The Texas constitution is clear — public education is mandated by our state government.
“A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
Not only is it a constitutional mandate, but public education also is the backbone of our community. Neighborhoods and families coalesce around schools, and children make friends and connections that last a lifetime. I went to McCallum High School in North Austin, got a great education and still keep up with many of my former classmates through reunions and social media.
During the last Legislative session, public education funding was slashed by $5.4 billion. In our current Legislature, the Republican majority has shown no interest in restoring those cuts, even though we know that a substantial amount of money is available — and even though the current level of under-funding has been ruled unconstitutional. The Tea Party types are even talking about funding vouchers to drain even more resources away from public schools and send them to private schools.
We can’t let that happen. It’s time to step up and speak out, so I’m asking all of you to mark your calendars for Saturday’s Save Texas Schools March and Rally. When thousands of concerned citizens show up at the Capitol, the people who work inside will have no choice but to pay attention. We will march from the Congress Avenue Bridge at 11 a.m. to the Capitol and then hear some inspiring speakers.
Be sure to read our interview with Allen Weeks, one of the event’s principal organizers, in today’s “On the Record with Diane Holloway.” A long-time activist for education, Weeks offers details about the rally and some thoughts on the Republican assault on education that will get your attention. He is challenging Travis County Democrats to bring friends and family members to help boost the pro-school crowd to 20,000. No doubt that would get the attention of the media and the legislators, so please join us. Look for our blue and white TCDP banner and march with us!
Travis County Democratic Party Chair