The importance (wink, wink) of higher education

The Texas Legislature’s ability to showboat while missing the real boat is apparently limitless. Or, to put it another way, when it comes to hypocrisy or hollow rhetoric, the statehouse has set the gold standard.

One of the latest (of many) examples is House Bill 2909, which won House approval last month and was heard by the Senate Education Committee today. It would tweak an existing law requiring the public schools to educate their students about the importance of getting a college education.

“Relating to increasing awareness in this state of the importance of higher education,” reads the title.

What, you may be asking, is wrong with that?

It is meaningless to pass such a law after several years of making it increasingly difficult for young Texans and their families to afford a college education. And, this year, the state leadership is intent on making it even harder.

It is hypocritical to order public schools to preach the importance of a college education while slashing funding for both colleges and the public schools, wiping out state grants for thousands of deserving college students and forcing university regents to impose another round of tuition increases.

The first person who needs to be educated about the importance of higher education is the governor. He needs to be followed by every member of the Texas House who voted not too many weeks ago to slash billions of dollars from public schools and universities.

The Senate should laugh at the bill and toss it in the trash.


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