During the past summer I have been having a lot of political conversations with my dad over dinner. Most of the talks center around the big issues like immigration and economics, the success and failures of our president, and a little political and military history thrown in for good measure.
Right now I am going to focus on the shortest part of our conversation last night which dealt with me, the sometimes politician and candidate for office. What began the conversation was his problems with school boards as taxing agent, a necessary evil perhaps, but in the end one that seems to continually go unchecked by voters every time a vote comes to raise property taxes or to pass another bond. The gist is that schools are raising more money than they really need for infrastructure and other needs for school districts, they are wasting enormous amounts of money with little return on the investment.
Some proof on the failure of this investment was seen when I ran for a seat on the board of trustee of the Alamo Colleges, then as a candidate for a school board seat with the North East ISD. In both campaigns I talked about the failures of preparing our students for life in college. Too many students are in remedial classes, getting frustrated and soon dropping out. In both campaign, this was central to the stump speech I gave to individuals and groups. In both elections I got roughly 20% of the vote and moved on.
We, as citizens, should expect more from our elected officials. In the case of school board, we really need to scrutinize them when these boards want to raise taxes or pass another bond in support of our schools and students. We need to look at where the money is going and that it will have a positive impact on students in the classroom.
I would note that I will have an opportunity to run again for a seat with the Alamo Colleges. In roughly two years time I get to look at where I am, and where I am going and see if running again is the right thing to do. I’ll make it a point to keep up with that conversation on this blog until then.