Gail Collins, author of As Texas Goes . . ., argues that Texas has some serious problems; it ranks near the bottom of the fifty states in student educational achievement; ranks in the top five of states in teen pregnancy (but won’t allow abortions, which among other things should be a familie’s personal decision-not the government’s), the high school graduation rate is around forty-third out of the fifty states; Texas is dead last in the percentage of residents having high school diplomas, near last in SAT scores, and Texas has America’s dirtiest and most polluted air and water (you can check pg. 253 in your book and the EPA online for state-by-state statistics). Texas is dead last in spending on mental health services, and forty-eight percent in population having employer-based healthcare.However, Texas is and continues to be a great state and even better place to live–our state legislature is dedicated to maintaining low taxes and low property taxes, a strong belief in our state and country’s history, self-reliance and “rugged individualism” (take care of yourself and not be dependent on the government; Texas is a pro gun state to the nth degree, places a high value on “traditional family values”, religious freedom, low cost of living, housing and property are cheap, and the state’s economy is extremely strong and continues to grow. People continue to move and migrate to Texas every day. So, in order to keep Texas the greatest state in the union what needs to happen to correct some of these serious educational, environmental, and healthcare issues and problems that plague our state. Do our state’s residents and public officials need to stop focusing on gun rights, and bathrooms, refocus their energies on making schools better, healthcare more available and affordable, and cleaning up the air and water in the state with more tighter enviornmental regulations which have proved in the past not to be poplar among our state’s political leaders. Rick Perry (our former governor) and other political leaders tend to focus more on jobs and the state’s economy rather than cleaning up the enviornment.What are your thoughts on this? What issues do you think our state’s political leaders need to focus on and fix? We have among the most stringent abortion laws in ths state. We have the most open and lax gun laws in the state. Using As Texas Goes . . ., what do you believe to be Texas’s most serious problems that it faces today? Is it securing our southern border? Better enforcement of illeagl immigration? Gun laws, the environment? The death penalty? Low funding for education and student achievement?Please discuss some of these issues and respond with four-five paragraphs (with a minimum of 5-6 sentences per paragraph). The more substantive your discussion the better your grade will be. Proof your essay before you submit it. Use appropriate grammar, syntax, mechanics, punctuation, etc. and proof your op ed piece just as if you were going to put it in the Editorial page of a newspaper. Feel free to respond to any of your class mates posts but keep in mind to be respectful of people’s opinions and different point’s of view as that is how we learn from one another. The sharing and exchanging of ideas is what learning is all about; that is exactly how we learn from one another. Its fine to disagree respectfully with someone’s opinion as long as its respectfully. This discussion assignment will be due by Saturday June 2nd by 10 p.m.
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