Want to save public education? Prepare to fight
You may have seen the YouTube video loop making the rounds of Rick Perry, in a pink vest, mouth wide open, arms pumping, putting the goober in goober-natorial. The video from one of Perry’s appearances on Dancing with the Stars may be an appropriate depiction – it’s energetic — of the next Secretary of Energy.
Had his flirtation with dancing stardom lasted much longer, Perry could have generated enough wind power on his own to launch a small sailboat, maybe, or at least ruffle his new boss’ hair.
Seeking a tiny ray of hope on the eve of what will be a very challenging political year for educators (any many other people), we could be grateful that President-elect Trump chose Perry for Energy and not the Department of Education. As governor, Perry promoted the biggest cut in public education funding in Texas history.
But then we remember who Trump did choose for Education, the billionaire, right-wing privateer Betsy DeVos.
Perry once vowed to eliminate the Department of Education, as well as the Departments of Energy and Commerce, although he had trouble remembering all three. But while Perry wanted to destroy the federal education bureaucracy, DeVos seems more intent on destroying public education, period, and in Texas she will be aided and abetted by the likes of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and, maybe to a lesser degree, Gov. Greg Abbott.
The next round to save public education in Texas as we know it will begin Jan. 10, when the Legislature convenes in Austin, followed very quickly by the Trump and DeVos takeover in Washington.
Rest up over the holidays and recharge your energy level. You are going to need it in the New Year, but not for dancing. For fighting.