Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is education in Texas on a fast track to mediocrity?

Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Austin made the following comments in the Austin American Statesman:
"...a devastating flood of wrong..."

Congressional Republicans demand less federal education aid for science, math, early education, disadvantaged schools and students with disabilities. Lowering the maximum individual Pell Grant by more than $800, with total student financial assistance reduced by billions, and slicing initiatives to improve college access and graduation rates means a weaker workforce. This is not a path to success; it is a fast track to mediocrity.

No economic justification underlies this nonsense, only a belief by those in power that it's good politics. When enough people speak out against the harm being caused, this assault on education can be stopped. Closure of neighborhood schools and termination of educators can be prevented when enough Texans say, "No way!"

An umbrella from Republican reign. Facing much more than a rainy day, our schools are being overwhelmed by a devastating flood of wrong. There is no excuse for a state that ranks near the bottom on so many indices to do even less, nor for federal support to shrink. As leaders boast about the Texas economy, we should apply more of the fruits of that success to ensuring an educational system that will sustain success.

Last year, 12 Texas members of Congress responded to concerns voiced by teachers, school boards and administrators about prior state misallocation of $3.25 billion in federal education aid from which they obtained no additional help. The federal education law we authored represents a small but important part of the ongoing struggle over our future. It has one simple purpose — ensuring that federal aid to education actually aids local education instead of being redirected to plug a mismanaged state budget.

It reflects confidence in local school trustees to decide on appropriate use of aid, not Gov. Rick Perry, who arrogantly avoids accountability. This is the same governor who insists he doesn't fire teachers, but he would deny monies for their pay.

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