A dangerous time under the Capitol dome

While most Texans in the real world will be enjoying a long, holiday weekend, those who work in and around the Legislature will be doing a lot of hurrying up and then waiting between now and midnight Monday, the adjournment deadline for this session.

To an outsider, the next few days will be about as dramatic as watching paint dry, but to those – including Texas educators – with a lot at stake in legislative decisions that still could be made, it can be an anxious and dangerous time.

The news from the Capitol already is bad enough – a new state budget that slashes $4 billion from the education budget and billions more from health care and other services. With those cuts will come the likely loss of thousands of school jobs. But it could get even worse because it won’t be over till it’s over.

Several bad, antipublic education ideas that so far have been blocked may yet get new life in the form of amendments tacked on to legislation in backroom negotiations on conference committee reports. Bad ideas such as raising the 221 class size cap for K4, repealing the teacher salary schedule, allowing school districts to furlough teachers and cut their pay or authorizing a diversion of tax dollars for private school vouchers.

TSTA’s team will be on duty all weekend, antennae on full alert and blood pressure percolating.

Wish us luck and, better than that, call your legislators and keep reminding them that all those bad ideas listed above are, indeed, still bad.


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