Texas’ School Funding Dilemma

Dec 27, 2011 by

By Donna Garner

Before Texas candidates such as Chris DeCluitt (Republican candidate for the Texas House), establishes a definite position on the Texas school funding issue, he needs to read four items; and so do all Texas voters who pay those school taxes:

(1) “Take a Gander at School Supes’ Perks” – by Donna Garner, EducationNews.org, 4.12.11: http://wp.me/p22rC4-8Lp

(2) “Super Salaries by District” — KXAN.com – April 2011: http://www.kxan.com/generic/home/super-salaries-by-district

(3) (3) “Let’s Get It Right This Time – School Funding Issue” — by Donna Garner, 12.14.11: http://libertylinked.com/posts/9091/lets-get-it-right-this-time/View.aspx

(4) Donna Garner’s open letter to the Waco Tribune-Herald, 4.4.11

To: Open Letter to Waco Tribune-Herald

Re: Waco ISD — Cutting 180 teachers

Date: 4.14.11

Before cutting classroom teachers’ jobs (Waco Tribune article, 4.14.11, “180 Waco ISD teachers left without contracts for next year”), did Waco ISD do the following?

Maybe they did; maybe they did not:

Reveal publicly Superintendent Bonny Cain’s entire compensation package (salary and perks) in her contract? Was this information revealed to the public BEFORE she was hired?

Eliminate stipends for cellphones.

Cut way down on the number of teacher training days.

Cut overtime and summertime pay.

Eliminate curriculum directors. The new clearly written and grade-level-specific Texas standards in English, science, and social studies do not require interpretation by curriculum directors and/or consultants. New clearly written and grade-level-specific math standards will be adopted in the near future.

Cut stipends for math/science/ESL teachers.

Quit contracting with high-priced consultants.

Eliminate expensive conferences for administrators and curriculum directors.

Stop paying administrators’ and school board members’ dues to professional organizations (e.g., TASB/TASA). Classroom teachers have to pay their own dues if they choose to join teachers’ organizations.

Quit buying curriculum materials from high-priced vendors. Working together in departments, teachers can create their own materials that align with the new TEKS standards.

Stop over-building such “Taj Mahals” as Dean Highland Elementary School and University High School. Bonds pay for the new facilities, but the district pays for the maintenance of these overly large and overly fancy facilities. School districts need to quit making architects rich on the backs of the taxpayers.

Quit hiring outside consultants to produce studies on demographics, bus routes, scheduling, accounting, cafeteria operations, maintenance, etc. Waco ISD administrators should do the research themselves. In doing so, they would learn more of the nitty gritty details that occur with the people who are on the frontlines.

Instead of classroom teachers having to take on extra classes, which is bound to lower the academic achievement by requiring less individual time with students and fewer writing assignments, why not require administrators to become the teacher-of-record for at least one course per semester (preferably not an AP or IB course). The end result would be administrators who are more connected to real kids in real classrooms, and also students and classroom teachers would get to know their administrators better. Everyone would win.

Donna Garner




Excerpt from the Waco Tribune-Herald article:

Cary DuPuy [Waco ISD school board member] said pro-school candidates could face an uphill climb in Texas GOP primaries.

“What my friends, who are fairly conservative folks, seem to be hearing is that all this school money is being wasted in administration, and it’s not being spent to educate kids,” DuPuy said.

To read the entire article, please go to: — http://www.wacotrib.com/news/136244493.html

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