Breckenridge Texan

Opinion: Defending our local schools!

January 10
08:50 2023

By Rep. Glenn Rogers

As I watched schools from my current and new districts (Albany, Aledo, and Brock) at the UIL High School Football state championships at AT&T Stadium, surrounded by 40,000 fans, parents, teachers, and students, one recurring sight truly inspired me – players taking a knee to pray.

Public schools and teachers are under attack more than ever. The 88th legislative session will be the most challenging in Texas history as some politicians seek to defund public schools, privatize education and make school board elections hyper-partisan. The hatred and vitriol seems to have no bounds.

Michael Quinn Sullivan, the publisher of Texas Scorecard, tweeted last January that public education is a “babysitting” service offered at the convenience of government employees. “Public education in Texas is about employing otherwise unemployable adults, not educating kids,” he tweeted. Jonathan Stickland who heads up the Defend Texas Liberty PAC tweeted recently, “If you love your kids, you will do everything possible to keep them out of government (public) schools.” The billionaire financiers of these groups, such as Tim Dunn and Faris Wilks, have long advocated for privatization of public schools. Former gubernatorial candidate, Don Huffines, recently referred to public schools as “underperforming woke schools.”

Recently, I listened to the Perrin FFA Ag Issues contest team as they prepared for the state contest. The public speaking skills and poise exhibited by these FFA young people demonstrates the impact of a quality public education experience. I also attended events to support Palo Pinto County youth that show livestock. These young people represent a bright future for our local communities, state and nation. Leadership development and respect for others are core principles of FFA programs in public schools. At the Capitol in November, I welcomed the award-winning Santo High School Marching band for a capitol tour and it was incredible to interact with these talented students.

In December, while watching several high school playoff and state championship games, there was nothing “woke” about the competition, patriotism and community pride I witnessed. It was absolutely uplifting to watch the Brock Eagles and their opposing team come together in the middle of the field after the game for a moment of silence and prayer. Then I watched the Aledo Bearcats win their 11th state championship. Coach Tim Buchanan and his staff, the Bearcat Regiment, Bearcat cheerleaders, Bearcats dance team, parents, fans and the great community of Aledo all contributed!

These are not “woke” public schools. Branding all public schools as “woke” or as “a babysitting service” with a broad brush is, quite frankly, a lie. Politicians or pundits without a real message simply attack with venom and hate.

Article 7, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution requires the Texas Legislature to maintain a system of free public schools for all Texans. My goal for the 88th legislative session, which starts January 10, is to support and help improve our Texas public schools.

“Pot shots” aimed at our public schools by politicians and political operatives to score points with their radical base is not productive and does not represent Texas ideals. Over five million Texas public school students, over one thousand districts and 400,000 teachers and staff deserve better.

 

Dr. Glenn Rogers is a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 60, which includes Stephens, Palo Pinto and Parker counties.

 

 

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