When Glen Rose, Texas has an opening for a teacher, it gets a stack of applications. Considering the fact that it is a relatively rural, out of the way place, that is an unusual effect. Part of the reason for the interest in teaching there is that the schools are well supported and have excellent, modern facilities. However, having come from a family where nearly every adult in my parent’s generation was a school teacher, I can tell you that facilities are not enough of an incentive to make teachers want to change locations. I would be willing to bet that Glen Rose also has a student body that has a high percentage of pupils that are interested in learning, have parents that are involved in their education, and act in a relatively disciplined, respectful manner.
The reason I would make that bet is that Glen Rose is not only home to a large manufacturing facility that has pumped more than a BILLION dollars in direct tax payments into the local economy during its lifetime, but also because the facility is the Comanche Peak Nuclear Station. Employees at nuclear power stations are generally well trained and educated people, and the vast majority of them have control over their personal habits and behaviors (otherwise they lose access to their jobs). They also make a good living and can plan and save for the future knowing that their employer has no intention of moving or outsourcing their work to low wage countries.
It is not surprising that the people that live and work in Glen Rose are excited about the planned expansion of the plant. It has proven itself to be an excellent neighbor that adds value to the community.
You can find out more about Comanche Peak’s impact on Glen Rose and the viewpoints of the local citizens by watching the local news video that is available at Nuclear power plants find growing acceptance in North Texas. Of course, there is the obligatory “other side” of the story in the video spouting the typical list of accusations about high cost, and better alternatives. Oh well, that is the way that journalists are trained to present a story – there must always be at least the illusion of balance. In the case of this story, however, it is pretty obvious where the community stands.