It’s a sad state of affairs when over 250 school districts, representing somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million students, suing the State of Texas to force legislators to adequately fund public education isn’t the most important story in town. It’s also a sad state of affairs that this isn’t the first time school districts have had to sue the State because of a lack of funds; in fact it’s the seventh time since the 1970s. The lack of funding for schools has led to overcrowding and, famously, possible school closures . Now those are just the problems we are seeing now, by 2013 Texas schools will see an additional 160,000 students and won’t have the infrastructure to cope.
As we have previously pointed out the sad state of Texas public schools is no accident. There is a concerted effort from the GOP to destroy public schools and replace them with private schools–or failing that, to infuse the curriculum with so much right wing red meat that it turns a Texas diploma into a joke. And the worst part of this is you aren’t angry. You aren’t marching in the streets because Hispanics aren’t in textbooks. You aren’t occupying the Capitol to tell the State Board of Education Moses wasn’t an American figure. You aren’t calling for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to resign because the State gave tax breaks to yacht owners and spent $250 million for a race track instead of spending money on schools.
You are demanding accountability and transparency in government, except when it is transparent that only religious zealots count to the government. You are demanding jobs and income equality, but you aren’t demanding an education with the skills to compete in the job market. You blame the Federal Reserve, Congress and corporations for destroying the economy and polluting our democracy without demanding classes in economics, civics and business ethics be mandatory. You complain about the lopsided media coverage without storming representatives’ offices to complain about the lack of current events and media literacy in education.You get incensed about censorship on the internet, but YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT CENSORSHIP IN YOUR CHILD’S LIBRARY.
You’re shocked that pizza is declared a vegetable or when school district board members spend thousands on catering, but you don’t go to meetings you don’t read through procurement contracts. You get upset because GLBT rights aren’t talked about in school, but you don’t vote for GLBT candidates running for school board. Even when they are attacked for being GLBT. You say you’re an artist, or that you want to make the world a better place, but you don’t care if funding for arts education gets cut. You get pissed off because of the militarization of society, but you don’t mind recruiters and ROTC at your schools. You smirk about abstinence only education being bullshit, but you don’t demand comprehensive sex education. You accept these things as the status quo, as the way they always have been and always will be.
You accept that you can’t change things in the schools. The funny things is, conservatives don’t. They run for school district trustee and state board of education. They run and win because you don’t care. And because they win they revise y0u and me out of history. They prevent William Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson being on high school reading lists. They rewrite the law to allow the Bible to be taught in high school while working to get Kurt Vonnegut banned, and you do nothing. And I’m fucking sick of it. I’m sick because every time I bring it up, every time I try to tell you about what’s going on, you act like there’s nothing we can do. I’m sick because you treat your kids’, and our nation’s, future as boring and try to change the subject. I’m sick because you only care when it gets on the Daily Show or effects someone you know. I’m sick because you say “Idiocracy is sooooo true. All these stupid people are having kids” but you don’t care about making sure those kids aren’t stupid. Most of all I’m sick because you treat education and education funding as a distraction from whatever gossip or butt hurting bullshit going on in the scene.