Something Rotten in Texas Legislature, not Denmark

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is being blamed by Governor Greg Abbott because about half of the twenty items on the special session agenda didn’t get fixed.

Regardless of which individuals may be responsible, I think we need to send our leaders in Texas a message: vote on each item within the allotted time or lose their jobs. Too many politicians are self serving, so we must show them how it is in their self interest to do the jobs they are being paid for by our tax dollars.

After a special session was called to take care of unfinished business at the expense of $1,000,000 to the tax payers, with the legislators only doing half of their work, Governor Abbott said he wouldn’t call another special session until the Senate and House indicate they can compromise. There is something rotten in Texas–not Denmark.

As a former classroom teacher who had to do my ENTIRE job or get fired, I don’t think our legislators should be allowed to do only half the theirs. Maybe someone more computer savvy than me can create a way for our state population to collectively send a message on social media that says,”vote on such-and-such items by such-and-such date, or we will vote you out of office. No excuses, no finger pointing, no second chances.” I wonder how much of the rot our illustrious leaders of Texas would eliminate by voting on all items sitting before them then?

Speaking of social media, please share this with your contacts.

Condoleezza Rice Has Good Idea About Confederate Statues

Ms. Rice said, “I am a firm believer in, ‘keep your history before you.'”

“I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and be able to tell our kids what they did, and for them to have a sense of their own history.”

“When you start whipping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you fell better, it’s a bad thing,” the former secretary of state said.

I’m glad to hear this opinion from someone whose ancestors were slaves. Ms Rice is certainly not condoning slavery. She’s saying what I taught my fifth graders about U.S. history: It isn’t always pretty. Some of our history provides a record of great mistakes we have made in this country. But we shouldn’t keep the public from viewing it, even though it tells us of the great wrongdoings of our past.

There is an old saying that’s much older than our trend toward politically correct behavior: History Repeats Itself. To avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, we must know what those mistakes are. That way we can tell our kids what these people did, as Ms. Rice suggests–so they can learn how hatred, prejudice, and discrimination didn’t work in the past and won’t work now or in the future.

Texas Schools Need to Stroke the Hand that Feeds Them

For several years, the schools were directed by state law to start school no later than the forth Monday of August. That has changed, so several schools are starting earlier. The business community doesn’t like this because it costs them money with students going back to class sooner instead of being out spending money. Those schools that are starting earlier don’t seem to be concerned.

But the schools are supported by tax dollars, which comes from the wealth and jobs created by those businesses. Those schools that are starting earlier are taking money out of the pocket that feeds them. As a former teacher who understands from personal first hand experience why some schools want to start earlier, I still think it is more important to support that economic engine that feeds them.

The schools want to complete the first semester before the Christmas break. Why is that so important? Back in the good old days, which I’m old enough to remember, school didn’t start until after Labor Day. I don’t see how that hurt our education one little bit. Teachers want more time to prepare the kids for the all-important standardized test. So move the test closer to the end of school, which would create less “down time” for the students to coast until that last day of school.

Let’s do our part to put more water back into the well our schools depend on for their very existence.