Texas Tax-Backed Prof Claims Supporters Who Passed State School-Choice Bill 'Can’t Read'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | August 8, 2022
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One tax-backed professor in Texas claims supporters of a recently passed bill in support of school choice only backed the measure because they "can't read."

But, evidently, they’re literate enough to read the tax-commands of their state, in order to give this professor her salary.

Public schools and universities seem to be fertile ground for self-righteous statements from elitist teachers who make the bulk of their living off the public they incessantly berate. And the fertile ground of Stephen F. Austin State University -- located in Nacogdoches, southeast of Dallas, TX – has nourished another of the elitists.

She’s an “educational studies” professor named Amber Wagnon, and, as Dave Huber reports for The College Fix, she recently tweeted that voters who backed a school-choice bill in Texas did so because they couldn’t read the bill.

Of the classy Prof. Wagnon, Huber wrote:

“Educational studies Professor Amber Wagnon tweeted that the measure, ‘Proposition 9,’ passed ‘because 80% of people don’t know how to read the convoluted language that those propositions are written in…’”

Which, in addition to leaving a preposition dangling more prominently than certain portions of Hunter Biden’s anatomy, also (and obviously) tosses out a percentage without any citation to check its validity, insults the people who backed the bill, and, curiously, works as a backhanded slap to the leftist, government-pushed educational orthodoxy – the reform of which this school choice bill is supposed to facilitate.

Indeed. If, as Wagnon claims, so many people simply couldn’t read the bill, doesn’t that pretty much indict the current public school system in Texas that’s been churning out these illiterate voters?

Doesn’t her attack on them simply add another voice to those of world-famous critics such as John Taylor Gatto, Thomas Sowell, Samuel Blumenfeld, Alex Newman, and Charlotte Iserbyt, who, for decades, have exposed the skyrocketing costs and cascading literacy rates attached to government-run, tax-funded schools?

As Huber notes, San Antonio TV station NEWS4SA covered the Proposition 9 issue, and the language of said Ballot Question is short and sweet (well, sweet for those who like it, which seems to exclude Prof Wagnon and famous table-surfer, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke). It reads:

“Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student.”

Clearly, this concept doesn’t sit well with Professor Wagnon or Robert O’Rourke. And one can assume it is not popular with other collectivists, especially those tied to the hegemonic teachers unions that seem to look at competition the way vampires look at crosses.

Related: RIP Charlotte Iserbyt, A True Fighter For Educational Liberty | MRCTV

And, to prevent the metaphor being underutilized, one must point out that public education is vampiric. It is parasitic – unable to stand on its own. By its nature, government-run schooling draws resources away from the productive activity and profit of the free market, to shovel it into a collective, group-think, collectivism-promoting maelstrom of swirling taxpayer argumentation that doesn’t allow victimized taxpayers or parents the chance to show dissatisfaction by withdrawing their participation and patronage the way a market system does.

And -- lest one appear too critical of Proposition Nine, which, clearly, was very popular as a chance to change the tawdry educational status quo – the immorality of taxation, and the very idea that publicly-collected tax cash will be “following the student” mean that, first, the unethical activity of seizing money from parents and non-parents in order to pay for education will remain extant under the new paradigm. Second, it means that said tax cash will, inevitably, go to the “chosen” education institution, and carry government strings with it.

As a guy who has lectured in economics and ethics at tax-funded charter schools, I’ve seen how pervasive this “strings attached” problem is, and how state politics begin to steer the schools and their pedagogy towards state-favored content and the philosophies that content supports.

So, Proposition Nine does not really change the “status quo.” In fact, the status quo will not be changed until ethical people address the unethical nature of tax-funded schools – a status quo that was worsened and for which decisions were greatly centralized in the mid 1990s in Texas, when, as with many other states, leftists brought suit to push what had, until that time, been a mostly local education system (often based on property taxes) and push its funding and pedagogical decisions into the state legislature, where, of course, it’s easier for education lobbyists to sway the system.

The 1993 start of so-called “Robin Hood” laws in Texas saw the state government target what they called “property rich” towns and shovel portions of their tax cash to “property poor” education systems. The reasons as to why some towns might have higher property values, or higher educational budgets per pupil (often not even tied to educational performance) were not explored. It was the Marxist envy what was pushed, the ”how DARE that WEALTHY town have higher spending per-pupil” that won the day, and saw the state act as so-called “Robin Hood” “taking from the ‘rich’ and giving to the ‘poor.’”

But, of course, this does a disservice to Robin Hood, who, according to traditional folklore, was a tax protester taking BACK money that was stolen by the government. And it reinforces the myth that there is a “right” to education.

Many leftists – and even some mistaken conservatives – say that, since a child cannot educate himself or herself, there is a “right to” a government-provided education.

But that “government-provided” education isn’t necessarily an education, is actually provided by taxpayers, and doesn’t allow for dissent. That “right” is not a right. If one argues that citizen A can be forced to work for X number of hours in order to pay for the education of citizen B’s child, because the child has a “right” to be taught, that argues for the enslavement of citizen A, and if we can enslave citizen A and make him work for nothing in order to give the child an “education,” then why not remove the middle-man and enslave the teacher, make the teacher work, instead?

There is no right TO anything that someone else must provide. There is only the right to be left free of coercion, theft, and threats by others.

Sadly, Proposition Nine might shake up the Texas education system, but it does not change the underlying assumptions that beat at the heart of the leviathan.

Until people address that problem, the insults of this tax-subsidized professor (she subsequently made her Twitter feed “private”) will continue to act as mere annoying distractions.

They can be used, instead, to open hearts and minds to the possibility of real change: eliminating all ties between government and education.

Related: MA Parents Sue After School Allegedly Helped Kids 'Transition' In Secret | MRCTV