Pro-Teacher Rally a vibrant event..but support must be ongoing
I was pleased to attend the regional pro-Teacher rally on the steps of the Gregg County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 12th. It was well-attended with over 800 people, including myself and my distant cousins. Various school districts were represented including Gilmer. It was much more than just "pro-Teacher: The rally was intended to support the rights, salaries, pension rights, and most especially retirement insurance of Texas public school employees and retirees which range not just school teachers, principals, but also the school bus drivers, the school cafeteria employees, and others whose labor benefits the lives of millions of Texas kids.
Judge Bill Stoudt was a principal speaker and noted that his wife is a retired teacher herself. Tim Lee was a powerful speaker who impressed me by his exuberant and forceful theme, almost akin to pounding the drumbeat for audience attendees to be pro-active especially in PRIMARY ELECTIONS. He noted that if voters simply wait to vote in the General Election: it is essentially too late, to scrutinize whether a candidate is sincere or not, and often in the past, voters are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. He termed it: "Game over". Lee urged people that it is the primary season where you can get to know "who your friends are" on subjects you care about. I wholeheartedly agree that we must support politicians --not based on their charisma, but support them if they are allied with our beliefs and "say so". Lee noted that if you phone any (any) elected official and they give you a vague answer, you can almost count them as straddling the fence. The most breathtaking moment (for me) was when Lee spoke of "The Small School Penalty" ---which is, in a nutshell--if a school district has too few pupils or too few square miles composing its district, it will lose money. Lee specifically mentioned that under this biased law School districts such as New Diana ISD and Ore City School ISD would lose about $800,000 each. That substantial sum (if restored) would greatly aid the budgets to those schools.
My own mother, Gloria Riedl Marples was herself a "school lunch lady" working in the cafeteria of the Rose Hill Kansas, "Unified School District". In Texas, we are "Independent School Districts". But the difference between abbreviations of U.S.D. and I.S.D. is minimal. I know the rally would have been "near and dear" to my late Mom's heart, so I'm glad I attended to support local school employees (current and retirees) in this part of Texas. The "special session" of the Texas legislature is ONLY for 30 days. I, myself, would urge ALL VOTER whether you have kids or not, to pay close-attention to this issue and other issues and "make your voice known, now. Plus...there is no substitute for faithful voting in primary elections AND general elections. Your ballot is your "voice". And, one thing politicians pay attention to....is "numbers" (Meaning numbers of vocal constituents). Voters must howl like a screeching cat to gain their attention. Bottom-line, politicians care about their own destinies and if you're concerned about your destiny and/or your children's destinies fare: You must make your voice heard loud and clear.