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Letters to the editor, May 6

Propaganda piece

As a newcomer to Texas, I was recently searching for information on school choice in Denton County and came across this (undated) publicly available opinion piece, co-authored by Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools for Denton ISD:

This disingenuous propaganda piece conveniently excerpts the words of Texas’ founders to imply that these freedom-fighters would support our modern schooling monopoly. It cleverly avoids quoting the founders’ stated purpose, which is the “general diffusion of knowledge … essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.”

Indeed, without the technological innovations of the 20th century (including automobiles, roads and telecommunications), a locally controlled collective may well have been the best means to accomplish this purpose. However, the pretense that this is the world we live in veils a grave conflict of interest from the writers.

Today we have the failing vestiges of an antiquated system in which a child’s educational outcomes are largely determined by the parents’ ZIP code while many free-market educational alternatives lie within driving distance.

The intelligent founders of Texas would certainly have seen this as a game-changer. Funds are exacted from property owners for the benefit of all children, but only distributed to those who choose the government schooling monopoly. That is coercion and extortion, not the freedom Texans are said to enjoy.

Meanwhile, school officials are using their paid public positions and the “legislative updates” section of a publicly funded webpage to lobby in their own self-interest. That is the very definition of corruption. Is this Texas?

Joshua A. Woolley,