As I continue my research regarding public education finance, I have begun to notice reoccurring themes in the viewpoints I have read and listened to. This lead me to the conclusion that many proposals and viewpoints around public education finance are rooted in politics, more so than policy. Going into my final product research, I understood that politics and re-election ambitions had a strong hand in policy decisions. However, I did not understand the complete magnitude of their hand. In an interview with a school board member this past week, I was surprised to learn how many state legislators that represent the school district opposed policies that helped the district. Due to their donors and voting base, these elected officials neglected to objectively consider the needs of their voters’ school district.
This lesson was eye-opening. Now that I know how elected officials will weigh the politics of a policy proposal compared to the merits of the proposal, I feel as if I have a better idea of how to construct my case study. Initially, I was only going to analyze politics when constructing my personal viewpoint. However, I now plan to evaluate policy options compared to the politics of the Texas state legislature. While I understand that good politics do not equate to good policies, I also understand that politics can prevent a policy from being seriously considered, despite its merits.