The following is a statement from public education advocate, Reverend Charles Foster Johnson:

We wish Mike Morath all the best as he assumes the position of Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency.  We look forward to working closely with him to ensure quality public education for all 5.2 million school children entrusted to our social responsibility, and to oppose any attempt to privatize this essential public trust.

We stand with our highly qualified, well-trained, and thoroughly experienced educators in Texas and trust their judgment on what is best for our schoolchildren.  Education is a sacred servant-calling before God.  We are privileged to submit to the authority and expert testimony of our proven educational leaders.  We exhort our policymakers to do the same.

It is somewhat puzzling that Gov. Abbott would choose as our state educational leader someone from outside the field of public education, who has no formal training as an educator, no classroom experience as an educator, and no direct administrative experience in stewarding and shepherding the education of students.  We hardly believe that such an individual could not be found among the 1,200 active superintendents of our great state alone, not to mention the thousands more Texans who possess sterling educational credentials. Therefore, as we congratulate our new Commissioner, we invite him to join us in full cooperation with our established educational leaders.

We are eager to join Mr. Morath in empowering school teachers and school administrators in our 8,500 community and neighborhood schools, in advocating for the proper funding of those schools, and in opposing any measure to privatize this public and communal trust. To take a center of learning overseen by the public interest and turn it into a center of profit controlled by private entities is a violation of God’s common good.  We have every full expectation that Mr. Morath will join us in the protection of the fundamental provision of universal education for all Texas children by the public and at the public expense.

Reverend Johnson is the Executive Director of Pastors for Texas Children.

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