May 16, 2012
Senator Kirk Watson released the following statement today in conjunction with the “Billion Dollar Bake Sale” hosted by Save Texas Schools:
Texas needs to create the great schools that Texans deserve.
Going back to its earliest days, Texas has known that great schools are worth fighting for. We’re all rightly proud of that history.
But the system has become broken in recent years, and that just isn’t good enough when it comes to investing in our kids and our future.
Texas can do better.
That starts with being honest about the problems we’re facing and what it’s going to take to solve them. It’s bad for everyone when those in control of this state try to deny, cover up or paper over the billions and billions of dollars in education cuts that were rammed through the legislature last year. Thousands of teaching jobs vanished, and classrooms grew more crowded, because of those decisions.
It’s time for an honest conversation about what really happened, what it means for Texas’ economy and its future, and what we’re going to do to repair the damage.
Undercutting the state’s investment in schools – and failing to find a permanent solution to this critical challenge – only makes it harder for middle-class Texans to raise their kids. We need to unite around big, bold, long-term solutions to the state’s school finance mess.
Texas must do better when it comes to education, because the quality of schools doesn’t just affect the kids in the classrooms – it affects the whole community. Property values, crime rates, and the ability to recruit new employers are just a few things that are directly affected by our local schools.
It shouldn’t take lawsuits from local school districts to solve this problem that affects so many middle-class Texans and their kids. Texas – the real Texas – isn’t this Capitol building or the people who control it. It’s not a short-sighted legislature or politically driven politicians.
Texas believes in its schools. We fight for them. And we’ll fight to make sure Texas does better by its children, its parents, its teachers and its future.