Teachers deserve appreciation, which is why TSTA supports HCR152, a resolution declaring the first full week in May as “Texas Teacher Appreciation Week.” It was approved this morning by the House Public Education Committee and is headed to the House floor, where it probably will receive another routine endorsement.
But teachers also deserve more than lip service, and the irony (or feeble attempt at political cover) of this resolution isn’t lost on anyone, especially teachers.
To be sure, the resolution has a lot of nice words about the difference teachers make in kids’ lives, their creativity and commitment and contributions to “our state’s most precious resource.”
The words are true, but it is impossible for most teachers to feel really appreciated by a Texas House, whose Republican majority voted for a budget that would slash $8 billion from the public schools and, with it, tens of thousands of educators’ jobs. The resolution’s author, firstterm Rep. Raul Torres of Corpus Christi, voted for the educationslashing budget twice on the House floor and in the Appropriations Committee.
The deep budget cuts still being contemplated by the state leadership will “appreciate” teachers right into a lengthening unemployment line and cram “our state’s most precious resource” into overcrowded classrooms or into dropout oblivion.
Texas teachers can’t say no to this resolution. But they would trade dozens of resolutions like it for a morerealistic approach to budgetwriting, one that doesn’t endanger their livelihoods and compromise the state’s future. For that to happen, state leaders will have to pull their heads from the sand long enough to realize that ideology shouldn’t be allowed to trump common sense.