A Town Hall Meeting was held at the Community Center in Bishop, Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 20. State Rep. Abel Herrero, along with Precinct 2 County Commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez, fielded questions involving issues and concerns that that people in the precinct had.

“We are here today at a town hall meeting that was set up in conjunction with Rep. Abel Herrero’s office. He’s opening the doors to them. One concern that he has, is that he wants to make sure that people feel they have the ability, or that they have a pipeline, to communicate with somebody,” said Commissioner Gonzalez. “Like myself, Rep. Herrero wants to make sure that the people feel comfortable.”

Some concerns that were addressed during the meeting included transportation and the upcoming TxDOT projects in the area; healthcare, especially for the disabled and the elderly; and the recent education reforms and restorations.

“This past session, we were able to increase the funding for public education by restoring the $3.2 billion of the $5.4 billion that was previously cut,” said Rep. Herrero.

These budget cuts, according to Rep. Herrero, lead to the over-crowding of classrooms, and over-testing. Herrero states that the number of standardized tests was fifteen from the student they entered as a freshman to the time that they graduated high school. After this past legislative session, the number has been reduced to just five standardized tests over the course of a student’s time in high school, and these five tests focus solely on the five core classes a student would need to graduate.

“We feel like we’ve been able to free teachers to teach students to learn, and we’ve been able to restore some of the resources and funds necessary to ensure that teachers have the resources necessary to education our children, and provide a first class education, no matter what school they may be attending.”