Ken Moerbe submitted the following letter to the editor on Nov. 29, 2012. With his permission we are including it here as a blog. Our thanks to Ken!
“After reading the reports of Governor Rick Perry's visit to Waco on Tuesday, November 27th, I felt compelled to write this letter. I believe that for some strange, bizarre reason, Rick Perry is enagaged in 'a war on the children of Texas.' Just look at what he has done and the legislation he has supported. >> First on the list has to be his enthusiastic support of the $5.4 billion cut in school funding and grants, combined with his continued refusal to use the ever growing Rainey Day Fund to bolster public education in Texas. These actions have only exacerbated the deterioraton in our public education system due to the gross inequities in how these funds are distributed to many school districts, especially among the ISDs with the most students living in poverty, including Waco ISD. All of this has forced the closing of schools, the elimination of instructional positions, and increased class size, which has made the work of WISD's dedicated School Board members, administrators, teachers and staff incredibly difficult. >> Secondly, there is Perry's intransigence when it comes to the needed health care reform in which the Affordable Health Care Act is an important first step. Again, who do you think will be impacted most? The answer is the children who are living in the thousands of households in our community who can't afford health insurance and so who are able to provide very little preventive health care for their children. >> Thirdly in the same vain, Perry's continued refusal to accept the federal governments support for Medicaid expansion, and so the expansion of the Children's Health Care Program, which would provide much needed health care for the 25% of Texas children who are living poverty, is simply unconscionable! >> And then there is Perry's recent support of drug testing for 'high-risk' welfare and unemployment benefit applicants. Perry said he believes the drug-testing will mean lessmoney paid out in benefits and ultimately save Texas money. There it is again, because the greatest impact of this action will a negative one for Texas' most vulnerable citizens, the children living in poverty because of no fault of their own. It is so sad that we will allow our state officials , led by Rick Perry, to impose this mean spirited legislative measure on families, where innocent children will be the ones who will suffer the most. >> I could go on and on, but I think I've made my case that Rick Perry, assisted by his colleagues in the legislature, is engaged in a war on the children of Texas!” >> >> Kenneth Moerbe >> Waco