Who’s bringing the popcorn?

As we swelter through the final days of August, think of what is on the horizon. First and most importantly we will (hopefully) see the high temperature drop below 100.  Second, football will be in full swing. Third, it looks like we will have an exciting pennant race between our two big league clubs—Rangers and Astros.  And Ken Paxton!

I expect all governmental activity to grind to a halt as the Senate conducts a trial to consider the impeachment of our Attorney General.  In fact, I think the Governor should declare a statewide holiday for everyone. I mean, really….who’s going to work while this is going on? 

Not me.

Consider: we have the Republican-controlled Senate considering removing from office the three-time elected Republican AG after he was impeached by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The Honorable Dan Patrick presiding.  Testimony from whistleblowers about shady financial dealings.  Allegations of the AG covering up some extra-marital hanky panky. And his wife in the Senate Chamber.  Yikes!  Then you have the lawyers. On both sides they are known to be 1) really good; and 2) colorful to the point of flamboyance.  And it’s going to be televised.  Bring the popcorn!!

Word on the street is that the special session to deal with public education will be called after the Paxton trial.  That makes sense. No one will be able to concentrate on any other matter of public business until we get this behind us.  So we sit back and watch. 

But I hope that educators will recognize the reality that the hard feelings this explosive trial is sure to produce will carry over into the special session. The dominant political party in our state is badly split and the trial will likely bring much of that into public view.   Meanwhile, educators who desperately need legislative support will be working to cultivate members who vote both for and against Ken Paxton’s removal. 

The message is simple: public education is more important than any of this. It’s more important than who gets to serve as our Attorney General. It should not be an issue that divides us on political grounds. All of us want and need a strong public education system.  The future of Texas depends on it. Teachers need a pay raise. The safety measures the legislature adopted in the regular session need to be fully funded.  And we don’t need to be siphoning off precious resources to private schools. 

The special session will be held at a time when superintendents, principals, and teachers are otherwise occupied, performing their day jobs to keep our schools running.  It’s a good thing that we have some organizations that can make their presence known at the Capitol, advocating for the five million public school children we serve.  They need your help and support. This historic impeachment trial will put on public display the fractures among our state leaders.  Let’s not let that distract us from our mission—getting the support our teachers, parents, and students deserve.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com

Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!