Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why Funding from Texans for Education Reform Should Concern You

The latest group to come in and try to influence El Paso politics is Texans for Education Reform (TER), which is essentially a sister organization of the Texans for Legal Reform (TLR). I warned everyone about their money and their influence a long time ago, but because they gave to Democrats with good voting records all was forgiven.

Until those Democrats endorsed a Republican over a Democrat in a general election. 

Now TER is dropping big loads of cash on candidates in this election cycle. As I mentioned, the candidates they are dropping the cash on are always Forma clients, so large portions of the cash are going to be soaked up in consulting fees. 

But lets be real, money doesn’t always mean you’re going to win, but it damn sure helps. It keeps the machine going to pay for mail, lit, etc. 

There’s one race in particular where money from TER is a bid deal and it should cause voters to give pause, its the race for State Board of Education. The SBOE is a collection of nuts so extreme that even the tea party wing of the Republican legislature in Texas blushes. 

They have literally tried to rewrite history. 

Right now there are three candidates running for the seat but because of math, the only two candidates that matter are the ones from El Paso. Jose Fierro, who is a businessman and run unsuccessfully for the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees last cycle, and Georgina Perez who is an educator and runs a business. 

Here’s the thing about TER / Forma education candidates. They usually run people that have little to no experience or qualifications and drop big loads of cash on them. That has to concern people that an organization who’s purpose is to get rid of public education as we know it and make some pretty scary changes is dumping big wads of cash on candidates with no experience in education. 

During a recent cycle they made it rain on a candidate for school board who only had a GED to try to dislodge a candidate that was a teacher. 

Yet again there is a similar situation with Jose Fierro, a candidate with no experience in education. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and he’s a fellow veteran. But he doesn’t have any experience in the important stuff like curriculum development or classroom management. How can he speak with any authority on these issues absent of experience?

His website says something that further underscores my concerns. The website speaks of working with the legislature, not against it.

Are you kidding me?

The Texas legislature that has constantly under-funded public education and allowed the craziness of the SBOE to go unchecked while Texas continues to plummet in national rankings for quality of public education?

Is that a joke or something? 

I haven’t seen this guy anywhere. I haven’t seen him at any form or event. He’s harder to find than Chapo Guzman. 

While SBOE is not a sexy race by any stretch of the imagination, but its far more than races like Tax Assessor Collector and Constable. 

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