The Texas government, in its infinite Republican wisdom, has decided to decentralize its system for handling surplus textbooks. Instead of returning them to the state education agency and letting it distribute them, they’re going to implement a computer system that will let schools publish their surplus numbers and let other schools arrange with them to take them. The system isn’t implemented yet, but the department that handled distributing surplus books has been axed from the budget.

Unfortunately, there are $16 million worth of textbooks currently being held by the state in surplus, and so they have decided to distribute them by letting individual school districts loot them. Schools can come take them on a first come, first served basis as long as they bring their own people to find the books in the warehouse and their own trucks to cart them back home. Isn’t this how all state property in Iraq was handled in the aftermath of the war? I’m glad to see that the exchange of ideas on how to run a country is running both ways in our new relationship with Iraq.