Local School Officials To Meet Lawmakers In Austin

By Robbie Owens, CBS 11 News

SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Several schools in Tarrant County will take their case for education funding to Austin on Thursday. Parents and school officials from the Keller Independent School District, Carroll Independent School District and Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District will be in attendance for Tarrant County Day at the State Capitol.

Representatives from the school districts gathered outside of Southlake’s Dragon Stadium early Thursday morning for a caravan to Austin. Organizers encouraged anyone from the community to join the effort, and distributed packets of information which directing supporters to local representatives.

Lawmakers can expect to get an earful from school officials and community members on Thursday about the importance of public education – not just in Tarrant County, but across the entire state. Tarrant County schools have adopted the ‘Make Education a Priority’ message which first began in the Aledo Independent School District with a letter-writing campaign several months ago.

School district officials around the state have already started preparing for drastic and devastating funding cuts, as lawmakers look to erase a budget shortfall of as much as $27 billion. With nearly half of the state’s budget devoted to education, it does not take much math to realize that education cuts are inevitable.

Still, Tarrant County school representatives plan to repeat their credo many times on Thursday, to ensure that lawmakers hear their concerns about the importance of funding Texas schools. And along with asking lawmakers to protect education funding, the Tarrant County group will also ask that state officials reject unfunded mandates and ensure that there is equitable funding for all districts.

Those who cannot make it to Austin on Thursday can still be represented. Tarrant County school districts have asked that community members mail postcards and letters in support of public education to state lawmakers. A number of those letters will be hand-delivered by the Tarrant County caravan.

More from Robbie Owens
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  • Nunya

    Cut administrators and make the ones that remain teach a class or two to stay grounded in reality.

  • Greg

    America is 31st in Math and 17th in Reading. It’s No great loss if they don’t get a public school education.
    Teach kids by computer.

  • G.J.

    Remember when the supporters of the Lottery said this would solve education problems? How’s that working out for ‘ya?

    • StopSlickRick

      Probably would have worked out pretty well if the money had actually gone to education. The proceeds from the lottery went to (1) administration and (2) the general fund. Schools didn’t get the windfall people think they did. You were sold a bill of goods, dude.

  • Robin Carter

    Amazing to me how we in Southlake always manage to come up with $$$ to build bigger and better football stadiums, at the same time that our public education system faces such major funding cuts,.and the education of our kids continues to go downhill.

  • Concerned Parent

    For those of you who do not support education funding and not taking funding away from education. I wonder how educated you are? People need to start respecting the profession. Teachers teach kids, are also taking on roles of parenting to kids, discipling kids, and helping them become better people in society. Respect the Profession, they do alot more than you think. Their job is not a regular 9-5, they come in early and stay late, tutoring, grading and planning. They are also at more after school activities than some kids parents are. They are sometimes the only thing our kids have that is consistent in their lives. And by the way, who is it that preps and grooms our doctors, lawyers, congressmen and women, nurses, managers, CEO, CFO, Govoners and Representivies…….oh yea TEACHERS!!!! Give to education, dont take away from it. It’s our kids future.

    • Greg

      Fine. If you want to contribute then write out a personal check to the
      Indep. School Dist of your choice. But, many taxpayers including the
      elderly, retirees, those on fixed income etc. would be harmed by increasing
      taxes and get no benefit from the end product (i.e. education).

      • StopSlickRick

        Greg, when Perry cut property taxes in 2006, he did so on the backs of school children. He essentially defunded their budget by one third. That cut is not sustainable. If you really care about your tax money, you should pay attention to how they’re using it. How about we question the rainy day fund – why isn’t there a cap on that fund? Do we really want tax money just sitting there when vital public services are being decimated? How does that make any sense? Do we really need a technology slush fund for Perry to dole out to his corporate buddies? Do we really want our tax money payhing $12,000 a month in rent for Slick Rick? If you’re concerned about taxes – your primary concern should be how the supposed stewards of your money are using it.

        As for others not benefitting from education – you need to think about that a little. Here are some clues – maybe google something about impact on the economy, cost of social services, justice system, etc. Comments like that just prove your level of ignorance.

  • Pam KISD mother of 3

    Keller ISD has too many receptionist, counselors and assistant principals. Start by reducing the size of administration and freeze salaries. We also need to increase our class sizes. We do not need to increase taxes to get our budget in line.
    We have some good teachers but we also have a lot of bad teachers and staff. My own personal experiences with the counselors have me convinced we could reduce the number in half and no one would suffer. They are only there for the top kids and the very bottom. The other 80% are totally ignored and the councelors have no interest in them.

  • Cheryl

    Weatherford ISD had to cut 60 teaching jobs in one year because of 3 million in budget cuts. This is sad and shocking.

  • Ferrill

    Hopefully the legislators are as knowledgeable as the posters here. We are spending fortunes on administrators with no improvement in education.

  • Danny

    I do not see anywhere that federal state or education board members are volunteering to take any pay cuts or change their lucrative health and benefits packages over to something more standard for cost savings. I only see them suggesting that everyone else make hard choices. I think that is very telling. They are the ones in fact that are responsible for the shortfalls. So why would they not be willing to sacrifice or even be asked to retire themselves. Performance is the bottom line is it not?

    • StopSlickRick

      School board members are not paid – it’s a voluntary position. Nobody has taken pay cuts yet because it’s actually a state law that teacher pay cannot be cut. If these type of cuts are allowed by the state, you’ll most likely see a furlough instituted for everyone in education – the superintendent, administrators, teachers, etc. I’m not sure what your complaint is here. No pay has been cut yet.

  • John

    The state legislature is a failure. The idea that a $72.2 billion dollar budget can’t be balanced without trashing the TEA is the legislature simply stealing money for its citizens.

    My daughters go to Hexter Elementary in Dallas. A great public school. Staffed properly and the teachers and administrators are underpaid based on the quality of work they do which is backed by their Blue Ribbon Award, Exemplary rating and sustained improvement in TAKs scores.

    Give the TEA what it needs and balance the budget with what’s left over.

  • G.S.

    Why is it that teachers are so unwilling to retrain for new careers? After all, millions of people nationwide in the private sector have had to do so.
    There are a lot of “hot, in demand jobs” that pay much more than teachers
    (such as Air Traffic Controllers, Software Engineers, and Dental Hygenists
    to name just 3) Additionally , The Texas Workforce Comm. even has a program
    to help those over age 55 to retrain. Sorry, but I’m not so sympathethic to this so called “poor teacher this and poor teacher that” argument.

    • StopSlickRick

      I don’t know, G.S., maybe it’s because they’re educators and have a passion for helping children and they studied many years and received many certifications and endorsements to do so? What are you trying to say? Your argument is ridiculous. Perhaps if positions are RIFfed, some will re-train. But, the real question here is why should we have a RIF? We pay taxes to support education, but the sleazy politicians running Austin have diverted those funds. THe question you should be asking is “where’s my tax money going?” Focus on the real issue.

  • Jeanine J

    “Get no benefit from the end product”???? Really? I don’t know about you but I sure want to know that the tech drawing blood for blood work has some idea about what they’re doing. That the young folks handling my retirement have not only good math skills, but the knowledge to understand how to make my money work for me. That the 911 callers know how to read directions and can problem solve until the medics arrive and try to keep me alive till the ER doctors who work on my heart at the hospital can determine the best treatment for me. That the congressmen and women we send to Austin and Washington, who are there to serve us, will be smart enough to know that an educated populous is what will keep this a great country and do what they need to do to create a good and sound funding source for education. Greg, everyone benefits from public education. None of us can afford NOT to fund education.

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