Monday, January 30, 2012

Texas Education Crisis in Dallas

This week has been tragic for parents, students, and teachers in Dallas ISD.

The crisis started when at the Thursday Board meeting 11 schools were voted to be closed down. That same night the DISD Board voted to force teachers to work on the clock for 45 more minutes each day. This was done with little public information or discussion. Then, due to this vote, a young teacher who was the main income earner for 6 children was placed on leave for writing a critical letter to a board member. This past weekend the blogs exploded as is clearly visible by looking at comments at each of the above three linked news articles.  Within the past 24 hours a "sickout" has emerged for Leap Day as a form of protest. Here is the organization web site for the quickly formed Teachers for Change. There were many more such articles written every hour!

The instigator of all this tension was last year's legislative session when relatively few ever went to Austin to protest what was happening.  Only 13,000 showed up for the largest demonstration. That amounted to about one demonstrator for every 5 jobs lost combined with every 350 students pushed into more crowded classrooms. Ultimately over $5 billion was cut from the Texas education budget. This trauma in Dallas is the fallout, with some peripheral damage, from those tragic decisions.

Anyone angry about what is happening to our students, parents, and teachers, and the future of Texas, must contact their legislators!

The legislators who voted “Yea” to Senate Bill 1 (SB1) are responsible for starting this process rolling. We must focus on those who voted to pass SB1 which was the budget bill that cut the educational budget. Generally speaking "Yea" votes for SB1 were along party lines, but that is not always true.  Here is a list of all Dallas area State Legislators and the votes they made on SB1:

Dallas Area State Legislators 2011
and votes on Senate Bill 1
(Right-click to enlarge chart and print.)
SB1 was passed 6-28-11 in special session. The final votes, as recorded above, are also recorded online. Go to the SB1 actions page at and click on the most recent votes tabs for both the House and Senate, each at the top of the page. You will see the names of those legislators responsible, the "Yea" votes. We need to be calling their offices now asking for the reasoning behind their votes. Thank the legislators who voted "Nay."  Then get ready for the next election, attend campaign gatherings, and ask questions. Our children need advocates to stand up for them! 
You may also find your legislators and their contact information at .