“Be bold when others are scared.” -Thomas J. Powel
“We need to be visionary; we have to be bold.” -Angela Hunt
“Let us be bold. Let us be brave. Let us be together.” -Brad Henry
“Put a grain of boldness into everything you do.” -Baltasar Gracian
There are times in life when bold actions are required. George Washington and John Paul Jones lead the revolt against the British, their actions were bold. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and ended slavery; his decision to sign was bold. In 1951, the United States Supreme Court in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education acted boldly when deciding to end segregation in schools; their decision was bold. On June 5, 1989, a lone man stood in front of a column of four tanks in Tiananmen Square, Beijing China. He managed to stop the advancing towards the protesters with a nonviolent act; his actions were bold.
Each of these a simple act with great reaching consequences. Each act changed a nations future. We would not be the United States that we are today if not for the bold actions of our past leaders. We might still have society in which slavery is still accepted. The Chinese people might still be under an oppressive government.
It is that time in the State of Texas for its Educators and Parents alike to be bold. It is time to stand up for what is right for the students of our state. It is time to let our elected official know we have had enough to their double talk rhetoric. They tell whomever they are talking to what they want to hear, lip service. They do not have any real solutions, just creating more problems.
Each legislative session they just kick the can, of a proper school funding system, down the road two more years. Every other session they create another band-aid, but do not address the flaws in the system. It is time they met their legal requirement of funding schools properly.
Sec.1.SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.
It is time for them to create a system that meets the following criteria:
- All students are funded at a minimum level equal to the national average or better.
- Require the state to put funding issues on the ballot in November and let all the people decide the issue, not just the handful of elected officials sent to Austin.
- Casino Gambling
- State Wide Property Tax
- A bill that requires the legislature to never cut funding to education again in the future.
- Higher Taxes on Beer and Wine.
3. Greater weighted funding for poorer schools.
4. Fully funded, all day 3 year old and PK programs. This is the level where we can make the most difference in the shortest amount of time.
5. A hard cap on all class sizes. No class should ever have more than 25 students. In areas with a high percentage of low socioeconomic students, the ratio must be lower, 18 to 1.
6. Reduced testing requirements in conjunction with accountability ratings. The “Test” cannot be the single determining factor on the quality of a school. Previously I proposed a system in which schools are scored on each component of the accountability factors. A single accountability factor should not determine the quality of a school.
7. Remove the fifteen percent requirement for end of course exams on the final grade.
8. Educators must be part of the process of deciding laws about education in the State of Texas. There are many very intelligent, well educated, and informed educators that know what is best for our children. They have been in the trenches and know what needs to be done. The educational needs of our students are changing fast. With technology and our need for instant gratification, it is hard to keep up with the changes in our students.
9. Return planning of the yearly calendar to the local level. It creates an imbalance in the length of semesters and do not allow high schools to complete the first semester before the Christmas Break. The planning of the yearly calendar is not a function of the legislature.
10. Pass a state law that prohibits the legislature from passing any UNFUNDED MANDATES. Two years ago, the legislature passed an $800 pay raise for teachers but only funded it for one year of the biennium.
It time for the people of Texas to be bold. Fight for what is right for our schools and students. Parents and Educator must unite together in order to cause the needed changes by our elected officials. It is time for your voices to be heard. Speak loud and speak often.
David R Taylor
24 –year Teacher, Coach and Principal