Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Texas looks to cut teacher pay

"Those damn teachers. They're the ones causing all our problems here in the Lone Star State. They just make too much money. We've got to do something to keep them from bleeding us dry."

Maybe that's not exactly what came out of the mouth of State Rep. Rob Eissler (R-The Woodlands) but it's probably pretty close to what he was thinking. Mr. Eissler is celebrating the passage of a proposal by the Texas House of Representatives that will allow school districts to cut teacher pay.

I would say it's quite ironic given that Mr. Eissler spent 18 years as a trustee of the Conroe Independent School District before pimping himself out running for the state legislature; but on his campaign website, Mr. Eissler wanted everyone to know that he was a fiscal conservative who was out to "reform" education.

He and the rest of the Republican cabal running the State Capitol have decided that it is more important not to raise taxes and not to touch the state's "rainy day fund" than it is to pay teachers for the thankless work they do on a daily basis.

I understand the pressure to balance the state's budget in a time when revenues are falling, but providing an education for our children is an investment in Texas' future and no one seems to have given much thought to the number of experienced teachers who have finally had enough of the abuse, scorn and low pay and have left the profession. Sure, the budget might be balanced today - but what happens ten years down the road? What happens when our youth aren't prepared for college or for the workplace after graduating from high school?

Or do Mr. Eissler and his colleagues even care? Are they willing to trade our future for votes in the next election - or is their goal the destruction of public education in Texas?

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