Dallas isd

Historic and projected state contribution to public education (courtesy Center for Public Policy Priorities)

As Dallas ISD advocates begin ramping up the campaign to pass a 13-cent Tax Ratification Election (or TRE) in November, news that will likely irritate more property owners came down the pike during a state budget hearing: The state will contribute less toward public education in the next two years.

In yesterday’s budget panel meeting, Texas Education Agency commissioner Mike Morath confirmed that his agency’s budget request for the Foundation School Program for the next two years asks for $3.5 billion less in general revenue for schools, and will instead shift more of the burden to local property taxes. (more…)

It’s not mere hyperbole — the worlds of architecture, urban planning, and construction are lacking in representation of people of color.

In fact, the American Institute of Architect’s 2016 “Diversity in the Profession of Architecture” found that the one thing most architects — regardless of race — could agree on was that people of color are underrepresented in that field. Similar studies have found the same is true in urban planning and construction.

(graph courtesy AIA)

Interestingly, just about every discussion in all three industries regarding diversity involves strengthening the industry’s presence among students through outreach programs with high schools, etc.

Michael Ford, a Detroit-based architect, brought the whole issue of diversity to the forefront with a 20 minute TED Talk last year. In his talk, he uses lyrics in hip-hop songs to show how they can serve as a very effective way to evaluate the good and bad of modern urban architecture. (more…)

Dallas ISD

(Photo courtesy 401kcalculator.org)

If you attended or watched via live stream any of the meetings of the Dallas ISD board of trustees, you likely heard a repeated refrain during public comment — that of district support staff who said they hadn’t had a raise in years.

Last night, that changed.

Initially, the pay raises for eligible teachers, campus leaders and support staff would hinge on the passage of a Tax Ratification Election on the ballot in November. But better-than-expected property tax revenues allowed the district to remove that restriction and place the matter on the agenda for Thursday’s regular meeting. (more…)

TRE

Dallas ISD trustees Dan Micciche and Justin Henry talked to supporters of a Tax Ratification Election before Thursday’s board meeting (photo courtesy Rob Shearer).

It took three tries, but a 13-cent Tax Ratification Election (TRE) was passed by the Dallas ISD board of trustees in a special called meeting Thursday night.

The vote (which was seven for, one against, and one absent) will place a measure that will increase the district’s maintenance and operating tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17.

There has not been an increase since 2008.

A cheer from the gallery went up as what various advocates had been asking for — a chance to put a potential property tax increase on the ballot — finally passed after three tries over as many years.

If voters approve the measure on Nov. 6, it will provide an additional $126 million every year to support early learning, racial equity, and choice school programs, as well as compensation. (more…)

Richardson ISD announced Thursday that security concerns have motivated a calendar change this year one that so far other local districts have not adopted.

It’s not unusual for schools to serve as polling locations on Election Day. But RISD officials said that security risks associated with the practice have led them to make Nov. 6 a student holiday and staff development day.

“The change is being made as a precaution due to the thousands of unregistered visitors who gain access to RISD schools serving as voting locations on Election Day,” the district said in an announcement. “Because staff members and some daytime care students will still be in schools on Nov. 6, RISD will continue to take additional safety precautions to isolate voting areas from the rest of the campus and monitor visitors.” (more…)

Dallas ISD

Fresh from his runoff win Saturday, Justin Henry was sworn in as the trustee for Dallas ISD District 9 before the school board worked its way through Thursday’s agenda. The district announced preliminary school accountability ratings revealed a significant drop in Improvement Required schools (Photo courtesy: Dallas ISD).

Super nerdy confession: The original title of this piece was “Dallas ISD May Have Just Done Something Miraculous.”

But then I remembered a long senior year where my Honors English teacher insisted that we study S.I. Hayakawa’s “Language in Thought and Action,” a book about semantics so revered it’s currently in its fifth edition.

I may not remember much from high school coursework, but I do remember that book, and what it taught about language, and why the words we choose can impact the message. And miracle is not the right word, really, for what has happened in Dallas ISD.

You see, four years ago, 43 of the district’s 230 schools were labeled Improvement Required in the state accountability ratings — meaning that those schools weren’t just at risk, or struggling, but that they had actually failed to meet state standards. (more…)

electionWhen Justin Henry received the most votes — but not enough to avoid a runoff election — in May, a mere 69 votes separated him and Dallas ISD District 9 incumbent trustee Bernadette Nutall.

Saturday night, with all 47 precincts reporting, Henry won by more than 600 votes.

(more…)

election

Monday, we published a piece regarding the Dallas ISD District 9 runoff election. At the time, we only had responses from Justin Henry.

Tuesday evening, citing campaign obligations and scheduling conflicts that kept her from responding earlier, incumbent candidate Bernadette Nutall responded. We have included her answers in the original story, which can be found here.

Live in District 9? Election Day is June 16. Polling locations can be found here.