Crisis In The Classroom: Cedar Hill Closing School

CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – The impact of Texas’ money shortage is starting to hit smaller school districts across the state.

The  Cedar Hill Independent School District announced plans today to close one campus, move hundreds of students, and slash jobs.

The proposed closing of Beltline Intermediate School  would save half a million dollars for the school district. 300 of Cedar Hill ISD’s 82-hundred schoolkids attend the fifth and sixth grade campus.  Their two dozen teachers and counselors already know a change is possible.

And parents now know as well.  “The impact is no school The impact is their neighborhhod school is gone”, parent Jeanne’ Braden said.

Parent Agapita Chavez called the school closing plan unfair.  “Its ridiculous to close this school.  This is the only school considered for closing.”

Cedar Hill’s projected 6-8 million dollar decrease in school funding from the state initiated a plan that will eliminate a total of 100 jobs from its employee pool of 900.  The district employs 500 teachers.

District Finance Chief Mike McSwain says 20-percent of the district’s budget could be cut. “The pain is going to be evenly spread all across the district.”

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  • Clyde

    You have not seen anything YET.

  • Tom

    Here I am again, just thinking. If we’re really this interested in academics, wouldn’t we save a lot of money by cutting out extracurricular activites such as sports, band, etc? Why doesn’t anybody want to look at that as an option?

    • StopSlickRick

      No – the option for fixing this is to fund education in the budget back to 2006 levels. Before repubs cut funding by one third. THAT’S THE SOLUTION and it’s long overdue. Google – property tax cuts 2006 to see what Slick Rick and his band of thieves did to kids and the future of Texas. That’s the day he put us on the path to become a third world country. Unless people get educated on this topic fast, we’re well on our way…

    • Shayla

      THAT IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!!! I am a Cedar HIll student and there are way too many children in those extracurricular activities to cut them to certain extremes. Some kids don’t care about school as far as getting an education goes, but I can honestly say that those “extracurricular activites such as sports, band, etc.” make sure that they have a reason to learn enough to keep their grades up. No pass, no play policy. Cut those programs and you give more than half the school another reason not to care.

  • Ed

    Tom – I agree wholeheartedly. The U.S. spends more per student in public education than any other country. Why? Extracurricular activiites, special programs, administrators, and the list goes on. Some DFW area districts are handing out laptops to students deemed to be underpriviliged. Here’s and idea: focus on science, language arts, science, and other core courses.

    • StopSlickRick

      What’s wrong with kids learning about technology? Do you think underprivileged students won’t encounter a laptop during their lives? Did you even consider that textbook publishing is going online and CD-rom? Do you realize that’s actually a FINANCIAL SAVINGS when you don’t have to print costly books that are immediately outdated upon printing?

      A little short-sighted don’t you think – you should promote technology for students every chance you get.. JUST A LITTLE HINT – there’s this crazy new thing all the kids are talking about called the internet. It might change everything. Seriously?! – Welcome to the new millennium these newfangled computers are here to stay.

      • Ed

        I have quite a bit of experience in technology, from implementations to management. One of the greatest challenges in IT today is finding folks with enough knowledge of business, manafucturing, or process in general, to properly design, develop, and implement IT projects. Just knowing how to get around in Windows, MS Office, whatever, does not qualify you for the 21st century. I would rather hire and train a smart kid with strong math and written fundamentals than a texting monkey. And yes, I am familiar with the internet.

  • olpap

    can we say “CASH COW” finally got caught >>>>>

  • Bob

    Why don’t they move the kids into all the vacant business areas and homes that were foreclosed in the city, I am sure there’s plenty of unoccupied places..

  • hooch

    may b if the goverment would quit help n other countries and worry about its own non of these would b happen and if they would have paid more attention to all the rich that were still n in wall street we would not have this problem forgot wall street is the goverment what happened with the education the pres promised
    forgot his in the house now

  • spanky69

    Here’s a thought … for the most part, ISD’s run on state funding and local School District Taxes (as part of your Property Taxes). Start adding an additional School District Tax on those living in apartments! Where you have hundreds of apartments, and no homes, or few homes, those renters are paying nothing towards the schools, but a significant amount of them have kids going to the schools. And while I will not say it, think about the majority of families living in the apartments … all of those kids are getting educated because homeowners are footing the bill. I know there are situations the are tragic, but in the end, what kind of money could be generated off of a Renters School Tax?

    And for the record, it is absolutely unacceptable for our elected officials (including those in Austin and in the respective school districts) to let our school systems get to where they are, period. The only one’s suffering are our children and those trying so desperately to educate them.

    • Robert

      Spanky, apartment owners pay property taxes too, and they don’t get exemptions. It all gets rolled into the rent.

      whether high density housing pays enough in taxes for services they receive is a valid question, but they do pay something.

  • ed

    Looking to Austin, Washington, or any other political conglomeration for solutions is spitting in the wind. Bottom line is, districts have wasted years of rising property tax revenues and added to the problem by putting themselves deep into debt. Seems like every three years there is a major bond issue. The feds should also stop throwing money around since they are also broke.

    • StopSlickRick

      No – districts had funding cut by Slick Rick by one third in 2006. He knew at the time he was creating a structural deficit and didn’t care. Education will face a deficit of $5B to $9B each budget cycle unless they fix the funding mechanisms.

      There is a lot of fat that can be trimmed from local ISDs, that’s for sure, but Perry never gave them a fighting chance. DEMAND BETTER FROM YOUR POLITICIANS.

  • StopSlickRick

    This isn’t about the cost of laptops, administrators, extracurricular activities, etc. There is a STRUCTURAL TAX DEFICIT that was created in 2006 when Perry cut property taxes. He never replaced the one third of funding he slashed from the education budget. Rather, he “replaced” it with a business tax that never really materialized and left education underfunded.

    The politicians knew this when they did it. They didn’t care – probably thought you wouldn’t notice. The only way to fix a structural tax deficit is to redesign the system to remove the inherent underfunding. OTHERWISE, WE WILL FACE THIS BUDGET CRISIS EVERY TWO YEARS.

    Kids deserve better. Our economy and future deserve better. Contact your representative and (1) demand they redesign the school finance system in this state and (2) demand they tap the rainy day fund to keep schools functional while they clean up their mess.

    THIS IS YOUR MONEY – start paying attention to what they’re doing with it. Let Slick Rick and the band of thieves in Austin know you will no longer tolerate them robbing from children.

  • Pumpkin

    Where is the lottery money that was to be used for our schools ??

  • steven

    Want to balance the schol budgets? Start paying teachers hourly at a rate compenserate to the Obama economy. At that rate teachers should make about 8 dollars an hour. Than fine them for every student they don’t teach and allow to fail, that should reduce the salary budget another 25%.

    • StopSlickRick

      Seriously, Steven? Your ignorance is showing (and lack of education based upon your spelling and grammar. Please note, there’s no such word as “compenserate.” Only Sarah Palin is allowed to make up words – you must either choose commensurate or compensate).

      Try educating yourself to the real problem – hate to break it to you and your teabagging pals, but Obama and the economy have nothing to do with this situation. This disaster was put into place five years ago. Slick Rick and his conservative band of thieves created a structural tax deficit in 2006 when they cut property taxes (the primary source of funding for education) and replaced it with a business tax that underperfomed long before they offered exemptions to it for their corporate donors in 2009. A structural tax deficit doesn’t go away based on the economy – it will remain and compound until the funding mechanisms are repaired.

      But, I’m probably speaking over your head, aren’t I? I’ll try to break it down into simple terms you can understand. How about this – SLICK RICK STOLE FROM CHILDREN. And, frankly, if you’re representative of the end result of this state’s educational system, the situation is even more dire than I thought.

      Get some education before you spout off nonsense. It might help to take off your tinfoil hat.

    • Teacher in Dallas

      hey steven i like the idea of getting 25 hour. I am a teacher/coach in dallas and work approximately 60-70 hours per week!!!!!! I have been in education for years and there is no such thing as a teacher working less than 9 hours per day! Stop drinking the cool aid and talk to some educational professionals and find out what is really going on

  • Annette

    I don’t understand why schools are funded through property taxes. If you want a more equitable source of funding then you should increase the sales tax to make sure everyone pays a portion for the teaching children. This way everyone sees how much it costs to run the school districts and you would have the people demanding a better use of their tax dollars.

    As it is I won’t consider buying property in this state because of the ridiculous amounts they charge for property taxes.

    • StopSlickRick

      That’s an excellent idea and has been proposed by some legislators. The educational funding system used by this state is one of the worst in the nation – and it shows!

      Besides, for the ridiculous amount of money we pay in property taxes – we shouldn’t lag behind most other states in education. It’s clear that funding is misappropriated and mis-directed.


  • L J

    Another part of the problem is the ridiculous amount we of money we give to the fine folks at Pearson for producing the TAKS test and all other standardized tests. $93 million in 2009 up from $9.7 million in 2003. Why the 10 times increase? I can’t tell you although, I have been teaching in Texas all that time. Maybe we could ask Rick Perry this year when he is on his annual Pearson trip to Bermuda. TAKS is a SCAM. Go look at the Pearson website and look and see how their profits have skyrocketed. They even boast that their Texas testing contract is the largest in the nation.

    • StopSlickRick

      While you’re looking into Sick Rick’s little junkets to Bermuda, also check out George W. Bush’s financial interests in Pearson when he created NCLB. Ironic, huh?

  • Debbie in Dallas

    Note: I am not a teacher and do not have any children. I do have an opinion.

    Here’s what I think. I sincerely doubt they’re going to cut other teachers.

    I think this school budget cut talk is just propaganda to get teachers to accept pay cuts and benefits and PERHAPS force teachers who are close to retirement to retire early as well as being great fodder for the news media.

    Here’s my solution. Let’s cut the state officials salaries and the luxuries WE’RE paying for their comfort. If politicians aren’t ready to make such sacrifices then they should answer why they are willing to hinder OUR CHILDREN’S life long success for their own comfort. Why haven’t WE heard what they’re willing to sacrifice for OUR CHILDREN? IF politicians are able to convince the PEOPLE of the worth of these “comforts” then it’s definitely time to dip into that “rainy day fund.” What about that cushy mansion in which Perry’s living? If WE don’t want to sell it, turn off all the utilities and get rid of the servants. Move him out! How much would that save?

    Regardless, OUR politicians have shown US quite clearly that VOTERS definitely need to make sure WE give them a rainy day next election day. It may not be today but WE can certainly remind them TODAY that they were voted FOR the PEOPLE by the PEOPLE and WE will remember these INCOMPETENT AND FOOLISH actions when WE go to the polls.

  • Rae

    As a parent of a Cedar Hill ISD athlete I will say that the parents foot the bill for athletics. I had to pay for my child to be in athletics and pay for the practice uniforms and all necessary cost of additional equipment. The only thing I wasn’t charged for were the football pads my son used. CHISD doesn’t care if they loose money. Last year they hired a principal at BCMS that had been charged with embezzlement the year before at Lancaster ISD. Plus I send copy paper, expo markers and many other items for the teacher’s supplies. People need to start emailing the superintendent for answers. Where are our tax dollars going Mr. Horace Williams because my property taxes went up a great deal last year?

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