Vote YES for Sam Houston & SAISD!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
September 3, 2009

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.

What SAISD needs most now is an overarching plan that addresses its long-term fiscal health along with some short-term strategies that sustain its credibility sufficiently to allow it to govern itself. Both of the Plans below can steadily build average daily attendance and the requisite good will by establishing community partnerships in place of adversarial relationships.

A Macro Plan

  1. Launch the Central City Health Careers High School in conjunction with Bexar County's University Health System Expansion at the Robert B. Green.
  2. Help create a renaissance south of Ft. Sam Houston on the East Side by tapping into BRAC opportunities!
  3. Use the City and County Economic Development Departments to bring developments like Med-Tronics at the Rim to our Central City!
  4. Investigate the fiscal impact of switching from property taxes to the margins tax for school funding. Work with the Texas Equity Center and our Legislative Delegation especially, Representative Joe Farias, a former Harlandale ISD School Trustee and presently the Bexar Delegation member on the House Public Education Committee to ensure adequate State funding.

A Sam Houston Plan

  1. Develop a marketing plan to instill confidence in Sam Houston High School in the parents, students and community. Develop a brochure that positively reflects all the academic, athletic and professional stars that have graduated from Sam Houston High School.
  2. Jointly appoint a Working Committee in conjunction with the Sam Houston Alumni, Neighborhood Associations, Churches and the like to personally reach the relevant market for Sam Houston beginning with the seventh grade students and their parents from Wheatley, Martin Luther King and S.J. Davis Middle Schools.
  3. Set population benchmarks to reach for Sam Houston High School's over the next year and sign a pact with its community leadership!

It wasn't that long ago that we rolled up our sleeves to pass the "Cool Schools" bond plan to air-condition SAISD's schools. Almost every school received multiple millions in investments for this purpose. These investments must be valued.

It wasn't that long ago that we "hit the streets" to pass a "Vote Yes" referendum to recapture property tax revenue that the Legislature took from our public schools. Despite the difficulty of the many challenges of asking taxpayers to tax themselves, SAISD almost did it!

Many of us also joined Mayor Phil Hardberger to knock doors of those families in which students had decided not to continue with their education. Because attendance impacts the critical average daily attendance funding, this must be continued on a regular basis until those doubting families understand that their children are most likely to win when they are educated!

SAISD: You can do it!

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