makes this weekend second biggest shopping event of the year
Governor Rick Perry promised a continuation of "tax free weekend". He says people need the money to help kids get ready for school which generates a certain amount of excitement about learning.
"The idea that we leave money in private citizens hands is a good concept," says Perry.
Perry says anything that the state can do to give kids and their families a leg up will go a long way in lowering the high school drop out rate.
"The real purpose of this weekend is
to prepare our students for Texas schools and to prepare them to succeed."
He says helping families afford
clothes and school supplies puts the emphasis on back-to-school which may push kids toward the ultimate goal: high school graduation. Texas has historically had one of the highest drop out rates in the nation.
"Nearly 86% of the class of 2011 graduated in 4 years and when you add those individuals who dropped out but then went back into school, that jumps up to 92%," said Perry, addressing parents getting ready to shop.
"8th grade Hispanic and African American students posted the 6th and 4th highest scores in the country respectively, in the National Assessment of Educational Progress Science Exam, it's called the NAPES," he added.
Texas shoppers have saved about $630 million since the first weekend in 1999. The continuation of the tax free weekend was in doubt in the 2011 session of the Legislature, as lawmakers desperatly looked for ways to save money to plug holes nt he state budget.
But, despite all of the hot button issues that came up in the 2011 session, from the sonogram bill to the proposal to criminalize TSA airport 'groping,' the issue that resulted in the largest amount of negative mail and phone calls to lawmakers offices was the proposal to do away with the tax free weekend.