I'm A Foster Parent

RECEIVED Fri., March 25, 2011

Dear Editor,
    I'm a foster parent. Recently I went to the state Capitol to rally and lobby to restore the funds cut from the proposed state budget for the agency that oversees abused and neglected children. I won't bore you with the details, but the proposed cuts would devastate a protection system that is already last in the country in helping children.
    I was brushed off by a staffer for my local state representative, Dawnna Dukes, but did find out that this Rep. Dukes was actually responsible for writing this section of the proposed budget. She defends the budget by saying how much worse it could be.
    I sat down in the halls of government and watched and prayed and thought.
    Everything in the Capitol building is oversized, gilded, hand-carved, and covered in leather. Twenty-foot-high ceilings and doors. Marble walls, columns, statuary. Enormous wooden doorframes and stair railings. Huge paintings of the important battles. Portraits of every governor. And gold- and bronze-gilded everything. The place was designed for 15-foot-tall humans who stride like gods through the halls.
    I went out onto the grounds of the Capitol and found what the plaque said was a collection of six statues of schoolchildren created with funds donated by schoolchildren in 1993. A Tribute to Texas School Children. Only four of the statues were there.
    I wanted to cry.
    The giants of the Texas Legislature and the schoolchildren of Texas.
James E. Burnside
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