Dallas ISD

(Photo courtesy Dallas ISD)

Choice schools? Magnet schools? Neighborhood schools? What is the best choice for your child? Dallas ISD is aiming to help parents and families navigate those choices with a school shopping event at Fashion Institute Gallery on Nov. 3.

The event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will allow parents to visit with school personnel as they browse an array of specialty school options, and then even select a school on the spot and apply right there. (more…)

Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD Chief of School Leadership Stephanie Elizalde and ACE executive director Jolee Healey update the board of trustees Thursday night.

It was a busy and productive monthly meeting of the Dallas ISD board of trustees Thursday evening, with much of the night centered on the creation of two new choice schools and an update on the Accelerating Campus Excellence program.

The district’s ACE program has been partly responsible for the turnaround of several Improvement Required and/or at-risk campuses. Its results have been so impressive that other districts are beginning to adopt the strategy as well.

“The ACE model is being replicated in districts around the Dallas area, including Plano and Richardson,” Chief of School Leadership Stephanie Elizalde told trustees.

“We’ve gone from 43 Improvement Required schools to 13,” she added, saying that much of that can be attributed to Dallas ISD‘s ACE program and to the district’s Intensive Support Network. (more…)

 

The fight over school funding will commence in the Texas legislature soon - but no bill is filed just yet.

The fight over school funding will commence in the Texas legislature soon, but no bill is filed just yet.

This week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott donned yellow scarves and held a “School Choice Week” rally in Austin.

“I hope and I urge that that law reach my desk,” Abbott declared. “And when it does, I will make the choice to sign it and authorize school choice in the state of Texas.”

Across the country, the nation spends about $1 billion per year to send students to private schools.

A bill (and nobody knows for sure what it will look like because it hasn’t been filed yet) will likely easily pass in the Texas senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats (who are largely opposed) 20-11. Less clear is if it could pass the House, despite the fact that there are 95 Republican members and 55 Democrat members.

Why? One reason, I suspect, is because while private schools are abundant in more urban areas, in more rural parts of the state public school is the only available choice. Will the potential of vouchers lure private and charter schools further afield? That remains to be seen. But I imagine that support for choice is a little more tentative in areas where the public school district is the sole provider of education, where constituents may be reluctant to cut back on that funding even more.

(more…)

When the Texas legislature gavels into session in January, education will be a hot topic. (Photo courtesy Nicolas Henderson/Flickr)

When the Texas legislature gavels into session in January, education will be a hot topic. (Photo courtesy Nicolas Henderson/Flickr)

When the Texas legislature reconvenes January 10, it will have a laundry list of things to tackle – some controversial, some mundane (you can keep up to date on the full list of bills filed here). But some of the biggest issues will involve the trajectory of public education in the state.

While we can’t provide an exhaustive list of everything the legislature will address this session (although rest assured – we’ll be keeping you abreast of the most vital pieces of legislation), I thought it would be a good idea to look at three key things legislature will have to address this session.

The biggest, of course, will be school finance. This is the one that not only affects how schools budget for education and innovation, but also how good and great schools stay good and great schools, and schools that need improvement have the tools to improve. And this, of course, directly impacts the bottom lines of Realtors and homebuyers and sellers, since schools are frequently in the top five considerations when it comes to looking for that family abode.

And, of course, school finances are currently tied to property taxes, which makes whatever the legislature does of vital importance to homeowners. And trust me, the legislature will have to do something – the courts have mandated it. It won’t be cheap, and it won’t be easy, but expect much discussion over better funding formulas in the 85th legislative session. (more…)