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18 June 2014 @ 01:43 pm
Brother, can you spare a dime?  
When the Texas Republican Party adds this to their platform, I have to wonder how any teacher could support it:

"Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of educational institutions." - 2014 Texas GOP Platform, Section 5-10.

Oh, so many things wrong with just this tiny portion of the platform. First, there is NO data that supports their assertion about achievement. Second, higher education costs are out of control because the Texas legislature cut our fuinding by about 30% over the past few years. We were told to make it up by increasing tuition. Third, so cutting existing funding is the answer? We could not come up with ANY other idea.

But wait, there is more:

"We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced." Check out how John Oliver deals with the issue of climate change and this "equal treatement." Only 1% of scientists do not firmly support the existence of climate change. If that is the case, "equal" treatment would consist of 99 paragrpahs/lessons/days/pages, etc. about climate change and only 1 paragraph/lesson/day/page/etc. THAT is equality.

"We encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options which fund the student, not schools or districts, to allow for maximum freedom of choice in public, private, or parochial education for all children." This is code for VOUCHERS. Despite the research on charter schools and vouchers, we want to trot this out. Ugh.

"Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished and prohibit the transfer of any of its functions to any other fedeal agency." Guess we do not want any federal funding either, huh? I am not a fan of the Obama educational policy at all, but I do see the need for a federal structure. I fear what would happen in its ansence.

There is much more to contend in the platform. And I know some will argue that it is only in the platform and nothing more will come of it. But it IS in the platform, folks. It is what they BELIEVE (or what they allow a portion of their ranks to insert into the platform at the very least). It certainly indicates the willingness of the party to continue to cut funds and to move to privitization of schools. The death knell tolls here.
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