HISD Votes to Lessen Some Cuts
Kudos to the HISD School Board for voting to use some “extra” money on schools, passing about $18.5 million in budget surplus to school leaders to use on tutors, technology, and other needed expenditures. Rather than weathering a $275 per student cut, schools get a little bit of room with a cut of about $190 per student.
Supt. Grier wanted to bar the money from being used to rehire some of the laid-off teachers, but school board members thought differently and didn’t add the restrictive measure, thus, allowing the school principal to make that decision. Still, such a decision would be risky as the district still faces a $41 million shortfall for the next school year and any “new” job may not have funding, thanks to the Republican Texas Legislature and Rick Perry. Frankly, I think it’s a good risk because, ultimately, school board members should always vote for the kids and not for their political aspirations.
Recently, the Obama Administration and ICE decided to provide some political cover to local entities who administer the flawed failure that is Secure Communities, an immigrant round-up program that purportedly only goes after “criminal aliens.” The results of these kind of programs have led to about 1 million deportations, of which a large percentage are either non-criminals or those arrested for hardly deportable offenses.
I call it political cover because many of these entities chose the politically expedient route of joining the programs, but now, the Obama Administration has cancelled the “contracts” and is making it mandatory for all law enforcement agencies to run the program.
The Chron had an op-ed praising the local agencies for arresting more “criminal aliens,” but they fail to ask the local agencies for a layout of the types of arrests. Perhaps the Chron doesn’t know that there are three offense levels with Level 1 being the worse of the worse, which supposedly are what is targeted by these programs. I haven’t really seen any new information, but previously, they haven’t been able to give any hard numbers. So, praising them is a bit much.
I’ll go so far and say that the Secure Communities is bad for America, it is bad for families, and it is bad for our economy. On top of President Obama’s failure to use his office to stop the deportation of DREAM students, and the Republican Congress’s disdain for immigrants and Latinos, this change to S-COMM is strictly political and it needs to be ended.
Congrats to Sunny Sauceda y Todo Eso…
Sunny and the guys, whom I reviewed recently, won the Best Tejano Artist award at the Premios Texas last night. DosCentavos is looking forward to reviewing the next creation.
I think Cal Jillson of SMU said it best:
“It’s more than the media. It’s more than the debates,” Jillson said. “In Texas, people have low expectations and they take bumper-sticker responses. It’s going to be different when you talk policy in paragraphs at the national level.”
After last night’s debates, I expect the “winner” of the primaries to be the most right-wing, reactionary, anti-Latino, anti-poor candidate spewing vitriol, etc. Let’s hope the Democratic response is more than the usual if they expect to excite those that NEED to vote in 2012.