Sunday, March 27, 2011

The State of the Children

Currently in Texas, we are hearing about the massive cuts expected to be enacted by the legislature in an effort to counter a 28 billion dollar deficit. We all know from history, the places that will get cut first are social services and schools. Estimates for Northside school district alone are 1000 will be let go. 1000 teachers in a district that has over 90,000 kids. Other school districts are looking at cuts across the board. One school district is disbanding the school police forsee, leaving the city police to handle on campus issues. In addition to cutting teachers, the special education departments will likely lose their funding too. This means kids who were able to be successful in smaller classrooms with individualized attention will be moved back into the larger classrooms and will most likely fall behind, feeling stupid and hopeless. These kids will probably not graduate from high school and may end up in the juvenile courts. The overcrowded classrooms that will result from the cuts in the schools will place our kids even further behind the rest of the country than they are already. Compare Texas to other countries, we won't even rate. There are many people talking about bringing new businesses to the state, to  increase the revenues. That also means more families with more kids to enroll in Texas schools. School nurses will to back to covering several campuses. Kids who get sick at school will not have the availability of a nurse to go to and will have to be picked up by parents who will leave their job thus increasing the time away from work, which may impact their ability to support their families. Conservative estimates suggest Texas will lose over 600,000 jobs between now and 2012.  The majority of those jobs will probably come from the school system, again short changing the kids in Texas. It is time we let the legislature know what we want in Texas as a priority. School districts could offer a referendum o increasing taxes in their district to provide specific programs and services for their students. The community would decide if the schools needed the extra cash for the services they offer. The community would also have a voice in letting the schools know what the families need. And no major city in Texas has as many districts as we do in San Antonio. Even Houston and Dallas don't have 16 different districts. It is time to combine and consolidate all our resources and get serious about providing our kids a decent education.
It is now or never. Join me and support a future that includes a good education for our future generations.

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