I’m in my fourth session of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program.
We are in Austin studying LBJ.
In 1927, LBJ became principal and taught fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at Welhausen School, a Mexican-American school in the south Texas town of Cotulla.
While he did not technically attend an alternative certification program, he did drop out of his teacher training program to take the teaching job in Cotulla, and he later went back to school before becoming a teacher in a less poverty stricken school district.
In Cotulla, his student lived in deep poverty, and LBJ often talked about how the experience had a profound effect on him.
As president, LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
During his presidency, the nation saw a radical decrease in poverty.
Of course, it is difficult to know why anyone does anything, especially with someone as complex as LBJ.
But it does seem that his teaching experience and his legislative agenda were connected.