The Commerce Journal

Opinion

February 14, 2013

Future of Texas public school children rests in Legislature's hands

COMMERCE — We are pleased with the recent ruling made by State District Judge John Dietz, declaring that the way Texas is funding public schools is unconstitutional.

The 2011 Texas Legislative Session simultaneously cut $5.4 billion from public schools while increasing its responsibilities.

A good education is key to adding productive members to the Texas workforce, so we wonder why Gov. Rick Perry would approve of such cuts and be a proponent of the voucher system, which would allow state dollars to be diverted from public schools and moved to private schools that do not have to follow the same rules as their public counterparts.

We applaud the more than 600 school districts who stood against the state in this, and more specifically, we applaud Blake Cooper, superintendent of Commerce Independent School District, for his role in giving schools and students a voice in Austin during the trial.

Statistics show that students who attend well-funded public schools perform better and have a higher college readiness rate than those who go to poorer districts.

If not acted on soon, this kind of disparate funding for schools will only serve to increase the economic divide in the country.

We echo the voice of Quinlan ISD Superintendent Micheal French, and urge the Texas Legislation to act now instead of waiting for the lengthy appeal process to run its course.

Too much is at stake to wait another year before doing what is right.

The Commerce Journal editorial staff can be reached at editor@commercejournal.com.

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