I apologize to anyone who is not a reader of this blog in Texas, but I feel that this is so important I need to share it on all of my social media. The Texas Education Agency has put out a survey asking stakeholders for their opinion as to how the remaining 4 billion dollars of the American Rescue Plan money set aside for education in our state should be spent. The state has to submit a plan to the US Department of Education by June 7th, and has set a deadline of May 21st for people to fill out this survey. I don’t know about you, but as a retired teacher who is still very much invested in the education of our students and the plight of educators in Texas, I have been feeling that more politicians and bureaucrats have been making decisions about schools than the people with boots on the ground. This survey could be for show, especially since the turnaround from the deadline to June 7th is so quick, but I think it behooves any of us who have opinions about how this money should be spent to speak up. For the record, this was my response in the final box asking if I had any other comments, “A lot of great teachers are about to leave the profession because they have not felt supported this year. Some work in schools that are falling apart, teaching large classes, dealing with students who are carrying a lot of emotional baggage, and the teachers feel alone and disposable. They need more personal days, more qualified substitutes, more campus staff to work with students who have emotional issues and safer working environments. They need to know their opinions matter and that they have a voice.”
I urge you to please fill out this survey by 5 PM on May 21st in order to record your own views on how this money should be allocated in Texas. If you are in a different state, please research the plans your own state has for spending the American Rescue Plan money set aside for education. This is a lot of money that could do a lot of good if it isn’t eaten up by political pet projects and selfish lobbyists.