Groundbreaking ceremony for Uvalde Regional Sustainable Resource Campus
Wednesday, September 1st
10 am

U.S. Highway 90 West and Texas FM 2369
Uvalde, TX 78801

Marfa Lights Festival
Friday, Sept. 3 through
Sunday, Sept. 5

Marfa, TX

Dies y Sies De September Festival
Friday, Sept. 10 through
Sunday, Sept. 12
Noon to Midnight

Pecos, TX

Winkler County Centennial / Kermit Celebration Days
Saturday, Sept. 25 through
Sunday, Sept. 26

Downtown
Kermit, TX

San Antonio District Office
Falcon International Bank
2530 SW Military Drive
Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
210.932.2568
Toll Free 1.800.459.0119
Fax 210.932.2572
Eagle Pass District Office
Maverick County Courthouse
501 Main Street
Suite 114
Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
830.758.0294
Fax 830.758.0402
Pecos District Office
312 S. Cedar Street
Suite 100
Pecos, Texas 79772
432.447.0270
Fax 432.447.0275
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
512.463.0119
Fax 210.932.2572
September 2010 - Message from Carlos...
As families across Senate District 19 get settled into the pace of a new school year, a round of congratulations and thanks is in order to the many organizations and volunteers who made our Back-to-School events such a tremendous success.

On Aug. 7, we gave away some 2,400 backpacks, served 3,200 hot meals, provided immunizations and health screenings, and had an all-round good time at Palo Alto College.

'Justin Bieber' and 'Hannah Montana' performers, JOVEN dancers, and McCollum High School's award-winning cheerleaders kept the house rockin' after McCollum's Color Guard got things underway.

Many thanks to our special guests, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Police Chief William McManus; our master of ceremonies, KENS 5 anchor Jeff Vaughn, the volunteer organizations that provided community resource information to the families who attended and all the wonderful volunteers.

And a special thanks goes out to the co-sponsors of the annual event: AT&T, Alamo Colleges/Palo Alto College, the Blue Ribbon Task Force, San Antonio Food Bank, Pearle Vision, Silver Eagle Distributors, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, University Health System, UT Health Science Center Dental School and Walmart.

Without their hard work and generosity, none of this would have been possible.

I also want to thank the volunteers and organizations that helped make other Back-to-School events and backpack giveaways across the district such a big success, in Castroville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Uvalde, Leakey, Brackettville, Comstock, Rocksprings, Pecos, and Presidio.

When all was said and done, we'd given away more than 10,000 backpacks across the district!

So welcome back to class everyone, and have a healthy, happy and productive school year.

Semper Fi!

Got Teal?

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and the organizations fighting this disease have designated Friday, Sept. 3 as Teal Day. The United States of Teal is an innovative campaign to raise public awareness about a disease that will kill more than 15,000 women in the United States this year. If you would like to learn more about The United States of Teal or learn how you can become more involved and take action on behalf of ovarian cancer awareness, visit www.unitedstatesofteal.org.

Senator Uresti's Latest Pictures

Click an image to see more images from August.

Despite budget woes, state's commitment to public education must remain strong

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

As Texas families look forward to the beginning of a new school year, it is an article of faith among many parents that their local school district will always have the resources it needs to be successful and prepare their children for the future.

That would be a dangerous assumption, particularly this year.

When state lawmakers return to Austin in January for the 82nd Legislature, we will be facing numerous challenges — an $18 billion shortfall foremost among them. Painful cuts, new sources of revenue and strict adherence to basic priorities will be necessary to balance the next budget.

One such priority is public education. Regardless of the budget pressures we face, education must be viewed as an investment in the future, and lawmakers must not waiver in our commitment to providing both the resources and the public policies needed for it to thrive.

From San Antonio to San Elizario, from Pecos to Eagle Pass, public schools are the heart and soul of communities all across Senate District 19. They are economic engines that provide jobs and spur economic development, a source of pride and the center of community spirit. Just check out the local football field on autumn Friday nights.

Reducing state funds for public schools would have enormous consequences for our communities.

Like others across Texas, the 62 school districts in Senate District 19 rely on state money to supplement local property tax revenue; those with the lowest property values receive the largest percentage of state funding. In District 19, 70% of the school districts are below that average, many of them by a significant amount. Increasing local property taxes would not provide much additional revenue, even if local home and business owners could shoulder more of the burden.

School districts have some amount of discretion in levying property taxes, but 69% of those in District 19 are already taxing at the maximum allowed without voter approval. Another 18% have obtained voter approval in the past, with the majority of those taxing at the highest rate allowed by Texas law.

So clearly, the state must not reduce its share of funding for public schools. Indeed, to attract and retain talented teachers and maintain high educational standards the Legislature should provide even more resources to public education, particularly the poorest districts.

And our commitment to education must not end there. It takes more than money to ensure that our system of public education is successful.

Recently, the State Board of Education voted narrowly in favor of diverting $100 million from the Permanent School Fund for charter school facilities. This is not an appropriate use of the PSF, and lawmakers must make sure the board does not proceed with this misguided plan.

The Legislature must also make sure that the Texas Education Agency develops and implements a fair and accurate accountability system for public schools. First of all, we must do away with the Texas Projection Measure — a formula that counts a student as passing the writing test, despite missing all the questions, if they marginally pass the tests for reading and math.

The TPM does not give us an accurate measure of a student's progress, but rather false hopes and misperceptions about what that student and his or her school have achieved. We need an accountability system that gives students a chance to make good, not one designed to make education bureaucrats look good.

As your children head out the door on that first day of classes this year, consider how crucial your local school is to their future. I think you'll agree that nothing the Legislature does is more important than keeping our commitment to public education.

District 19 Attraction of the Month — Devil's Sinkhole

A vertical cavern located about six miles northeast of Rocksprings in Edwards County, this registered national landmark is a natural wonder.

The sinkhole's opening measures 40 by 60 feet, with a vertical drop of more than 360 feet to the cavern's floor.

Devil's Sinkhole was discovered by Anglo settlers in 1867. The state acquired the land in 1985 and authorized limited access to the sinkhole in 1992.

The walls of Devil's Sinkhole support a Mexican fern found in only a few places in the United States, but its main attraction is the seasonal population of Mexican free-tailed bats. Up to 4 million bats make their home there in the summer months, flying out at sunset each evening to feast on insects. It's hard for bats to fly straight up out of the vertical cavern, so they fly in a circular motion, creating a stunning display.

For more information go to:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/devils_sinkhole/

Click the links below to learn more about Senator Carlos Uresti and how the community has rewarded his hard work.

Awards and Recognitions    •    2010 Campaign Endorsements

Visit Senator Uresti's News page and Calendar
to keep up to date with Senate District 19.

©2008 Carlos Uresti Campaign  •  A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer  •  P.O. Box 240431  •  San Antonio, Texas  •  78224
www.carlosuresti.com