Vote YES For SAISD to Stand and Deliver!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
October 21, 2007

At a time when the San Antonio Independent School District is fighting for the education of its students, the Texas Legislature has greased the treadmill upon which it must run with the requirement of a tax rate "rollback" election. I agree with diversifying the taxes that finance public education. However the manner by which districts must access these other revenue measures is particularly onerous and rather complex for all districts, but especially the most fiscally challenged school districts, i.e., Edgewood, Southside, South San and Harlandale. As the most historic, large school district in Bexar County, it is amazing if not galling that the Legislature would throw SAISD and these other wealth-challenged school districts an anchor along with a life raft.

Performance

SAISD has delivered greatly for this County on a range of fronts as recently as the earning of the coveted 2007 Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, by Ricky Flores, Band Director at Irving Middle School, who emerged number one from a field of 20 finalists among area teachers.

Seven SAISD schools are being recognized this year by the Texas Business and Education Coalition, which brings business and education leaders together to help secure the future of Texas by improving the performance of the State's publicly funded education systems.

Also recognizing SAISD schools is the National Center for Educational Accountability's "Just for the Kids" initiative for high academic achievement. This is the most schools awarded of any of the districts in Bexar County and marks its second straight year in receiving the award. Austin, Baskin, Briscoe, Bonham, Hawthorne, Pfeiffer and Margil Elementary are the selected schools. Only 5% of the states 8,000 schools earn this distinction.

Fiscal Accountability

Some of what SAISD is doing to responsibly manage its fiscal affairs are as follows:

Staffing – $4.8 million in staffing costs has been reduced this year. SAISD will also continue to evaluate all schools and departments for additional reductions.

Facilities – A new task force has been formed to develop a plan for re-evaluating all District facilities, including a plan for closing schools.

Programs – An Audit is being conducted to evaluate all instructional programs in order to strengthen programs that are working and eliminate those that are not.

Voting "No" means SAISD loses an opportunity to gain $49 million! If voters vote "Yes", the tax rate will be set at 20 cents less than its current rate! $13 million will be raised locally and the state and federal government will match our local dollars with an additional $36 million. This means for every $1 we raise locally, the state and federal government will give us an additional $2.76. This is both an opportunity and a time to stand for our school children and the brighter future awaiting SAISD!

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