The community will get a chance at 6 tonight to hear three of the candidates for Texas House District 128 share their views on issues facing public education, including school finance, high-stakes testing and accountability, vouchers, teacher recruitment, 313 agreements and local control.
Both Democratic candidates and one of the two Republican candidates said they plan to participate, but incumbent Briscoe Cain declined, saying that instructions from the state Republican party advised against appearing at forums with other parties.
The other Republican candidate, current Baytown city council member Bob Hoskins said he received the same message.
“Yes, I did receive a letter from the Republican Party mostly stating that they didn’t want any Republicans to participate in a forum which had the opposing party—the Democratic Party—involved,” he said.
“I don’t take direction from the Republican Party,” Hoskins said. “I am affiliated with the Republican Party—I think it’s the right thing to do for America and for Texas, but I don’t take directions from them.”
“On top of that, when you’re talking about public education or school
educating our young people, it’s too important to skip over and pass by. I think you have to participate. It takes both parties and several people to participate and make the public school system what it should be.”
“We need to build on what the legislation has done last year,” he said.
“To make them successful, we have to stand behind the teachers in the classroom. If we stand behind the teachers in the classroom and the work they need to do, then it will make the students successful, and the way to do that is for Austin to get out of the classroom,” Hoskins said.
Hoskins, along with Democratic candidates Josh Markle of Deer Park and Mary Williams of Baytown, will talk about their perspectives on education at 6 p.m. tonight at Tucker Hall on the Lee College campus.
The discussions will be live-streamed by co-sponsors Raise Your Hand Texas and The Baytown Sun. It will be on both the Sun’s website and Facebook page.
For anyone attending in person, be aware that West Gulf Street, which is normally the best approach to Tucker Hall, is closed for construction, which also blocks North Felton Street. Use either South Whiting Street or South Pruett Street to West Gulf Avenue.
West Gulf Avenue goes directly to the parking lots closest to Tucker Hall.