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By Carl Parker
For the Record 

The Big Show

 

Last updated 1/3/2023 at 7:23pm

Come January the Big Show will return to Austin. Some call it The Texas Legislature. My observation over the years has allowed me to make comparisons of our Texas Legislature and the big circus that used to come to town on an annual basis.

First of all, if you watch carefully, you can pick out the lions, the gorillas, monkeys, clowns, acrobats, trapeze artists and various other regulars of the Big Show.

The lion is regal, the gorillas are powerful and the monkeys are usually entertaining but accomplish precious little while they are there. It is also not difficult to look at those we should label as the clowns. Without exception these bi-annual parade of performers always has a well-dressed group of clowns who are usually identified based on their actions.

Over the years I have been able assign the elected officials who serve at the various positions they would have held in the big circus. Any time in the session I expect the speaker to be labeled as the lion because of his appearance and wise use of power. My nominations for gorilla are our governor and lieutenant governor. They obviously possess a great deal of power, unfortunately they use it indiscriminately to accomplish purely political aims with little thought for the long-range future of Texas. There will be plenty we can label as monkeys. They are very entertaining but accomplish very little in the process. Most will have what they believe to be great ideas which rarely reach the governor’s desk.

Some of the monkeys might even divert the attention of the gorillas during the 140-day session, but unfortunately their efforts will not be very productive when it comes to building a first-class system of education. In fact while some will label me silly for my comparisons herein, I will be willing to have you judge my comparisons by the progress or lack thereof concerning development of our public education system and its contest with the giveaway called Charters.

The biggest fight of the coming session will divide even the Republicans among themselves. More rural-type Republicans will strictly oppose the giveaway of public-school money. We can barely afford to keep our school doors open now with the present budget. Without industry or increased growth small districts struggle to support their schools. It makes no sense for the giveaway of school money in the form of vouchers for Charter schools or for homeschooling while we shortchange the system that is already established. It is comparable to a family adopting more children when they are unable to feed and clothe those they already have the responsibility to raise.

Watch for my comparisons and let me know if I am right.

 

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