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P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS IIMMINSINIIMINNINSMOIMINNENSIMI=MB education on the question of school finance. At their first statewide conference in San Antonio, they were long on critical analysis. They didn’t like much that was suggested by any of the organizations that made presentations. But as Lewis said later, “I’m really tired of sitting around and criticizing after it’s already done, ex post facto. Seems to me I’m always in on the crash landing and never there for the take-off. This time, I’d like to see us in on the take-off.” State Sen. Joe Bernal, who taught in the Edgewood district in the days when the teachers had to count the meager chalk supply every morning and tough luck if the toilet paper ran out. before the end of the day,’ suggested that T.E.E. take the “consumer’s point of view.” The organization plans to hold local and/or regional hearings to get as much input from “just folks,” as well as experts, as it can. The coming battle over school financing is already developing some depressingly familiar signs. It’s like watching the Battle of Waterloo over and over again, and we’re always the French. The same old blacks and browns and libs draw up their lines and hold their same old earnest conferences and put out their same old idealistic programs. And the League of Women Voters puts out its same old earnest, educational pamphlets. New acronyms are made and new coalitions of the same old people are formed. We send out our mimeographed literature on the backs of old Yarborough campaign releases, third class mail, while the Big Boys explain via first class, on slick paper with four-color visuals, just why taxing property at market value is an utterly impractical scheme. And this is really their kind of fight. It’s no bread tax. It’s so easy to razzle-dazzle folks 6 The Texas Observer IDA PRESS 901 W 24th St Austin Multi copy service. Call 477-3641 I= MO WO NO MI NM MN We are interested in publishing books on Texas, etc. If you have a manuscript, please write a short we will advise you at once if we are interested in looking at the manuscript. IFITURA with the CTU’s and the ADM’s and if you just take the Local Fund Assignment, see, and subtract it from the Minimum Foundation Program and multiply it by the Economic Index, see, and then run it through the old computer model and . the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But. Maybe this time. If the Ladies’ League works hard enough and all the little citizens’ groups are tough and feisty and if . . . people … would just bother . . . to find out . . . what it’s all about . .6 M.I. 1. We will spare you as much jargon as possible, but for your edification, here are examples of the rhetoric and the jargon in use in school financing circles: From a National Education Finance Project publication: “An equal opportunity for all is an integral part of the great American dream. Americans have always said this is true and, in large measure, they have supported it with vast sums of money. American parents rely on it for their children. Equality of opportunity is fundamental in the nation’s system of values.” From a presentation by Archie Roberts, chairman of the Texas State Teachers Association Task One of the more glaring anachronisms of the Texas Penal Code is section 524, the sodomy law. The best current hope for reform is in an effort being carried on by the Texas Civil Liberties Union, Austin Gay Liberation, and a new UT group, the National Organization for the Reform of the Sodomy Law. \(NORSL was named by NORSL has so far gotten at least token support from the UT Student Bar Association and Austin branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers’ Guild. The new laws they are proposing would remove government altogether from the bedrooms of consenting adults; they will be brought up in the spring before a legislative subcommittee. The difficulties . of abolishing the sodomy law are obvious: how would Representative X from Anarene ever explain to the folks back home that he wasn’t really in favor of sodomy? That charge and others on the same level were actually heard, you’ll remember, during the Democratic primary campaigns. Yet sodomy may he Texas’ most popular felonious act. Although the law is used selectively against homosexuals and is rightfully the target of gay liberation groups, it is not in fact specific to homosexual acts but applies to anyone engaging in oral or anal copulation with anyone else, without regard to gender. Three out of five white males, according to Kinsey, and presumably similar numbers of Force on School Finance and Program: “Accredited 4-yr. High School and 205 or more ADM: 1 CTU for each 24 ADM or major fraction … 2,500-50,000 ADM 4 units, plus 1 additional unit for each 6,000 ADM above 50,000.” Statistics from a presentation of the Texas Research League. Statistics from the consulting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., staff to the Joint Senate Committee to Study Public School Finance. Take the Economic Index, the device used to determine each district’s ability to contribute to the MFP funding. At least three of the eight factors involved have no relevance whatever to the taxable wealth of a district. The eight are weighted in accordance with a formula out of Einstein by Dracula, added, multiplied, divided and subtracted. That’s how much a district is supposed to owe before the exceptions set in. Finding by the Texas Research League, “Texas Public School Finance,” Second Interim Report, November, 1972. Now, aren’t you proud of yourself? You finished the whole thing. women and non-whites, have taken part in it at least once in their lives in the form of fellatio. Sixty percent of the population are felons subject to two to fifteen years in prison. Statistics on the number of arrests and convictions are difficult to come by. A Department of Corrections study of sex offences showed that as of September, 1971, there were 89 people doing time in Huntsville for sodomy. Most convictions, however, result in probated sentences. But like any widely broken, selectively enforced law, it is potentially very dangerous. Even without considering the plight of the perpetually harrassed gays of Texas, there is reason to be alarmed at the fact that the sodomy law could be used against practically anyone not smiled upon by the powers-that-be: political dissidents, inter-racial couples, personal enemies, anyone who could be caught doing it in certain non-missionary positions. The effects of a marijuana conviction are permanent and are felt at every encounter with an employment application, but are mollified by the gradual trend toward enlightenment about dope. Imagine trying to explain away a conviction for sodomy. David Morris David Morris is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin in the files of Romance linguistics. PRESS i.t Phone 512/442.7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The sodomy law