By GEORGE MASON AND FREDERICK HAYNES
Published: 19 October 2014 08:04 PM
Updated: 19 October 2014 08:06 PM
“Love your neighbor.” This commandment is at the core of most world religions, and is certainly at the heart of Christianity. Though the commandment is simple, living it out in daily life can be challenging, particularly in the public sphere.
Eighty-four percent of children in this country attend public schools. Slightly more than 60 percent (over 3 million of our 5 million Texas public school students) are identified as poor. These children in our public education system are our neighbors, and we are called to love them by providing a vibrant and thriving school system. That’s why Dallas-area pastors are calling on elected officials and leaders in the business, faith, parent, labor and neighborhood communities to support the public schools of greater Dallas.
Pastors for Texas Children is a statewide organization mobilizing the faith community for public education. We are focused on supporting great public schools for all Texas children. While money alone does not solve the challenges of public education, they cannot be solved without it.
According to the Texas Kids Count Project 2013 report, Texas ranks 43rd in the nation in per-pupil spending. In 2011, the Texas Legislature cut funding by more than $500 per child and forced school districts to lay off teachers, increase class sizes and reduce prekindergarten programs. We witnessed the cost of these cuts here in Dallas in the closure of 11 public schools, including recognized and exemplary campuses. In 2013, Texas legislators put back only a portion of these cuts — about 60 percent, leaving a continuing and debilitating deficit in public education funding. This means the typical Texas elementary school has $300,000 less per year. Little wonder then that state District Judge John Dietz recently declared our state school funding system unconstitutional.
Read the entire opinion piece.
Someone should inform Kevin Johnson.