Dallas ISD’s Needs Won’t Disappear, But You Can Help

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Dallas voters won’t get the chance to decide on a property tax increase to provide needed funds for Dallas ISD, but you can still help.

The daunting needs that face Dallas ISD teachers won’t disappear — not after this legislative session, where lawmakers made it clear public education wasn’t a priority. But what can we do?

As I mentioned Monday, the Dallas ISD school board could not come to a supermajority on any of the Tax Ratification Election options proposed, nor on the 2-cent tax swap.

I feel like this fact gets buried in the talk about trustees and TRE: The vote Friday wasn’t to change the tax rate. The vote Friday was to put the change on a ballot and let voters decide if they wanted to give the district more money.

This means that if the voters didn’t want to — if they felt the same way their trustee did, they could vote against it. So the vote wasn’t to raise the tax or not. The vote was whether you got to decide what to do with your money.

As I talked about this with people, something emerged that was quite beautiful Sunday night. On Facebook, a group of us began talking about the many ways frustrated, would-be voters could still make a monetary mark on the needs of teachers here.

And then something even more remarkable happened. An art teacher at Robert E. Lee Elementary posted a link to her DonorsChoose.org campaign to fund the supplies she needed to help her students explore working with clay.

And then a local business owner, Davey Devlin, who owns The Art Of Landscaping powered by Scapes Incorporated, posted this response: “ My company funded the balance on the project. Have a great year back at school and thanks to you and all the teachers for all that you do for the kids of our community. It is very much appreciated.”

This got me thinking — what if we can do that for a few more teachers and schools? What would happen if all of us began putting our money where our mouths are?

So here is the premise for this piece: I’ve been asking teachers to spam me with their DonorsChoose campaigns and their Amazon wish lists. I’m starting this list below, and as projects get funded, I will indicate it. And as teachers send me more projects and lists, I’ll add them to the bottom.

To start with, I’ve tried to incorporate campaigns from all 41 schools identified by the district as at-risk (only 14 schools are Improvement Required), as well as submitted campaigns from teachers and schools.

And if you can’t afford to give monetarily, don’t forget – anyone can join their neighborhood school’s PTA. Anyone can volunteer to be on the school’s Site-Based Decision-Making committee. Neither takes a lot of your time, but they all make a great deal of difference to that school.

Next week, school starts for Dallas ISD. And we can make a difference. I know we have some of the most generous readers out there – let’s show these teachers we understand the work they do and appreciate it.

CandysDirt.com’s Big Help List

Current Total: 37 campaigns, $14,573 in donations

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

Reader Interactions


  1. Veena Armstrong says

    To partner, donate or request a schools needs contact Dallas ISD Partnership Coordinator, Veena Armstrong varmstrong@dallasisd.org.

    We are looking for community leaders and business owners that would like to be a Principal for a Day. Spend the day at a school to learn more about the amazing kids, teachers and school needs.

    Veena Armstrong

  2. Rebecca King says

    Great Idea!! There may be many people who have other items they are willing to donate, that could be used in a classroom, but they aren’t aware of who can use them. If there’s any way you could also add a list of items by name and/or photo, that people are willing to donate, that would also be helpful.

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