Educational Concerns for Voting
Dear Parents and Community Members,
The March primaries are coming up quickly in our election process and we hope you will take advantage of this right that helps to define us as a country that practices democracy. We are taking this opportunity to inform you of some issues that are very important for Channing ISD and public schools in general. We are not telling you for whom to vote, but hope that you will seek where candidates stand on these issues. This helps them to know the importance their constituents put on these issues. We must stand up for our children.
Issue #1 School Funding
The facts are that the cost of educating children has gone up every year, but the revenue allotted for education has not kept pace. Schools all across the State of Texas have less and less funds to educate children. This forces several schools to cut programs, staff and services. I know of two districts in our area that have already begun the process of reduction in force to eliminate some positions that they can no longer afford. This is not due to dropping enrollment, but to lack of funding by the state. When ASATR (Additional State Aid in lieu of Tax Reduction) is taken away from Channing and many other districts across the state before the 2017-2018 school year, the problem will become worse.
Issue #2 School Choice or Vouchers
The proponents for this try to make this sound very positive and that it will not hurt schools. These are disguised as “tax credits”, “vouchers”, “Nevada Plan”, etc. These are stated to “save” money in education.
Every plan that I have seen would take money away from public education by either diverting tax money to fund these programs (under the guise of credits) or by having businesses “donate” to these funds in order to earn tax credits. Several other states have tried these and the results have generally not been positive or a good use of funding.
Issue #3 Student Testing
Channing ISD and all public schools are not opposed to accountability. However, there is too much emphasis being placed tests that are questionable as to whether they even measure what is allegedly assessed. These tests have increasingly proven to be an unreliable indicator of the amount of learning and type of learning taking place at our public schools. All schools agree that test have their place in student assessment. Legislators will try and tell you that the accountability system looks at many things and it does, but the emphasis has been placed on test results that can label a child and a school.
If you would like to discuss any of these items or any other items that you are concerned about, please feel free to contact us and we will see if we can find a solution.