Look up “Mass Hysteria.” When you do, you’ll find the blank stares of Union Grove ISD’s Educrats glowering at you from the pages of your dictionary.
Texas Educrats are apoplectic over the prospect of using education dollars to educate Texas children. A review of the editorial pages across Texas reveals that they’re writing letters, they’re gnashing teeth, and they’re predicting death, doom and destruction. If we believe Texas public schools, directing 65% of education dollars to the classroom will be the end of life, as we know it.
Nowhere is the hysteria more prevalent than Union Grove ISD. According to American’s for Prosperity (AFP), the governor’s office has received numerous virtually identical letters from Union Grove opposing the use of 65% of public school resources to instruct public school children. It appears the entire staff of Union Grove ISD is hard at work lobbying against Texas children.
According to the duplicated communications, placing money in the classroom would “Devastate” the district. Union Grove Educrats claim they would not be able to pay for building maintenance, nurses and counselors.
After everyone at Union Grove marched lemming like off the cliff, an analysis of their own numbers indicated that the district was already spending 66% of their budget on instruction.
What’s The Point?
Texas Educrats are against anything and everything that will improve public education if there’s the slightest chance it will impact their privileges and perks. They’re against it even if they’re already in compliance.
It’s not just Union Grove ISD. Everyone that’s presently making a living off the backs of Texas children is adamant that they be provided unlimited money with negligible accountability.
Our Children Pay Dearly
If Texas public schools would work with Texas families, the benefits to our children would be incalculable. Our current one size fits all, my way or the highway attitude of Texas public schools imposes an astronomical cost on Texas families.
A recent visitor is illustrative.
Two weeks ago Charles Hunycutt, a former Texas school superintendent, visited my office. Charlie wanted me to take a look at Read Right, a program used successfully by Lindsy ISD and Brady ISD. Additionally, Read Right received a powerful testimonial from Melinda Reeves, the 2004 Texas High School Principal of the Year. Further, two for-profit firms told stories of how a man with Down’s syndrome and a dyslexic adult were taught to read using Read Right techniques.
Charlie is an energetic advocate of an approach to reading instruction that seems to work. We need it. In Texas, more than 50% of our high school graduates attending Texas colleges require remediation in reading, writing and/or mathematics. (For an expanded discussion of the remediation requirements of Texas public school graduates: Click Here)
We’ve got a failed education system and what appears to be an effective cure. It sounds like a marriage made in heaven. If Read Right works, why isn’t it available in every Texas community?
The answer is simple.
It’s unavailable because people like Charlie can’t directly approach parents painfully aware of how Texas public schools have failed their children. Texas public schools have already spent their money. Instead of helping families directly, he’s compelled to work with Texas schools, most of which are loath to admit they don’t know how to teach a child to read.
To learn more about Read Right, Click Here
Who Knows Which Method is Best?
Both Charlie and Texas public schools can make excellent cases for action and inaction respectively. We’ve got two approaches to education and no way to determine if one is superior to the other. Our monolithic approach prohibits parents, desperate to save their children from illiteracy, from selecting alternative instruction.
Read Right may not be for everyone. However, with Texas public schools delivering a 50% failure rate, it’s certainly right for someone.
The Read Right debate could end in one of two ways. It might be a panacea or, it could be just another Looney Tunes Outcome Based Education plan designed to provide any child that can fog a mirror a Texas High School Diploma while concurrently delivering another way for Texas Educrats to escape culpability for their failure.
Without school choice, there’s no way to know.
65% Is Barely Enough
Until Texas parents are provided the “Power of the Purse” permitting them to access resources available from professionals such as Charlie, it is absolutely imperative that Texas public schools be compelled to place a minimum amount of their dollars in the classroom.
Our school’s lack of integrity and lack of confidence in their own abilities has necessitated the use of a sledgehammer when a scalpel would serve our children better.
Texas parents should be able to purchase products like Read Right for their child with the education dollars allocated to educate that child.
The continued refusal of Texas Educrats to accept responsibility for their actions costs all of us dearly. Children don’t learn and actual Educators trapped in Texas public schools must bear the burden of legislative solutions to force change in a failed system.
Thanks to Texas Educrats, it will only get worse for children and Educators.
The Battle Begins
TASANet.org, the official site of the Texas Superintendent’s union, reports the following:
“‘The 65% Task Force is scheduled to meet on October 19 at 1 p.m. in the William B. Travis Building in Austin. The meeting will take place in room 1.111 and is open to the public. At this time, the taxpayer panel that is also going to review this issue has not yet been announced.”
The battle now begins to define what represents a classroom dollar. Union Grove ISD fired the first “Bad Faith Volley.” Texas parents, children and Educators have come to expect such duplicity whenever an Educrats worldview is challenged.
I testified before the Texas House Education Committee during the 79th legislative session. While at the capital, I saw dozens of well-heeled lobbyist, lavishly paid Texas superintendents and Texas teachers all desperate to protect their perks.
On the 19th of October, this unconscionable crowd will pull out all the stops to maximize their discretionary spending regardless of the consequences to Texas children.
Texas Educrats will do and say whatever it takes to prevail over Texas families.
Without parents in the aisles, I fully expect a repeat of the legislative debacle. If there are no parents or Educators in the room, it’s going to be ugly for Texas children.
Texas Children Need Your Help!
At this writing the only place I’ve seen this meeting announced is on the union site. Commissioner Neeley has not published a press release. I’ve not seen an announcement in any of the papers.
I suspect the news blackout is intentional.
The last thing Texas Educrats want to see in room 1.111 is people speaking for Texas children.
They’ll see at least one. I’m going to be there. I hope you will too.
If you can visit Austin on the 19th of October, please do so. In any case, be sure to forward this piece to your friends, family and acquaintances that care about education in Texas.
Let’s Turn The Tables
Texas superintendents, Texas teachers unions and their taxpayer-funded lobbyists don’t have jobs like the rest of us. They drink deeply from the public trough. They view their perks and privileges as irrevocable. Whenever Texas families threaten their position with demands of performance, they flee to Austin. Texas Educrats are acutely aware that they cannot face the people they serve. Their reprehensible conduct will not stand scrutiny.
As we saw in the Union Grove ISD example, Texas Educrats shriek like banshees even when they’re not affected by child friendly legislation.
Unlike Texas Educrats, those of us that don’t work for the state must acquire our benefits the old fashion way, we earn them from people who know what we do, rather than lobby people clueless about our abilities.
Let’s force Texas Educrats to do the same.
Work With Us!
Let’s tell all Texas schools that they’ll have all the money they need and can do whatever they please with that money as long as they’re educating our children. Parents must be provided with “The Power of The Purse” permitting them to select qualified Educators from the public, private or parochial school that best serves their families needs.
Contact the Governor, your state senator, state representative and your State Board of Education Representative today. Urge them to reject the self-serving pleas of Texas Educrats. Urge them to support 100% Fully Funded School Choice in Texas.
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