Day: February 26, 2014

Making road kill of public schools

 

Just when you may have thought Texas political candidates couldn’t figure out another way to entertain the rest of the country along comes Tink Nathan of Center Point, who is pushing a campaign plank to allow road kill to be served on dinner tables. Or, as one recent news report put it, Nathan wants “road kill at every barbecue.”

In fairness to Nathan, a Republican candidate for a Texas House seat from the Hill County, I think he means freshly deceased deer as opposed to squashed skunk or snake. But regardless of how amusing or off-putting you may find his proposal, the real problem with Nathan’s candidacy is that he would make road kill of public schools.

On his website, Nathan claims he is “pro-education” – few candidates claim to be otherwise – but education is sixth on his list, after pro-gun, pro-family (or anti-gay marriage), pro-border security, pro-tax cuts and pro-limited government. He is running, after all, in the Texas Republican primary. He says he supports the “continued reduction of the state income tax,” an interesting goal since Texas doesn’t have a personal income tax, and the reduction or elimination of fees.

If it is not clear by now that education actually would starve after Nathan gets through feeding all of his more-pressing ideological cravings, let us take a look at that “pro-education” language. It reads, “Supports local control of education, streamlining of administrative costs, directing as much revenue as possible to the classroom and is not supportive of the radical education unions (NEA) agendas.”

Ummm…After Nathan gets through tightening the tap on state revenue, as he proposes, the “as possible” amount of revenue left over for the classroom would be precious little. And, how about that “radical” TSTA/NEA agenda?

If TSTA’s and NEA’s goals of a fair and adequate school finance system, professionally paid teachers, reasonable classroom sizes and up-to-date learning materials are “radical,” so are millions of Texas parents who value public schools a whole lot more than candidates like Tink Nathan do.