Rick Perry risks future of Texas education

I usually try not to editorialize too much here.  I feel like my job is more to point you to the news that’s happening than cram my opinion down your throat.  But with that being said, this story is just upsetting.

According to this San Antonio Express-News story, Texas is the only state in the union who had, as of yesterday morning, not applied for billions of stimulus funds that could be used for education.  The story continues:

Texas anticipates receiving more than $3 billion in stabilization funds, the largest appropriation. It’s money that can be used to turn around failing schools, create student assessments or develop data systems.

Most states have not only applied for the funds, but had their requests approved.

“We are working on it and we will have it in by the deadline,” Allison Castle, a spokeswoman in Gov. Rick Perry’s office, said Tuesday of the state’s application.

Even if Perry did get the application in on time–which apparently he did, 18 minutes before the deadline–this is incredibly offensive to students, parents, educators and Texas in general.  The gesture says that inducting Rush Limbaugh as an honorary Texan is more important than the education of Texans.  Waiting til the last minute says that supporting secessionists at Tea Parties (and then taking 2 weeks to clear up what you “really meant”) is more important than the education of Texans.  It says that tweeting about puppies on Twitter is more important than the education of Texans.

We in Texas have the highest high school drop out rate in the nation.  We have the highest teen pregnancy rate, too.  If we had a leader that cared about education in this state, and not just the goings-on at Texas A&M, we would be able to lower these statistics by engaging students with updated technology and teaching tools that make the material “come to life.”    What Texas risks by not supporting education is far greater than the non-existent “strings attached” Perry was so concerned about with this money.

[L]ocal science teacher Traci Lowes said she thought it was ridiculous for Texas to cut it so close.

“I think that’s crazy. If the money’s available and there for the taking, then why wouldn’t the state support it?” said the North East Independent School District teacher, who stands to see a pay increase using the federal funds.

There’s a time to run for office and there’s a time to do your job for the state of Texas.

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