Rob Eissler Loses GOP Primary: What It Means for Next Session (Hint: It's Not Good)

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Special sessions, here we come.
Cross-party Republican spats may take all the energy out of any effort to fix public school finance and high-stakes testing next session.

When lawmakers announced cuts of up to $10 billion from public education last session, parents and teachers rallied at the Capitol under the Save Our Schools banner. They marched in the thousands. They chanted. They talked new candidates and tapping the Rainy Day Fund for spending. They promised change in the House.

Then the late-May primary occurred, and reality actually happened.

Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, the affable House Public Education Chair, went down in flames in his Montgomery County district. Eissler, who often cast himself in the role of mediator among the various education factions, was blindsided by an attack on Speaker Joe Straus's top lieutenants in the House.

Bruised from last session's brutal Republican-led cuts and battered by last-minute outside attacks, the longtime trustee-turned-six-term House member was no match for an organized last-minute attack. Eissler did, in fact, leave $650,000, unused, in his campaign fund.

A quick last-minute flurry of conservative endorsements did nothing to stop the hemorrhage and Eissler lost to businessman and minister Steve Toth, who said it was "time for Americans to stand in the gap for our children, our liberties and our future." Toth took Eissler by a 57-43 margin in the Republican primary.

Talking with Hair Balls, Eissler didn't answer questions about his war chest. He didn't bother attacking Empower Texans, which is now crowing about his defeat. Instead, he was tormented by questions about his record in the House.

"If I had everything to do over again, I'd do it again..." Eissler said. "I tried to do the right thing."

For those who want a tally of why the legislature will be mired in indecision in June 2013, here is the scorecard of how Austin is right now: down chairs in both the House and the Senate; facing a two-year battle on school finance that won't be resolved by next January; hit by the loss of longtime education finance guru Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, who departed the House after being shunned on the topic last session; and rudderless at the much-downsized Texas Education Agency, where Commissioner Robert Scott put in his resignation for July 2.

It all spells a long session and multiple special sessions next summer.

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12 comments
big red
big red

Oh, let's throw some more gas on the fire. The State Board of Education could be taken over again by the right wing kooks, too. A great reason to enroll your child in a private school.

It is sad to see public education totally destroyed by that nimrod, Perry.

H_e_x
H_e_x

If you cut funding and keep public education in the drain, you keep kids ignorant. This lack of critical thinking causes them to vote for people who are against their own interests, which is why Republicans tend to dominate states that rank poorly in education.

MadMac
MadMac

That's kinda the point. The Rwing nuts want you to enroll you kid in private school. They want you to say, "well, if my kid's not going to HISD, why am I paying such high school taxes?" Let's cut public school funding and go to vouchers. Let's pink slip the teachers, (pensions and healthcare are expensive) and let the charter schools sort it out. It's not like teaching's real work, I mean women/minorities do it, right?

So little Billy in the Heights/Memorial/Bellaire, goes to EpiscopalCatholicBaptistJewish School Inc. Good for him. Maybe his teachers make 2/3 their former pay. No healthcare, no pension. Serves them right for doing an easy job.

Meanwhile teachers currently at Blackshear (Third Ward, look it up on the map) know not to leave anything on their desk b/c maintenance is patching the patches on 30 year old pipes. What happens to those kids at that school? What happens to the kids in Denver Harbor, Acres Homes, and Fifth Ward? What kind of private education do you think they'll get?

What kind of crime rate do you think you'll get? It's easy to blame guys like Pretty Ricky but I'm a shop steward and a Dem organizer and see where the blame lies. It's the 70% that won't come to vote. Won't skip American Idol for a community meeting, won't get off their lazy cans to hold these guys accountable.

MadMac
MadMac

And why they DETEST education/intellectual pursuits.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

Call me crazy, (it's okay. My kid does it all the time!) but I don't want my tax money going to a religious school of any stripe. Unless said religious school agrees to take any child that wants to use the voucher the Rwing seems to be  so in love with. (For the record, I mean ANY child, even those with disabilities, behavior problems etc. No pick and choose.)  And not make that child take any kind of religious study as part of the school's ciricullum if the parent objects, and not penalize that kid for doing so. 

MadMac
MadMac

Annnddddd boom goes the dynamite.

H_e_x
H_e_x

No, we aren't talking about you and your failed business.

MadMac
MadMac

Examples include: Nugent, Theodore, (genus: Michiganus Pantscrapus) Trump, Donald, (genus: Americanus Daddybailus Outus) and Bush, George, (genus: Tejanus/Yale Legacyanus).  

H_e_x
H_e_x

The hatred of intellect is also why they accuse colleges and universities of being liberal enclaves. They try to connect intelligence and education with negative traits. Their base eats it up and wears their ignorance as a badge of honor.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

You just know that private schools, unless they are specifically created to, will fight tooth and claw about having to admit special needs and disabled students.

I agree with all your other points, My kid is just completing her freshman year in high school and I am nervous about what further cuts from the legislature or screwball ideas the SBOE will come up with before she graduates. I can only imagine it won't be any better for future students.

MadMac
MadMac

And, there's the rub. The ONLY thing the Rwing nuts want to regulate is uteruses. So, natch for oversight on those charter schools. Unless it's a Madrasah--those are NYPD-regulated, even in TX.

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