Monday, May 04, 2009

Gov. Perry betrays public education

The San Antonio Express-News had a good editorial this weekend criticizing Gov. Rick Perry’s boneheaded decision to reappoint Don McLeroy as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy is a certifiable nutcase who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible — the Earth is thousands of years old and not millions, he says — and uses his position on the SBOE to tout creationist nonsense and to undercut the public education system in favor of homeschooling at every opportunity.
The fact that Perry appointed this rightwing nutjob to the chairmanship in the first place is bad enough, but now he wants to extend his term as chairman through 2011. Fortunately, there seems to be some resistance to this move in the Texas Legislature. But I would also remind the Express-News editorial writers that they are once again being hypocritical on this matter since they were the ones who endorsed Perry for governor everytime he has run for office. Perhaps they are setting themselves up to endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary next year, but I’m not convinced that she would have been any better. Hutchison just cast a vote against Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius becoming Secretary of Health and Human Services simply to appease the Religious Right because they oppose anyone who doesn’t favor criminalizing abortion.
I am greatly offended that Perry thinks so poorly of our public education system that he would promote this fox in the henhouse as chairman of the SBOE, which oversees textbooks in our schools. I only wish that the vast majority of Texans who support public education would see this as the betrayal that it is and vote to cast Perry out of office next year.

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