Monday, June 27, 2011

Keller ISD Board Meeting Notes According to Me

Ok, here is a summary of what happened at the board meeting tonight. We left after the discussion about budget cuts when they started talking policy. I hope I understood everything correctly, and I am doing my best to interpret what I heard. I'm sure David Stevens and our principals will be able to put things in more eloquent terms than myself.

Staffing Cuts
Three different cut options were presented to the board. The option recommend for adoption to the board was the one that saved the librarians, middle school academic associates, 66 teachers, and what they referred to as 'other professional instructional staff' (this is the category that the 34 fine arts positions fall in, I think). These jobs are being saved for ONE YEAR with federal money the district is getting through a fund called EduFund. This is $4.8 million that we will only see for the next school year. They recommended this option because they said it buys the district a year to figure out how to restructure things for when we will inevitably have to cut these positions at the end of the 11-12 school year. They also said that they would not have to cut any counselors or nurses because these positions were eliminated through attrition already (I think I understood that correctly). Of course, they are not going to fill any positions and there will probably be a lot of shuffling around. They made it clear that they would still have to cut 113 campus professional positions at the end of the 11-12 school year. They were adamant about making any other staffing cuts hastily so that no one is left hanging, wondering about their job for too much longer.

Salary Schedule
THERE WILL BE NO RAISES FOR ANYONE IN KELLER THIS YEAR. They also made it clear that the superintendent has not received a raise in 3 years, contrary to popular belief out there in tea party land. They adopted a salary schedule that was essentially the same as last year, so there is not even going to be that small incremental raise that you get for your extra year of service. You will be making the same as you did this year.

Transportation
Dr. V proposed a pay to ride system. This is the only way we can still keep buses. I was unclear about how much it would cost, and they were looking in to having assistance programs for needy families. They were saying that the kids would have a transportation account just like they have a lunch account. They were also talking about allowing anyone to pay to ride, even if you are within the mile and half radius of the school. It was stated that there is still a lot of research and numbers to crunch before a plan can be presented, and that there will be more discussion about this at the next board meeting.

Furlough Days and Other Cuts
If Senate Bill 8 passes this week, KISD will have the option to furlough teachers for three days. Dr. V brought this up as a possibility to think about and said it would be discussed further at the July meeting. He also said that there would be several other budget cuts to deal with at the July meeting as well.

I hope that I understood all of this correctly and am reporting to you accurately. Don't shoot me if I misunderstood anything!!! I was very impressed with our board. They did a great job of making sure that several of the false rumors that some voters had were dispelled and stated on record. I hope everyone understands that the next school year is going to cost more out of pocket for families than if the TRE would have passed. I also found out this week that the supporters behind the VOTE NO movement were not even from Keller. I am disgusted at this display of politics. I hope I do not offend anyone with this statement, but I do not understand how educators can continue to vote for these republican leaders that are so hell bent on destroying public education. Rick Perry wants to privatize education and he is definitely on his way to doing so. He needs to be stopped. They all need to be stopped.

6 comments:

Shannon Jones said...

Well said, Stokes. We won't have to worry about Perry too much longer...he'll be President! Oh, wait...:/

Delaina McBride said...

I second this motion. :)

Meagan said...

Funny--those who didn't vote for the TRE will probably end up paying more for their kids to ride the buses than they would have with the tax increase. Additionally, I am from a staunch Republican family and you did not offend me; I agree that there is some serious misguidance in the politics of education. Well done, Stokes.

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