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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Legislature's actions important for schools

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 2, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 1, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.


Education has been given the short end of the stick in Texas lately. In the previous legislative session, the state cut $5 billion from public school funding. Now, during a year of economic prosperity, Gov. Rick Perry suggests giving taxpayers a refund rather than returning at least part of the missing funds.

During all this, the state also launched the STAAR test, which has brewed plenty of controversy on its own. The original plan called for the test to constitute 15 percent of a student's grade, but that requirement has been waived by districts across the state. However, passing the test is still a requirement for students to graduate.

On Monday, the nonpartisan advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas will be in Victoria as part of a statewide effort to discuss current issues affecting education in Victoria and Texas during this legislative session, including House Bill 5, which recently passed the Texas House. The bill would make changes to high school graduation requirements and reduce the number of high-stakes tests students must take every year.

The meeting will feature Dr. David Anthony, CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas; Ruben Cortez Jr., our representative on the State Board of Education; and VISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich, said Tami Keeling, Victoria Independent School Board president and a community ambassador for Raise Your Hand Texas. Each of these speakers will discuss issues in Austin and how they will affect Victoria's public schools.

We are excited to see these speakers come to Victoria and share the possible effects of current legislation with our community. Education is an invaluable resource, and we need to ensure we equip the next generation properly. We applaud these leaders and all those at Raise Your Hand Texas for taking a stand and informing the public about what our state Legislature is doing.

The meeting will include a free dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the VISD Conference Center at 2909 Miori Lane, so those interested must RSVP by requesting an invitation from Keeling, Victoria Independent School Board president and a community ambassador for Raise Your Hand Texas. Those interested should email Keeling at tkeeling@raiseyourhandtexas.org.

This is an important time for education in Texas. We encourage our readers to take this chance to be informed and hear about the state's plans for education from those closest to the issue. By educating ourselves, we can help defend and improve the education of our children.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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