Greg Abbott’s battle with 600 school districts over draconian budget cuts is proving insurmountable in his attempt to brand himself as a pro education candidate.
The bottom line is you can’t say with a straight face that you are pro-education while defending budget cuts which resulted in overcrowded classrooms, closed schools and unemployed teachers. No rational person is going to buy that line, let alone the parents and teachers at schools that are living with the results of budget cuts that Abbott continues to defend in court.
At least, Greg Abbott or someone on his team finally figured out that trying to convince a school you are fighting in court that you are pro education continues to be an epic disaster. Unfortunately, his new tactic is just as awkward.
The problem is no rational person is going to buy Abbott’s new tactic of trying to bury his ongoing court battle with school districts statewide in the past. It was an epic fail at Lubbock High School where Abbott tried to sale the ploy on Tuesday because the school board just voted unanimously to close 3 schools as a direct consequence of the budget cuts Abbott says are in the past. “The legislature has given us no choice, either close schools or lose teachers,” Dr. Karen Garza told the board. Dr. Garza told the board and members that it costs twice as much to educate a student at a smaller school.”
Abbot’s court battle with the school districts over budget cuts is an ongoing case. Last year, a lower court found that the cuts Abbott is defending are unconstitutional. According to Bloomberg, District Court Judge John Dietz ruled:
The court declares the current school finance system violates the Texas Constitution in that it is inefficient, inequitable, and unsuitable and arbitrarily funds districts at different levels below the constitutionally required level of the general diffusion of knowledge,
The case is now being considered on appeal.
Wendy Davis exposed Abbott’s attempts to distance himself from the ongoing lawsuit in a political ad, obtained by Politicususa.
Watch here: (VIDEO)
Aside from his attempt to depart from the reality of an ongoing legal dispute, Abbott’s ideas for the future really amount to a continuation of the anti-public education policies that continue to wreak havoc on the futures of Texas children. The truth is while some charter schools perform well, charter schools in Northern Texas tend to perform worse than public schools.
Abbott may try to run from his ongoing court battle with Texas schools. We saw how well that worked when he tried to run away from his discriminatory pay policies. He may even try to suggest that the unconstitutional budget cuts he continues to defend have nothing to do with his ideas for the future.
However, as the Davis campaign’s fact checkers and the Texas media have shown, Abbott’s ideas on education amount to more of the same unequal education that he is fighting with 600 school districts over in court. Texas children are already living with the consequences of an unequal education with crowded classrooms, fewer teachers and closed schools. The future that Abbott offers is, at best, more of the same. The more likely scenario is a further decline in education for most of Texas’ children.