Last January, when I was at the Lake Travis ISD Parade of Champions to celebrate another state championship run for the Cavs, I couldn’t help but think of just how much commitment and support from teachers, support staff, and principals it took to bring this level of success to Lake Travis.
One must only look around a Lake Travis school to know that the success of students remain everyone’s shared goal. There is truly no more noble a professional than to ensure our Central Texas schools remain a place where children can harness their potential and become the leaders of tomorrow. The professionalism of the all in Lake Travis ISD, the engagement of parents and families in the education of their children, and the commitment of all in our community to our vital public schools, that is what has made this district’s legacy something to be proud of—and something we strive together to keep strong.
With increased global competition, we should be strengthening that commitment — from pre-K to post grad — ensuring that we have the world’s most able workforce and that students can strive to achieve their full God-given abilities.
Education cuts threaten our economy. Our neighborhood schools, with parental involvement and some of America’s best teachers, contribute immensely to what makes Texas such a special place. Instead of exploring how we can most efficiently make our schools even better, the state is focused on how much support to slash. Attacks on university research, student financial assistance and community colleges and political interference in our universities, which have been a spark plug for local growth, endanger progress.
Congressional Republicans demand less federal education aid for science, math, early education, disadvantaged schools and students with disabilities. Lowering the maximum individual Pell Grant by more than $800, with total student financial assistance reduced by billions, and slicing initiatives to improve college access and graduation rates means a weaker workforce. This is not a path to success; it is a fast track to mediocrity.
No economic justification underlies this nonsense, only a belief by those in power that it’s good politics. When enough people speak out against the harm being caused, this assault on education can be stopped. Closure of neighborhood schools and termination of educators can be prevented when enough Texans say, “No way!”
An umbrella from Republican reign. Facing much more than a rainy day, our schools are being overwhelmed by a devastating flood of wrong. There is no excuse for a state that ranks near the bottom on so many indices to do even less, nor for federal support to shrink. As leaders boast about the Texas economy, we should apply more of the fruits of that success to ensuring an educational system that will sustain success.
Just as it is essential to a quality education, parental involvement is essential to overcoming the assault on our schools, securing desperately needed support and preventing leaders from shirking their responsibility. Democracy is a matter that demands our continued involvement. It’s so easy to get burned out, to give up, or to give in. But we have got to stay involved because we have young people around here who cannot do it for themselves. We will stand with them. I pledge my continued partnership to you and I look to you for your leadership.
Education does have a cost, but the lack of education costs even more.
Doggett, a Democrat from Austin, represents the 25th District of Texas.