HISD Trustee Harvin Moore Wants the State to Man Up

Categories: Education

Harvin Moore: Not happy, despite the smile
Houston ISD trustee Harvin Moore has come out guns blazing against the probable hefty cut in state funding for education to local public school districts, saying that legislators aren't honoring their constitutional duty to support education in Texas.

In the first of what promises to be a series of op-ed pieces published by the Examiner newspaper group in River Oaks, Bellaire and West University, Moore states: "From the end of World War II until the early 1990s, the State and local communities each contributed about 50% of the overall cost of supporting our public schools."

This began declining in the 1990s, he says, to the point that the state contribution is about "32% of the total cost of educating a student in HISD."

But if the state makes anticipated cuts, it will bring its local contribution down to the 25 percent mark for HISD students, Moore says. Forcing local taxpayers to pick up an even greater burden to support education is unfair, will probably be inadequate and to his way of thinking is unconstitutional since in effect it is a state property tax, which, he says, is not allowed by the constitution.

Moore says local property owners are willing to do their part. He wants the state to do the same.

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This guy is brave enough to speak the truth, but unfortunately the truth goes far beyond public education funding: public education is only a clear symptom of what's happening on a deeper level.

Namely, we are becoming in Texas, as elsewhere in the States, a very unequal society. The middle class that used to support public education is becoming smaller, with incomes trending downwards, and costs of living rising; the rich, meanwhile, who opt for private education are becoming larger and more politically powerful.

Why would the wealthy want to pay more for public education? They've already made it, in their view, and adopt rhetoric that says "We've made it because we deserved it, and we're not paying for those who haven't. That's just soak the rich".

Of course, strong public education is an absolute good for the advancement of us all, it's been a unifying factor for the county generally. But ask those with the most for a little, and they'll say it's robbery.


Mr Moore's credibility is so compromised at this juncture.

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