Representative Simpson and Senator Eltife,
I have just returned from Senior Celebration, a program designed to
honor the graduating class of White Oak High School. Each year we
honor the senior class by allowing them to share special
accomplishments and memories from their time at White Oak. During the
program parents and community members heard many wonderful stories of
favorite teachers, classes that will prepare them for the future,
trips, sports, band and other UIL events that will forever be a part
of their life memories. I watched as our students were presented in
formal dress and given the kind of recognition deserved by young
people who have accomplished so much. I am very proud of these
The thought of not being able to provide the setting for these
memories to be made makes me very angry. This legislative session has
been brutal to those of us who are fighting desperately to save our
public schools. The cuts being proposed, especially in the house, are
totally unacceptable. The vast majority of your constituents do not
want this to happen and have been clear on the issue. No program, no
pet project, no special interest is deserving of funds in place of a
well educated, motivated and prepared workforce! These cuts can not be
allowed to become reality!
There are those who will say that the Texas Public School System is
broken. They will say that we waste money and the students I described
above do not exist. They are wrong! Over and over again we have
provided documented evidence of our success at teaching ALL the
children in our care. We provide the platform for young people to
pursue excellence without prejudice as to demographics or
socioeconomic status. We educate children, that is what we do. These
funding cuts will be devastating to that task.
I am angry! My children are under attack! The 82nd Legislature is
stealing the future of my students! I am proud that my Representative
voted against HB 1, but that is just the start. The students of House
District 7 and Senate District 1 NEED YOU! Revenue is the answer. Take
the governor’s corporate welfare accounts, spend the Economic
Stabilization Fund, every dime of it! The fund will replenish, but the
harm done to our students will be permanent.
The outstanding achievements that are happening in White Oak ISD are
not the exception. This story of success is playing out all over the
state. Do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.
Please share this with anyone who will listen.
Michael E. Gilbert
White Oak ISD