The letter that follows this introduction was written to express the overwhelming concern of the employees at White Oak ISD. This is a real life crisis in the Texas Public School community.
March 2, 2011
Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
PO Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
I am an employee of the White Oak Independent School District and a resident of Senate District 1 and House District 7. The news that is coming out of Austin concerning the funding of Texas Public Schools is very upsetting. In a meeting with members of the House and Senate this week, our Superintendent was told to plan for the worst case scenario in preparing for the 2011/2012 District Operating Budget. The worst case scenario for White Oak is a decrease in funds of 1.4 million dollars or 14.3% of this year’s operating budget. Cuts of this magnitude will be catastrophic to White Oak ISD and the city of White Oak, Texas.
The question is, what would it take to meet this requirement with a revenue neutral budget? In White Oak, it will look like this:
• Cut all employee salaries/pay by 10%. (which is actually illegal by state law)
• Cancel all athletic programs and eliminate the Athletic Director’s position
• Cancel the Marching Band and UIL Band/Choral Programs
• Cancel all UIL Academic Competition
• Cancel all Cheerleader, Flags and Twirler programs
• Cancel all travel and professional development
When all of these cuts have been implemented, White Oak ISD will still be short of the target by over $350,000. That will mean a reduction in force of 8 professional staff members or 14 support staff members in addition to the cuts listed above.
It is my hope that you are not in favor of the destruction of White Oak ISD and many other districts across the state. I am asking for your support in the form of your vote on the following issues:
• Vote Against the current funding plan for Public Education
• Vote Against funding cuts to low target revenue school districts (Hold Harmless Target Revenue below $5,000 per wada) until high target revenue school funds have been reduced to our level
• Vote For the use of the Economic Stabilization Fund to minimize funding cuts in Public Education
• Vote For a new equitable funding system for Public Schools that does not depend on Hold Harmless Target Revenue values
The community, faculty, staff, and most importantly, the students of White Oak Independent School District need your support. Thank you for your service to the citizens of your district and to the Great State of Texas.
Every employee of every school district in Texas can put together the same type of information and let our Legislator’s know the real cost of the proposed cuts!