Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.
(Above–The Pecan Tree is the State Tree of Texas. What you see here is a copyright free picture of Pecan Tree in Abilene. Here are facts about these trees. Here are some things to do should life take you to the fine City of Abilene.)
Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.
The work of freedom is up to each of us.
Anonymous blogging is First Amendment-protected speech, as most of us (but not some conservative bloggers) knew three years ago. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs documents the establishment of the legal precedent.
BossKitty at TruthHugger wants you to ask your presidential candidate about America’s water safety. The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that everyone who unable to afford expensive purification devices is at risk.
WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the struggle Texas teachers and schools are having because of the billions the legislature cut from public education last year: Texas teachers and schools need our help. Continue reading
At the end of this post is weekly Texas Progressive Alliance Round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers who are working hard for a better Texas.
With the round-up this week is a reminder that former Republican Texas Governor Bill Clements, who died last week, signed a $5.8 billion tax bill in his second term as Governor to fund public education in Texas.
That action stands in sharp contrast to the current Republican-dominated Texas legislature which has not only gutted public education funding for the next two years, but that is also working to change the funding formula so that Texas education remains underfunded for years to come.
“In our current system, the Legislature sets out school funding formulas in statute, usually after lawmakers see computer runs demonstrating how a particular scheme affects their schools. Putting those formulas in statute means the state is legally obligated to fully compensate school districts for variables like enrollment growth or lost tax revenue due to declining property values. ( The plan now under consideration)… will free lawmakers to decide each budget cycle to choose how much money schools get. Public education will be toppled from its special status in the state budget to just another program that will compete for scarce dollars…. The GOP leadership has downplayed the impact of this change, arguing that lawmakers have always made public schools a priority. But the very reason this school finance bill is necessary is to free the state from owing about $4 billion under current formulas. To some, including Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, this is sound policy. Last week, he called the school finance proposal “a true cut in an entitlement.” Note the use of that dirty word — entitlement — as if public education is some kind of welfare…Former Gov. Bill Clements, who died last week, got elected on a promise of tax cuts. During his second term, Clements swallowed his considerable pride and signed a $5.8 billion tax bill to pay for education.”
My own view is that Republican intent is starve Texas public schools to the extent politically possible because of an ideological opposition to the very idea of public schools. This opposition is part of the shift of the Republican Party in Texas, and of the Republican Party in the nation as a whole, ever more to the extreme right.
Here is a report from the Abilene Reporter-News about the sharp cuts in education funding on the way for this part of our state.
If folks in Abilene and in communities near Abilene think their kids will be able to get into good colleges and will be able to compete in the global economy with even fewer resources than they have now—Than more power to everybody involved.
Republicans in the Texas legislature will do what their ideology compels them to do, and then it will all go to the courts. We’ll see how it all turns out and we’ll see how many students and teachers will get hurt along the way.
The demise of the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill in the closing days of the Texas Legislature’s 82nd session represents a “strategic victory” for Rick Perry, according to Mark Jones at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs also notes, in other news, that a Blue Angels-like formation of flying pigs is circling the state capital.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know why Bill Gates is helping Republicans destroy our public education system. Could it be all of that potential revenue from computerized curricula?
At Left of College Station Teddy wants to know: who is the Texas Public Policy Foundation? Then he takes a look at the power, influence, and money at work on the board of directors on the TPPF, and the man behind the so-called ‘breakthrough solutions’, Jeff Sandefer. Continue reading