Thursday, March 10, 2005

What Roy Blake did Updated*

Like the good little Republican soldier he is, Roy Blake voted for HB3, which will seriously underfund Texas schools, and Texas in general to the tune of $4 billion, so says State Comptroller Carolyn Strayhorn

Here are the sins of Roy Blake, as committed against Texas public schools and his home district:

- voted to kill a bill which would've have restored the $1000 insurance supplement to both teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, basically all school personnel.

- voted against the Hochberge amendment which would have provided schools with an additional 5 billion dollars in funds as well as a $4000 pay raise to teachers.

-voted against an amendment which would have raised, over two years, teacher salaries to the current national level.

- voted to make it easier for the state to seize public schools and install private management to run them. After only two years of adequate progress, with failure to make federal adequate yearly progress standards (which gradually become more difficult until the year 2014 when they become impossible to meet) the principal is automatically fired and a private company is brought in.

- voted to allow anyone with management experience and a college degree to be qualified as a principal. It doesn't matter if their management experience is running the local burger joint and overseeing 5 employees, they can now run a school.

- voted to increase taxes for the majority of Texas and lower taxes for his rich Republican friends. The average Texas family will no pay approximately 3% more taxes while those making over $140, ooo a year will actually get a tax break.

- voted for a recapture limit on funds that will allow the property rich school districts to spend at least $1600 more per student than others. This move is especially galling in light of the fact every Nacogdoches county school district is considered property poor.

- voted for a bill that every educational organization in the state was against, a bill which the overwhelming majority of his constituents asked him to vote against.

I received this email from my supt. today regarding a conversation she had with Roy Blake:

I visited his office after the vote to ask why. I was told he voted for the children of his district. I asked which children, this bill only helped Chapter 41 (rich property districts). I was reminded that Evadale was property rich and in his district. I reminded his office that his district was comprised of other districts, what about them! This bill was devastating to the vast majority of his district and East Texas. That comment from me resulted in a silent response AND "a red face, a nod and a smile"!

Representative Blake voted the straight Republic agenda, with little regard as to how it would effect the people who voted him into office. I'm sure we can expect him to once again vote the straight rich Republican agenda again when HB3 comes up to vote.

His vote on HB2 can be found here courtesy of Joe Smith at Texas

My state representative, Roy Blake, sold his district out

Despite a wealth of opposition from every education group in the state and despite overwheliming evidence it will be harmful to his home district, my state representative chose to be a good little Republican soldier and voted for CSHB2, whose primary purpose is the destruction of public schools. The voting record can be found here.

I will post more specifics when I have more time.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Texas Republicans are trying to destroy public education

Joining their national counterparts Texas Republicans are doing their best to ensure public educaton fails. I urge all Texas teachers to take action by calling their state representatives and voicing your opinion on the so called "new" money for Texas schools.

Visit Texas Legislature Online where you can look up phones numbers, websites and email addresses of your state reprentatives.