September 3, 2015
A monument to the schoolchildren of Texas stands on the grounds of the Capitol. Just a stone’s throw is the Supreme Court building where oral arguments were heard Tuesday in the state’s appeal of a court decision that says Texas’ school finance system is unconstitutional. Yeah, the same system that’s supposed to educate our … schoolchildren.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, children from across the state sent in small change and raised $190,000 for the life-sized bronze statues of frolicking kids, which were erected in 1998.
Apparently, we honored Texas schoolchildren by nickle and diming them.
I completely understand if you haven’t been following the twists and turns of the school finance lawsuit. It’s a ridiculously complicated issue and it’s very easy to get lost in the weeds. And it’s frustrating that we haven’t resolved this issue after three decades of litigation. That’s in large part because some elected officials aren’t willing to get a little more in the weeds.
So I won’t bore you with the details about weights and yields and indexes and tax rates and test scores. But let’s not lose sight of the stakes in this case.
Arguing on behalf of school districts, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson reminded the court that ultimately this lawsuit is about liberty.
The Texas Constitution states right there, right up front that the whole point of our public schools is to provide the people with knowledge to preserve their rights and liberties. And it’s the Legislature’s duty to support those schools.
The lack of a public school system was one of the grievances listed in the Texas Declaration of Independence. Folks in this building love to invoke the bravery and truth of those who led Texas to independence, helped secure our rights and defended our liberty.
Maybe a better way to honor those visionary men and women is to remember why they led the charge, including that Texas children would have appropriate education and brighter futures.
Maybe more importantly, that’s a better way to honor Texas schoolchildren.