s asthma is that bad,” she said. “And then they want money back?”

In smaller, more rural counties — where property taxes from heavy industry provide a big chunk of funding for schools and government services — the effect could be even greater. For example, in Moore County, where a Valero refinery is seeking two exemptions, a $15.8 million refund would amount to more than $720 per person.

Now, now these are tough times for these megacorps making record profits. They’re not flush with cash and power like those greedy schoolkids.

Clearly, the problem is the teacher’s union.

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