Houston Activist Sarah Terrell explains bills going through the Texas Legislature that will give Greg Abbot the ability to take over Houston schools and others.
Sarah Terrell makes it clear
It is becoming more customary than not for each session of the Texas Legislature to pass more draconian laws. 2021 is no exception. Sarah explains some bills that give the state of Texas, read Greg Abbott, the ability to run our local Houston ISD school. Our schools are about 20% of the local budget, about $2 Billion. Should we cede that power to the state by removing local control and oversight? Ms. Terrell explains why we must act fast.
Recently Terrell wrote the Texas Signal article, “A school district takeover at any cost,” that everyone should read. The bill numbers have changed with a whole lot of shenanigans in the Legislature. But that should not deter anyone from contacting their state representative and state Senators.
A pair of bills approaching a vote in the Texas House will significantly expand state power over local school districts. The bills, authored by Senator Bettencourt and Representative Dutton, are aimed at Houston ISD but will impact all public school districts in the state. The two legislators are impatient for the Texas Education Agency to take over HISD. The district is the first to fight the TEA in court, delaying the change in control for the past year.
Bettencourt and Dutton aim directly at HISD’s lawsuit against TEA with legislation designed to derail it. Their bills HB 3270 and SB 1365, soon to be voted in the Texas House, reverse-engineer the takeover rules to ensure the lawsuit will fail and no one ever tries legal action again. HISD will have an appointed board of managers at any cost.
The bills deny court access, pronouncing TEA conclusions “final and unappealable.” Affronted that HISD has the gumption and the funds to fight TEA in court, they prohibit funding a legal defense. Their bills make it a Class C misdemeanor to vote for such funding, criminalizing and threatening school board trustees.
This expansion of state power over local government is designed specifically for Houston but would apply to all public districts in Texas.
It’s important to note that we all have a voice. The question is whether we use it and make effective use of it. The march to autocracy continues in the U.S., fueled by a party that has lost its way. You can make a difference. Find your Texas state Representative and others that surround your area. Call then ad nauseam and let them know you want to maintain local control of the electorate
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