Dear Texas legislators: a few reminders

As a librarian and educator, I sometimes have to deal with unhappy parents.  One of the first pieces of advice you learn as a librarian is that people just want to be heard.  So when people have a complaint, your job is first to just listen.   Listening alleviates the situation, because most of all, people just want to be heard. In my experience the past few months interacting with legislative aides and legislators in Texas, it has become clear some legislative staffers and legislators […]

An assault on Texas education?

This spring, the Texas legislature, led by Governor Rick Perry, has committed assault against the students and teachers of the state of Texas — a state which already is <a href=”http://texaslsg.org/texasonthebrink/texasonthebrink.pdf” target=”_hplink”>44th in the nation</a> in its funding of education. Draconian budget cuts were threatened from the beginning of the session as lawmakers realized there would be a substantial budget shortfall(largely brought on by the Governor’s and legislature’s decision to reduce property taxes in 2006) and as Tea Party affiliated candidates funded by outside groups […]

Testimony to House Education committee

In April, I testified before the House Education committee regarding House Bill 1505, regarding staffing levels for elementary librarians.    While this bill wasn’t expected to move forward, it was an important opportunity to share the effects of the current budget discussions in the state with the committee.  There are often unintended consequences of budget decisions, and I wanted them to be aware that the decimation of Texas library programs was one consequence of the budget as it currently stands. The map of library cuts that we had […]