Local

Mesquite Says They’re Being Hit Especially Hard In Cuts

By Steve Pickett, CBS 11 News
School lockers at a high school in Houston, Texas. (credit: AP)

School lockers at a high school in Houston, Texas. (credit: AP)

MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas is proof all schools are not created equal.  All over the area, budget cuts are impacting school districts in various ways.

But in Mesquite, educators there say they are being hit with a double whammy.

It’s “Dress as your favorite children’s book character” day inside teacher Brooke Graham’s third grade classroom, but no one came as a pauper.

But that outfit, according to some, could be proper attire for the Mesquite Independent School District, based on financial considerations.

This is a top-tier school, despite 6-10 kids come from low income homes.  They put in extra work.  But now comes word the school and the district will get more of something they don’t want: another reduction in dollars.

Mesquite ISD, with an enrollment near 38,000, sits in the same pool of frustration over state funding cuts as every other public school system.

Mesquite currently receives $4,900 per student.  That’s one-thousand less than its education neighbors in Coppell, Frisco, Highland Park and Plano.
Those rates are based on property value appraisals.

And now, with across the board reductions in school funding, Superintendent Linda Henrie says Mesquite’s education tools will be uneven and inequitable.  “By cutting, when you’re already below the state average, then you’re basically getting down to the essentials./ you’re going to have more students in a class, asking teachers to do more, and there comes a time you ask, are you providing the education students need.”

Mesquite ISD has a $260 million budget with 2,00 teachers working for the district.  They now face at least a $19 million cut.  They’ve already implemented a hiring freeze.