Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TDWCC July Meeting Speaker – SBOE Rep. Thomas Ratliff

TDWCC general meeting
July 25, 2011
6:45 pm to 8:30 pm
Collin College

TDWCC: Thomas Ratliff, R-Mt. Pleasant, State Board of Education District 9, will be the speaker at the TDWCC general meeting on Monday, July 25, 6:45 p.m. Collin College – Preston Ridge Campus, Founders Hall, Rm F148.

Mr. Ratliff won the State Board of Education seat for District 9 in 2010. Mr. Ratliff will speak about how the SBOE works, what issues he has faced, the upcoming Science curriculum discussion, and will be open to our questions.

In a recent letter to the Austin American-Statesmen, Ratliff focused on the difficulties schools have faced as the number of students has grown, but the revenue available to schools hasn’t. A few numbers:

  • In the last 10 years, we’ve added 845,000 students to public schools. Of that number, 384,000 are K-5 students.
  • In the last 10 years, the number of economically disadvantaged children increased by 897,000. Previously they accounted for 49% of the student population. Now they account for 59%.
  • Due to the target revenue system, when you consider inflation, schools have experienced an 11% reduction in funding over the past 5 years.

On June 28, 2011 Gov. Perry signed the $172 billion budget passed by the super Republican majority Texas House and Senate. The 2011-13 budget cuts $15 billion from the level of spending that was authorized in the 2009-11 state budget. The largest individual cut was to public education, which lost over $4 billion over the next biennium.

Even after cutting billions of dollars from state education the 2011-13 budget defers $2.3 billion in state payments to K-12 public school districts to fiscal 2014. Schools will need that deferred money when they have to write checks to teachers and librarians and janitors and principals long before September 2013.

Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation and critics say state legislators shorted school districts by an additional $2 billion in the 2011-13 budget by ignoring the number of new students who will crowd into the classrooms over the next two years.

Mr. Ratliff will be up for re-election in 2012 due to re-redistricting, so this is an opportunity for those of both parties to hear his position on crucial issues in education.

All guests are welcome. Bring your teacher-friends! And parent-friends!

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