S.B. 573, by Dan Patrick of Houston relates to the participation of private schools in U.I.L. sponsored activities.
If passed the language in this bill would destroy a level playing field for our public schools and the children they serve. This would affect athletics, academics, music and fine arts in all classifications.
On Tuesday, March 12, S.B. 573 passed through the Senate Education Committee. Because the next step in this process will be to submit the bill on the Senate Floor for a vote, it is especially important that we voice our opposition to S.B. 573 as soon as possible.
We need your help to contact our State Senators and Representatives to show a strong opposition to opening the U.I.L. membership to private schools!!!
We are asking each of you to use the following bullet points and contact your Senators and Representatives to express your opposition to S.B. 573.
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ALL FRIENDS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL ATHLETICS.
Bullet points in opposition to Private School Membership in all U.I.L. Activities:
• Private schools must recruit to exist. (Impossible to comply with recruiting rules because recruiting is critical to their very existence.)
• Private schools do not have to admit all children. (Public schools are required to take all comers: learning disabled, behaviorally disabled and physically disabled; private schools are able to create a select environment.)
• Private schools do not comply with the parent residence boundaries that public schools do. (How do you solve the issue of boundaries with private schools?)
• Academic standards are not mandated by statute, while public schools are heavily regulated.
• Private schools control the number of students who attend and would control their U.I.L. classification, while a public school cannot. (The smaller the classification the greater the impact of private schools.)
• Private schools have an unfair competitive advantage in that they have a unique situation -- they can establish a select environment.
Sen. Patrick failed to get S.B. 573 enacted into law.
It is safe to say, though, that once he becomes Lieutenant Governor of Texas, this bill and numerous other “reform” proposals will be back on the agenda.
Public schools (aka “government schools” by their critics) do not have many friends left in Austin to begin with. With each election cycle, the number becomes even smaller.
It has long been predicted that the rural areas who are dependent upon the public school system (in a way that the wealthier suburbs are not) would eventually regret the loss of the political party which traditionally supported that system. That prediction is closer than ever to coming true.
Those of us who live outside the major cities sometimes fail to realize what little influence we have over the political process. Upshur County has a population of only about 40,000. Texas is now home to almost 27 million people.