The Williamson County Commissioners Court voted to withhold nearly $9 Million of federally appropriated CARES relief funds from the two largest school districts in the county because they failed to ban books. Read that first sentence again and let that sink-in. This relief money is desperately needed by the schools to cover the unbudgeted expenses they are incurring due to COVID. The funds are to help America recover from COVID – NOT to be used as a carrot/stick to reward a private agenda. [The motion described above passed in a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Cook was the lone voice of reason.]
I feel as if I have been transported back in time. Book banning is a practice most commonly associated with Communism and other totalitarian forms of government. It has no place in America and no place in WilCo.
Suppressing ideas and thoughts is an abomination and curriculum is clearly the purview of our “Independent” School Boards and Districts. Even if one somehow thinks certain books should be banned, they do not have the right to use their private agenda to punish children. CARES funds are for the express purpose of mitigating educational expenses due to the COVID pandemic. Period. As is, 93,000 of our students will be negatively impacted.
I am saddened to see the current Court support censorship. I am also angered to realize the court is willing to hold the school districts hostage until they comply with this personal agenda. We need leaders with new ideas, not relics of the past. We need Commissioners who will let our competent school boards do their jobs. We need Commissioners who are not afraid of the First Amendment. We need Commissioners who truly care about our children and will fund schools accordingly. We need Commissioners who do not use their personal agendas as criteria to disperse funds. Three of the four officials who voted for this motion are up for re-election next fall: Gravell, Long & Boles.