LttE - Tony Kosub's positions
Submitted to the San Antonio Express-News on 3 March 2008:
Tony Kosub, the Republican challenger for State Rep. district 122, sure sounds good on paper. He talks about limited (and efficient) government, lower taxes, Second Amendment rights, ending eminent domain abuse, etc. Where he's curiously silent is on education, his website only touching on this important issue in two glib-sounding bullets that are void of substance, addressing the affordability of college tuition and improving the never-defined "quality" of education. He's a middle-school teacher, so one might be forgiven for thinking any candidate might have very detailed points on an issue specific to how he or she makes their living, informed by the very expertise that allows them to make their living in that field.
In fact, that's what worries me about Kosub. He's been endorsed by three local chapters of the American Federation of Teachers - not surprising given that he's a public school teacher and one would assume a member of their union (affiliated with the AFL-CIO). With the AFT.org website posting strong positions opposing any form or degree of school choice, vouchers and privatization (three subjects that should be near and dear to any conservative Republican's heart), one is left to just read the sparse bullets on Kosub's website and wonder how much sway the AFT's positions hold for him. If he were to win office and a vote on vouchers were to come up in the next session, how would he see it? Would he vote for his political constituents or his professional colleagues? Especially worrying is the recent California court decision regarding homeschooling - if a vote came up to protect Texas' vibrant homeschooling community from a similar threat, how would our new state Rep. vote?
Frankly, the answer to those questions, with such long-term implications for the education of my own not-yet-school-age kids, is not something I'm comfortable guessing on.