Tuesday, May 31, 2011

School District Losses by the Numbers

Want to know exactly what SB 1811 is going to do to your Texas school district’s budget? This is a link to a PDF file of one of the documents that Senator Davis read in her filibuster of that bill. A filibuster that all but caused a special session to be called starting today so that the Senate could consider the bill again, but this time without the 2/3ds rule necessary to bring votes to the Senate floor.

In other words, get ready for this bill to sail through the House and Senate.

I looked at my school district’s loss.

Over $27 million over two years. A 3.7% reduction or a loss of $203 per student. At a 24:1 student teacher ratio and 6 classes taught per classroom, that is a net loss to every classroom in my district of nearly $30,000.

This isn’t in any way the worst case scenario. For reasons that I still cannot fathom, each district receives different allocations and have different percent decreases. Scanning down the right hand column it looks like some school districts will suffer a loss of 8.9% of  their M&O revenue, and some districts are barely touched, with only a 1.3% decrease in revenue.

The major metropolitan districts all get hit hard. Austin ISD will be cut by 8.5%, Dallas ISD by 8.6%, and Houston ISD by 8.7%..

I know what you are thinking. They cut the most out of big enrollment districts to get more bang for their buck. Enrollment wasn’t really an issue though.  Note that Cypress-Fairbanks ISD a large suburban district northwest of Houston, has a very healthy enrollment of over 132,000 yet it will receive a 2.5% cutback.

People are saying to call your legislator and let him or her know that they are not to balance the budget on the backs of our school children. And yes, you can go here and find the legislators that represent you and use this toll free number (1-888-836-8368) and call them up.

But if you find that you are represented by a Republican, and most of us are, you’ll just be wasting your breath. These guys are H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks bent on selling your children’s education down the river. It’s true that more Republicans voted with Democrats on passage of the bill in the House, but the ones that didn’t aren’t, how should I say it, persuadable.

No, the best use of your time is to show up at the polls next year in high numbers and vote with the same righteous wrath that people voted in 2010 against Barack Obama (who wasn’t even on the ballot).

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