In Texas, the Lt. Governor is considered the state’s most powerful elected official. That man is Dan Patrick, a flamboyant former talk show host who hates public schools. Patrick recently spoke in Houston.

Please read this brilliant reaction by Cort McMurray, a Houston area businessman.

A snippet of a great piece:

“Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was in town this week, talking schools, school finance, and property tax reform. These are favorite topics for Patrick, who, before becoming arguably the most powerful man in state government, was a Houston media personality, best known for undergoing an on-air vasectomy during a live radio talk show. In his 2015 inaugural address, tucked between the Stetsoned hubris and the cowboy booted jingoism and the liberal quotation of Scripture, Patrick bemoaned the failure of “our inner city schools” and invoked Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech to articulate a dream of his own, a “dream of the day every child gets a quality education so they can break the binds of poverty and live the Texas and American dream.”

“It was a “conversation” in which a middle-aged white man was having a “conversation” in a room filled with middle-aged white men and women, talking about “people in the inner city.” Mr. Patrick likes to talk about the “inner city.” It’s a phrase he uses often. He talks about “inner city” schools, which are invariably “failing,” and inner city residents, who are “losing their homes” because they can’t afford to pay the gosh-darn property taxes: It’s not the lousy economy or the drugs and gangs or the relentless tectonic grind of decades of tone deaf public policy that’s ruining the places where the poor folk live. It’s property taxes.

“Patrick speaks about “the inner city” with the smooth confidence of a man who’s never experienced the challenge but knows the precise solution. He’s the loudmouthed guy at the end of the bar, explaining how to hit a Clayton Kershaw slider. He’s the clueless uncle, giving an expectant niece his sure-fire, drug-free tips for managing pain during childbirth. He’s the eternal talk show host, all honeyed words and callus-free hands.

“What Patrick wants has little to do with bringing hope or light to the shadowy spots in our benighted inner cities. What Patrick wants is the evisceration of the Texas public school system, replaced with a quasi-public collection of “charter schools.”

“Property taxes are the primary means of financing public education in the state. Earlier this year, Education Week, a highly respected newspaper, published Quality Counts, its 20th annual analysis of performance in U.S. schools. Texas ranked 42nd out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in student performance, 42nd in “student chances for [post-high school] success,” and 45th in quality of school funding.

“Patrick’s solution to a stretched, struggling, woefully underfunded system? Cut the funding. Starve the schools. Starve them to death.“

The writer doesn’t mention Patrick’s passion for vouchers, which he has promoted for years. The rural districts have allied with urban districts to block them.

You can quote research or you can look at Michigan, where charter schools have proliferated for many years. On national tests, Michigan used to be in the middle of the pack. Now it has fallen to the bottom. Or D.C., one of the lowest performing districts in the nation, which has had charters and vouchers since 2004.