Arlington Class Bakes, Sells ‘Cookies Against Cuts’

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A bake sale in an Arlington neighborhood started as a classroom assignment. Third graders at Duff Elementary School in Arlington were asked to identify a problem and map out a solution.

Eight-year-old Brianna Hicks and her classmate Maci Clark decided to tackle the Arlington Independent School District’s budget shortfall, one cookie at a time.

“We are doing cookies against cuts,” Brianna explained.

The girls knew their teacher Traci Seibold, who is in her first year with the district, could lose her job.

“We’re trying to save her against the next budget cut,” Brianna said.

Seibold wanted her students to learn about community involvement, but she never dreamed they would try to help her.

“It’s very touching and moving that these young children have the hearts and desire to go out and make a difference,” Seibold said.

Word of the bake sale spread over social media and dozens of people donated. The grand total was $1,296.70, much more than the $100 Brianna was hoping for.

While parents and teachers realize the girls’ bake sale wouldn’t raise enough money to save jobs, they hope it raises awareness. They plan to present the money to the AISD school board members during their next meeting.

“Our hope is Austin hears about this, that our legislators here about this and see that our children are trying to make a difference, and I hope it inspires them to move in a positive way,” Seibold said.


One Comment

  1. Angela says:

    Texas ISD’s need to take a long, hard look at what is important. MANY of the tax payers and families in their districts are struggling financially ~ many have gone with out raises, are having to pay more for benefits, are losing their homes and jobs. Yet the educators and administrators all scream raise taxes. What they need to commit to is an immediate pay freeze in effect or an across the board pay cut. Look for ways to reduce, or dig into those rainy day funds. Quit grabbing for the residents pocketbook when you cannot meet your budget. In the real world, jobs get cut, benefits get effected. NO public employees should be immune to what is happening in the private sector.

    1. 2sister says:

      It isn’t just about them loosing their jobs. The children when suffer, too. This will force class sizes to be too large to teach children effectively or efficiently.

    2. Robert Bailey says:

      Fire some of these superintendents and keep the teachers!

    3. chris says:

      Angela, your message insinuates that teachers are the highest paid government employees….did you forget that teachers have a 4 year degree and have to pay back thousands after they graduate just like everyone else. That cant be done whle being paid $12/hour . teachers on average made in the mid $40’s which I dont think is high by any means. Are we suggesting that the educators of our children be paid somewhere in the 30’s? Not until I see the government officials that gave themselves a raise last year take a paycut too.

    4. An elementary teacher says:

      As a first year teacher, my salary doesn’t even extend into the $40,000 range. I’m at school at least 10 hours a day, if not more. Not to mention the hours of work that I bring home, after school tutoring, clubs, etc. I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world, but please don’t talk to us teachers about immunity to what’s going on in the real world.

      Please learn to distinguish between teachers and those in charge of us who may want to raise taxes.

    5. Stop-slick-rick says:

      Angela – educate yourself on a topic before you open your mouth. School districts aren’t asking for taxes to be raised (no district has asked for that) and unless the legislature makes an exception they are not allowed to institute pay cuts during a contract year.

      School districts are asking for the legislators to FULLY FUND EDUCATION. In 2006 they played a shell game with your tax funds. They cut property tax (which funds education) and instead chose to fund the system with a business tax that never materialized as expected. This created a structural tax deficit. Angela, I know you’re not well educated, so let me explain – that means the program will never be funded fully because of an inherent problem with the tax system. THIS IS NOT DUE TO THE ECONOMY, WHICH IS WHAT THE REPUBS WANT YOU TO BELIEVE. They did this and they knew they did it. They hoped you’d be too busy watching American Idol or wondering if the Cowboys would make it to the playoffs to notice.

      So, basically, your funding went to corporations. That’s the real world, Angela. You weren’t paying attention, were ignorant of the issues, and they misappropriated your funds. Learn your facts, lady.

      ALL THE ISDs ARE ASKING FOR IS FOR THIS TAX SYSTEM TO BE FIXED. Otherwise, they will face this every two years. In addition, the rainy day fund should be tapped while the issue is fixed.

      And, before you go there – I am not a public employee. I am a very successful business woman that just happens to be bright enough to understand the games politicans play because an ignorant electorate lets them get away with it.

    6. Deborah says:

      Angela, I have to agree with most of what you are saying. Many of us have had job cuts, pay cuts, pay freeze’s and yet our property taxes, food prices, fuel, and general living is going up. I bet if the teachers were really given the chance to voice their opinions on how to save their jobs without the union interfering they would offer to take pay cuts till we are out of this crisis. Yes the teachers have a right to complain about losing their jobs like the rest of us do, and they have the right to complain about high prices. A lot of pubic employees are not immune to what is going on in the private sector only the higher up officials in pubic jobs seem to be immune. You can bet your last dollar the higher ups will keep their jobs and get raises, while the teachers, and very needed support staff with take the hit.

      1. Stop-Slick-Rick says:

        Educators have the right to complain that Austin took away their funding. When you got your property tax cut in 2006, that money was not replaced by the business tax that was supposed to fund education. Republicans underfunded education and they knew it. They created a STRUCTURAL TAX DEFICIT (i.e. it will never be fixed by increased revenues from a growing economy).

        Understand the facts – this isn’t about public vs. private sector, or unions, or do teachers have the right to complain. This is about conservative/big-business loving/child-hating lawmakers THAT STOLE YOUR TAX MONEY.

        Don’t put up with it anymore. GET INFORMED ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES. When you have the facts, contact your representative and tell them to (1) fix the funding mechanisms for education and (2) tap the rain day fund to get school district by while waiting for the funding fix.

        Don’t fall for their talking points. If Texas is to continue to grow, you all must be better informed.

    7. L M says:

      I returned to teach after my husband was laid off 2 years ago! I am the sole supporter of my family right now. Teachers salaries can not be cut, but many have requested freezes. It still does not tackle the issue that a debt has been building since property taxes were frozen a few years ago. In fact, property values are declining, taxes have remained the same and the schools are growing. More students, less money, and now the proposal is for less teachers. The so-called rainy day funds will NOT fix the problem, they will help through for a few years, but with the growth through out the entire state districts will begin bankruptcy procedures. None of this is an easy fix, and the least of these is cutting teachers. Everyone needs to educate themselves on how this system works. Cut teachers…cut our future short.

    8. NoObamaIn2012 says:

      The whole country is going down the drain. Now it is just hitting the teachers. Look around… Arlington, Plano, DeSoto… all the foreclosures, all the homes that are 2 and 3 payments behind and will soon be in foreclosure. Property values are plunging all around us here in Plano because of foreclosure properties that are not selling and overall shrinking demand. The domino effect is here… all these homes that once paid the taxes to fund teachers, city hall and county governments are no longer generating revenue for these governments. So your ISD no longer has the income to make payroll.

      It is not personal. It’s business. And as a country we no longer make things that the world buys. Nor do we drill for oil and use for ourselves and sell it to the world, like we used to. So we no longer have the profits and cash to fund big government. Instead we continue to borrow from China and others only turn turn around and buy their goods from them. America was strong because we made everything the world bought. And now we are in a freefall with a president that cant wait to get us to the bottom.

      Teachers…. protest all you want. Your ISDs are out of money, because guys like me who used to own companies that employed people are no longer in business. My salary and the salary of my 12 employees is gone. Of the 12 of us 10 have gone through foreclosure in the last year and none have found a job. This is just the beginning of the end folks, get ready.

      1. Stop-Slick-Rick says:

        No, actually it is very personal. When elected officials steal my tax money that is meant to benefit our future – nothing could be more personal to me. Why it isn’t to you is beyond me. This crisis is not about the great recession, sinking property values or China or Obama. Conservatives want to distract you with those issues. Is the economy a problem – absolutely. Did it create the budget crisis for education in Texas? No it did not. LEARN THE FACTS!

        In 2006 Rick Perry and repub sleaze bags cut property taxes in this state by one third. Property taxes fund education. They “replaced” this revenue with a business franchise tax. That tax never produced the revenue that was expected from it. Then, to add good measure and really prove how much they despise children and societal stability, conservative goons added an exemption to that tax in 2009. Where did that leave us – with a biennial STRUCTURAL DEFICIT of $5 billion to $9 billion.

        Now, I know you conservative/repub/teaparty freaks have trouble comprehending what isn’t spoon fed to you by Rush, so I’ll take this slowly for you. A STRUCTURAL DEFICIT WILL NEVER GO AWAY – IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THERE IS A REAL ESTATE BOOM OR OUR ECONOMY GROWS DOUBLE DIGITS EACH QUARTER FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS. Education has an inherent (that means built-in) funding problem that can only be fixed by addressing the funding mechanisms. Instead of spouting off your repub talking points about China and oil, why don’t you demand your legislators fix the deficit they created. And by the way, they knew this when they did it. Basically, they robbed children and didn’t even give it a second thought.

        So, instead of blaming Obama, take off your tin foil hat and learn what has really happened here and who is really to blame. Stop being distracted by shiny objects and recognize what your elected officials have done. They played a shell game with your money and now our children are paying for it.

        I know that the interests of children don’t typically strike a chord with conservatives, so try this … Perry is so proud that we’re “open for business,” how many Fortune organizations, high tech up and comers, etc. will he be able to attract to a state the trails in education? Will those organizations or those that are here be able to recruit talent if our schools are shutting down? Who will want to move to a state that ranks beside Alabama and Mississippi in education? Maybe when it hits you in the pocketbook is when you’ll realize the real ramifications of what has happened here.


      2. NoObamaIn2012 says:

        So SLAP STICK there are two choices: increase revenue (raise taxes, create new taxes) or reduce costs (cut overhead, payroll and borrowing). And we arse in a position to no longer raise taxes because the increasing numbers of private sector workers who pay these taxes are unemployed or under-employed. You have increased numbers of properties in foreclosure and no longer taxable. And more tax paying businesses have gone under causing a further reduction in propoerty tax revenue as well as further losses on the franshise tax.

        Bottom line — what would you do? Continue to tax the remaining workers and businesses or reduced the size of government?

  2. Kristn says:

    Public employees (teachers, police officers, parole and probation officers (for example) are not highly paid for what they are expected to do. School districts and other public agencies have been cash strapped for years. I will accept that cutting those jobs at the lower end (the people mentioned above) when Legislators, upper level executives and Good Governor Perry himself all take pay cuts. The powers that be in Austin gave themselves pay RAISES last year.

  3. Richard says:

    If the children understand it…then why can’t the Perry boys and Tea Party : so called American ” dont’ tread on me ” jerks get it….

    1. chris says:

      Richard, you are an idiot if you think the child did this on their own. This is obviously a stunt that their parents put them up to. Remember the teabagger protests….how many children that you saw being exploited on tv were just tugging at their parents that morning saying “oh please keep me from playing with my friends and take me to the tea bagger parade”

      1. JamesWilliams says:

        Chris, you’re not correct. My niece is Maci, the girl interviewed here, and she came up with the idea and told her mom Pam, who let her run with it.

      2. dawnssister says:

        Chris, why are those on the right always name-calling? It is juvenile and non-informative. It also indicates a bullying personality. Just listen to how many conservative radio hosts are against the anti-bully movement. It’s because it hits them where they live. Use rational arguments.,not sarcasm. and personal assault. If you can’t, you might rethink your position

      3. Brooke Hicks says:

        I am the mother of Brianna. She and her friend Maci 100% thought of this idea on their own. In fact, I questioned supporting it and didn’t even prepare for it until the night before. After all, what can a little bake sale do? Well I am very proud of her effort and she proved to me what a few children and a bake sale CAN DO. More than just the money they raised, they raised awareness that we are facing problems in education right now. We had some people stop by to purchase cookies that didn’t even know anything was happening. Now they can inform themselves and make wise decisions. Thank you for your interest.

      4. L M says:

        And Chris you undermine a child’s intelligence, determination and selflessness. My 10 year old has brought up raising money through garage sales. I wanted to brush away her idea, but now it makes me want to embrace it just because you say kids don’t come up with that stuff on their own.

  4. schrodinger says:

    I’m surprised that this effort– while completely admirable– wasn’t shut down under the strict rules imposed on bake sales.

    1. deborah says:

      I had wondered the same thing. I bet the powers that be would shut the next one down if they know about it.
      The children did a great job, and the school, parents and the community should be very proud.

  5. Jbeth says:

    I want to know if those kids had a license to sell those cookies…. and did the FDA inspect them for quality/safety assurance? and was the sales tax paid?
    hmm ,this could be one for the IRS..

  6. Brooke Hicks says:

    I am the mother of Brianna. She and her friend Maci 100% thought of this idea on their own. In fact, I questioned supporting it and didn’t even prepare for it until the night before. After all, what can a little bake sale do? Well I am very proud of her effort and she proved to me what a few children and a bake sale CAN DO. More than just the money they raised, they raised awareness that we are facing problems in education right now. We had some people stop by to purchase cookies that didn’t even know anything was happening. Now they can inform themselves and make wise decisions. Thank you for your interest.

  7. Byron says:

    I am tired of hearing how put upon teachers or any other goverment (taxpayer) funded group is. Every program or department that is funded by taxpayers should be on the cutting block in one form or another. Businesses and residents of Arlington and Texas at large have suffered financial setbacks under this economy. They have made cuts so that they can survive this economy. It is time goverment employees and programs do the same.

    I seem to remember going to school in the 70s and 80s with large classrooms and did well enough as the children of today can. If you as a parent want the classrolls to be smaller you should pay extra not me.

    If you truly care about your child’s future you should be doing everything you can to reduce the financial burdeon they will face for your selfish desires today.

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Stop-Slick-Rick says:

      Google this, Byron … property tax changes in 2006. That’s the year repubs in Austin cut property taxes (the primary funding source for education) by one third and replaced it with a business tax that never performed as expected. So, with the funding switch, the ISDs were left holding the bag. This structural tax deficit is inherent – it will come back every two years unless they fix the funding mechanism for education.

      This has nothing to do with surviving the economy. Dude, we could have a roaring economic engine and educators will still face draconian cuts. So save your advice about surviving economic setbacks and contact your representative and have them fix the funding issue.

      This is not about the economy or the great recession – that’s just a convenient scapegoat for repubs. PEOPLE, GET EDUCATED ON THIS ISSUE. THEY’RE PLAYING GAMES WITH YOUR TAXES – YOUR MONEY. Take ownership for the future of the children and communities of this state.

    2. 2sister says:

      Byron times have changed. The curriculum has changed. I also went to school and the 70’s and 80″s. I can tell you that what they are now teaching children is not exactly like what they taught us. They are teaching first grader’s skills that I didn’t learn till later on in my schooling. Also, parents aren’t as involved as they used to be, and that makes a big difference. Many kids come to school with serious problems, because they aren’t disciplined at home. There are also many other things that have changed. It just isn’t the same as it was when we were in school.

  8. ISD teacher says:

    As a teacher… You are risking the education of our future doctors, teachers, presidents. The end result will be just mediocre education. We pay taxes as well… Not just you. We are not highly paid… People don’t consider that we spend more in our classrooms with our own money, so far, I have spent $600 this yr out of my own money… Yet I still have my family. You don’t recognize that there are some kids who are sent to school without pencil and paper… Which we provide. Why would you question education… We are the ones preparing these kids to be our future. Legislators don’t have a clue what it’s like in a class of 22, let alone 35!! They need to step in our shoes to understand.

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