I’ve mentioned it on this blog at least a few times that when the 82nd legislature finally adjourns for the last time here in Texas, things will be far from over for the Republican legislators who voted to cut $4 billion from what they actually were supposed to give to public education for the next budget cycle.
Some Republican legislators are now willing to admit this might be true.
What we’ve seen so far was a reaction from educators and some parents beginning this spring with the Save Our Schools rally that brought over 11,000 protesters to the south steps of the state capitol, followed by smaller rallies and some phone calls. Now people are starting to realize just what I mentioned here, that when parents see what school districts are having to do in order to make ends meet: increased class sizes, decreased resources and support closed schools, new fees for everything, and – heaven help us – renewed efforts to raise local property taxes, they are going to react.
There will be backlash.
Now not everyone is saying this. Some say that the TEA Party is on the rise, not the other way around, and that more and deeper cuts will be de rigueur. But that’s mainly because their only gauge is who has been calling them up on the phone – Tea baggers. No, as this article in the Austin American-Statesman suggests, the other shoe hasn’t dropped yet. That is going to start in August when parents will be paying for the paper their children used to get for free in school. When schools become paperless because all printing will take place at home. It will continue right on through the year as parents pay use fees for every kind of after school activity that were once free. Parents are going to be nickel and dimed and for that honor their children will receive a lower and lower quality education.
That’s when the other shoe will drop, when they realize that elections have consequences and the one that took place last year will have lasting consequences on their children and their children’s future.
And hopefully, next November, Texans will be cured of the amnesia that afflicts them every 6 months or so, and we in education can get back to work.