CONSERVATIVE VALUES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: PART ONE

Special Op Ed by Hood County Pastor Council

You may have noticed lately that there’s been an increase in the number of articles and letters to the Editor in this newspaper about our public school system. We even heard recently from the Granbury School Superintendent discouraging yet again the idea of school choice and lamenting their never-ending scarcity of funds. Indeed, the very mention of a “school voucher” causes great anxiety among most of our public
school folks including the Superintendent, the seven members of the Granbury School Board, their administrative staff and the Teachers’ Union.

The reason for the recent flurry is that elections are coming in November and as recently announced, two of the School Board Trustees are deciding whether or not they want to run for re-election. The trustees are all really nice people with the very best of intentions. But a number of their policies would probably not be endorsed by the majority of voters in our community if we were all fully knowledgeable as to what
they actually stand for. They try really hard to convince us that they’re non-partisan Conservative folks but their policies largely agree with Liberal agendas in other parts of our state and around the country. All you have to do is go hear what they say in their monthly public meetings where their partisan-liberal slant is evident.

In his recent article, the School Superintendent referred to himself as “Conservative” even though many of his positions on public education seem to closely align with the current Platform for the Texas Democratic Party. It’s okay to be a Democrat but it seems a bit disingenuous to call yourself a Conservative while you’re in the very act of supporting positions about public education that are generally thought of as Liberal. Please check this out yourself by going on line to the following location: https://www.txdemocrats.org/pdf/TDPplatform2016.pdf. Then look at pages 6 to 12 (opposition to School Choice for example is on Page 6). Then ask yourself this question: why was the School Superintendent so intent on making us believe he’s a “Conservative” when his views on public education are “Liberal?” And that’s not the only question by any means. Another one is: why are liberals so negative about the idea of “school vouchers?” Frankly, it seems to always be about the money. Their fear is clearly expressed in that Democrat Platform and it goes something like this: if any of our tax money flows out of the current public school system to private schools, there will be less money for the public schools, less money for the School Board to manage and less money to allocate to their liberal agenda. It would be shocking if ever their response to the idea of vouchers might also include a professional study to determine how to lower their operating costs. That’s what happens regularly in the private sector, but our School Board seems to be limited to the current model even though their cost per pupil is substantially higher than it is for private schools. Maybe they should take a closer look at that relationship instead of just ignoring it with their same old thinking.

You may not be aware that more than twenty percent of school-age children in Texas have ALREADY opted out of the public school system in favor of private and home schools. Why do you suppose that has happened? If you talk to the parents of those children, you are most likely to get one or more of the following responses for why they abandoned the public school system:

1) It didn’t sufficiently consider parental oversight and concerns.
2) It forced my child to be exposed to offensive values and choices.
3) It puts out an inferior product that fails to adequately prepare my child.
4) It produces children who exhibit unfettered and rebellious conduct.
5) It exposes my child to the continuous political propaganda we have to undo.

America is a country where we celebrate freedom like no other country in history. Why now are we forced to have only one model that gets to use our tax money for educating our children? You won’t find that in the Constitution anywhere. In fact, when this country started out, all different kinds of schools qualified to receive tax money. School Choice has already been tried in this country and it worked just fine. Why wouldn’t it work now?

If you would like to consider running for one of the two School Board positions to be contested in November, you will need to file your election documents by August 21. There are people living in this community that God has called to perform this service for our children in a way that puts the Kingdom of God as first priority. If that’s you, we need for you to answer your call. If you need assistance, please contact the Hood County Pastor Council.