Today, we present the 3rd and final episode of our series on Education. In the previous two episodes we talked about the state of our Texas education system’s K-12 programs and the many challenges that public Ed is facing in the near future.
For too long the Texas Legislature has not funded South Texas schools at the same funding levels as other school districts. The Legislature has also failed to solve the serious dropout rates especially among our Hispanic student population that some say is around 48%.
There’s no disputing these facts. I believe that if we take the right action now we can turn this mess around. I wish to share with you my ideas for putting education on the right track.
First, we must have the courage to tell the truth about public ed. The truth is Our Public Education system is not working well for most students. Therefore, we must begin to rethinking how education should work, especially in South Texas.
Second, it’s time South Texas receives its fair share of public education funding to the levels other school districts enjoy and receive.
Third, effective 2014 all School Districts should be required to provide real time financial accountability and transparency for how they spend your taxpayer money.
Fourth, we need to stop spending money on non teaching positions and activities. We need to reduce non teaching positions and put more focus in our Texas classrooms.
Fifth, freeze the classroom size to no greater than 22 students per classroom in K-4 and 30 students in 5-12.
Six, we need a bold new education initiative, which implement the newest classroom innovations and technology. You know, the world is moving at warp speed and our classroom instruction need to move right along with it or we get left behind.
Seven, we need to target resources for more counseling and support services to assist those students who we know are at risk for dropping out. When we help them succeed will secure a more prosperous future for all of us here in Texas.
Eight, we need to make sure all our public high schools and middle schools have dual track programs beginning with middle school to allow students a choice between a path that leads to a productive job skill or a path that leads to a successful college degree program.
My friends, let’s be honest with each other. It will not be easy to properly address these funding challenges during the next session, but to do so otherwise could have devastating consequences on our state’s long-term economic health, as the state deals with another $10-$16 billion budget shortfall.
As your next State Senator I will continue the work I started as a State Representative to stand up for our South Texas students, teachers and hard working families who want only the best education for their children, just like I do for mine.
Rep. Raul Torres is running for State Senate Distric 20. You can help Raul Torres by volunteering in his campaign. visit his website for more info