Thursday, January 4, 2018

Vote for Change

Have you ever noticed how education professionals (school boards, adminstrators, teachers, etc.) have historically taken a low profile on election day, but then caravan to Austin when the legislature opens? Have you thought like me that this is backwards? That laws and regulations and policies helpful to public education are decided in the voting booth, not afterwards? In these early days of 2018, I'm hopeful that this is changing.

Education professionals finally seem to realize that if people don't *vote* for change, change doesn't happen. I'm hopeful because I'm seeing more and more activity before the 2018 elections, activity like that reflected in this Facebook post.

If you don't like how local public school funding keeps getting squeezed by the state, you have to vote in 2018. If you don't like how state legislators raid local property taxes and then brag in mailers to voters how they kept state spending down, you have to vote in 2018.

And you can't keep voting for the same politicians who keep delivering the same bad policies. That means voting against people like Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Don Huffines, Van Taylor, Angie Chen Button, Jason Villalba, and yes, Linda Koop. Voting against them in the party primaries, then voting against them again in the general election. Because when you keep sending the same people back to Austin every two years, you're going to keep getting the same results, no matter how big your protest rally on the Capitol steps when the next legislative sessions opens in 2019.


Mark Steger said...

A former RISD school board member offered a counterpoint against non-partisan school boards getting involved in partisan elections. I understand the benefits of non-partisan school boards avoiding making endorsements in elections. However, I still think there is a way for school board members (and even whole school boards) to involve themselves in elections. Holding town halls, public hearings, or some such interactions with candidates invited to participate can highlight for voters how much candidates' stated support for public schools really aligns with what the ones responsible for running our schools say they need.

Mark Steger said...

I'm sure there are many good ideas for how school boards can involve themselves in elections without making partisan endorsements. Here's the simplest I can think of: School boards can adopt a set of top issues for the upcoming legislative term along with their own recommendations for how the legislature should address them. And do this *before* the primary and general election. No need to endorse anyone or oppose anyone. Let others challenge the candidates to state how much they agree with and support the school boards' positions. Like I said, I'm sure there are many good ideas. I'm not wedded to any particular one.

Lynn Davenport said...

I am voting in the primaries for opponents of Villalba, Patrick and Abbott for this very subject.

If you are in Linda Koop’s district I would suggest you research her stance on charters and “competition”. Our schools are not for sale

Villalba is also a charter sympathizer and fought for more charter funding:

Huffines is for charters and vouchers, Koop is for charters but opposes vouchers.

To read about charters and Koop's support of SB 1882:

If we are to stop the privatization of public education, our school board trustees need to be careful who they buddy up to in the legislation. We must hold our elected officials accountable and call them out when they listen to the voices of corporations over constituents.

Our public schools are vulnerable to privatizers, profiteers and public-private partnerships that circumvent the taxpayers. For the record, I don’t want TI or Oracle running schools in our district.

Mark Steger said...

Thanks, Lynn Davenport, for your comments. We are in agreement on opposition to vouchers, and to a lesser extent charters. I am open-minded about accepting corporate or philanthropic contributions to public education. With proper oversight, I'm willing to accept assistance from many community sources.