Optimism for legislative session
March 6, 2019
Dear SAISD Staff,
I wanted to share some positive news with you before spring break. I hope you all can rest and enjoy your time away next week.
I want to start by addressing some rumors that we are hearing, which are not correct – please know that there are no plans for a Reduction in Force. We are very optimistic about what we are seeing within our District.
We are also optimistic about what we are seeing from our legislators, with the first major school funding bills coming out this week.
This year, our District has been active and effective in influencing school funding discussions to help align state priorities with our District’s needs – including weights for high poverty, density of poverty, dual-language programs, and providing full-day pre-kindergarten. These are examples of what our team has been ensuring are in the bills.
The Texas Senate passed a $3.9 billion teacher and librarian pay increase bill on Monday (Senate Bill 3), and the Texas House unveiled a $9 billion plan yesterday (House Bill 3) that addressed school funding and property taxes. The House is even proposing to use our socio-economic block system as the method for the allocation weighted for poverty.
While it is still too early to know final outcomes – and we won’t know final outcomes until late May – we are getting the first glimpse of what funding may look like, and how it aligns with our priorities.
Our goal is to strengthen our District’s finances, find the resources to provide raises to all staff and continue to invest in key programs.
Our optimism is buoyed by the outcomes and ongoing work we are seeing in our schools. We are confident that campus enrollment plans being put into effect will help stabilize our District enrollment. Already, 40 percent of students have submitted their Intent to Return forms, with several schools reporting a 90 percent or more response rate.
Please enjoy your much-deserved break.Sincerely,