Day: <span>February 7, 2020</span>

Public education in Texas is not abysmal; political support for schools is another issue

After TSTA issued a statement opposing the Donald Trump-Betsy DeVos-Ted Cruz voucher proposal, which would divert $5 billion a year in federal funds to private and religious schools and home-schoolers, we received an email from a woman who disagreed.

Her reason? “The state of education in public schools is abysmal at best now,” she said.

Abysmal? Public education in Texas has problems, but it is not abysmal.

The Texas public education system graduates thousands of young people every year who will go on to successfully complete college, many with honors. That is not an abysmal education system.

Thousands of products of Texas public schools are successful leaders in business, academia, the military and their communities. Millions more live productive, comfortable lives made possible by the strong educational foundations they received in Texas public schools.

But the Texas public education system does have issues that need to be addressed. Foremost among these is inadequate funding. The hardest hit by this government failure are struggling schools overwhelmingly populated by low-income children who not only suffer from inadequate resources for their classrooms but also from insufficient health care and social supports, which also are essential to student success and which the political-powers-that-be in Austin and Washington refuse to adequately address.

Instead people like Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, Ted Cruz and Dan Patrick want to take tax money from these kids and send it to private and religious schools. What kind of thinking is that?

It reflects a low level of respect for public schools, the dedicated men and women who work in them and the vast majority of children who — all privatization gimmicks aside — will continue to be educated in them.

Clay Robison