Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Education Money

Texas public education has not been adequately funded since the 1940s. Under the party now in power it has gotten worse, not better. Growth in charter schools is one reason why. While some charter schools supported by well-intended nonprofit groups have done a decent job educating our children, far too many are just money-making machines which fall short on providing quality education to many of our children.

Public schools and charter schools are not required to play by the same rules. Charter schools are not required to accept anyone who seeks admission, furnish transportation, provide for special needs children or to even have courses offered for them vetted by accrediting agencies or experts in the field.

Because our legislature has encouraged more charters, the number of charter schools in Texas has doubled in the last decade. I can testify from personal experience that there are some right-wingers in the Texas Legislature who, in fact, would like to abolish public education all together and some would even go so far as to wanting to turn our entire education system over to religious organizations. Basically, the way the charter school system works is as follows: If I created a charter school in Bridge City, Texas, my pay would come from a portion of the amount allocated by the Legislature to the Bridge City Independent School District. Local voters would have no say as to how much I chose to pay myself. A valid argument can be made that charter schools benefit the wealthy more than the average citizens of Texas. There is evidence to prove this allegation. For example, charter schools educate seven per cent of Texas children but take fifteen percent of the total state budget from public education.

We should demand of our state senators and representatives that a public education system should be taken care of first. It seems to me the current system is reminiscent of a family with four children for whom they cannot adequately provide seeking to adopt more children.


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