This tells you all you need to know about his priorities.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is poised to announce Senate leadership changes today that could have a profound effect on Texas education policy — including giving fuel to a push for school choice.
Dewhurst plans to name Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, according to the lieutenant governor’s office.
Patrick, who will replace retiring Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, already has said he would push a voucher program that parents could use to send their children to alternatives to public schools.
“To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session,” Patrick said in August. “Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it. They’ve been wanting us to pass school choice for years. This is the year to do it, in my view. That issue will do more to impact the future of Texas and the quality of education than anything else we could do.”
Note Patrick’s words here. This isn’t about what the best policy is, it’s about what the small portion of the Republican base that drives their primaries wants. Dewhurst, who as Robert Miller notes would like to win the primary challenge he’ll face in 2014, can’t afford to care about what anyone other than those voters think. Note that there is no possible outcome of the 2012 elections that will change this. Obama could carry Texas, Democrats could win every election they have a candidate in, none of it will matter. It’s about feeding the beast. Are we looking forward to the next legislative session yet? See this later version of the Chron story for more.