Before DISD Trustees Vote To Close 11 Schools, Carla Ranger Urges Parents to Speak Out

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Click to expand the list prepared for tomorrow's DISD school board meeting. The docs from which this comes are below.
Tomorrow is C-Day, the day we find out if the Dallas Independent School District will consolidate nine elementary schools and two middle schools in order to grapple with its looming $38-million budget gap. Months of public hearings, protests in front of 3700 Ross and staking signs in front of schools should, barring any last-minute changes, be resolved tomorrow night.

The money is not coming, said DISD administrator Leslie Williams. "That's just the reality, the clear fact. That's where we are. Regardless of your views, that's where we are."

He said this last night as he and other DISD staff explained the consolidation proposal to D.A. Hulcy Middle School teachers, students and parents.

The DISD presentation showed that Hulcy is only at 45 percent student capacity. By sending the school's students elsewhere, laying off or redistributing teachers and shutting down the building, the district would save $1.59 million. The reorganization is predicted to save an estimated $11.5 million district-wide, including more than $9 million in salaries alone.

Williams opened the floor to the audience for questions, and they came fast and furiously: Is this the only proposal? What will happen to the laid-off educators? What about my kid's safety? There's no rainy day fund? Will there be after-school transportation? Why are they closing so many schools in the black community? If we need to cut, why are we still funding Teach for America?

Williams answered what he could and passed on what he couldn't. Staff was guarded about their feelings toward the potential school closings, but trustee Carla Ranger, of course, was not.

"I believe that schools should not be closed," she announced, sparking applause. "Because there had not been appropriate discussion by the board. ... Closing schools should be a last resort."

Ranger applauded the questions that were raised, admitting that she hadn't even thought of many of them. She then pushed parents and teachers to sign up and show up for the final district-wide public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Thursday before the board's final vote. (Some board members have requested to postpone the vote, but as of now, it's still on for tomorrow's meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.)

"Your voices need to be heard," she said. "The board members need to hear all the questions to be raised."

DISD Trustee School Consolidation Plan Docs for January 26 Meeting

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8 comments
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Nobody
Nobody

A bigger concern is why some schools are being consolidated in spite of their scores while some are taking over campuses

Guest
Guest

So you're suggesting we continue to pay the overhead of a school because the teachers in it are doing their job? The teachers and the students can continue their successes down the street. If they do not close these schools, DISD is going to have to make up $11 million in revenue somewhere. It is my understanding that the 'somewhere' would be in teacher lay offs. That equates higher student:teacher ratios, which kills the opportunity for success and those test scores.

Guest
Guest

So you're suggesting we continue to pay the overhead of a school because the teachers in it are doing their job? The teachers and the students can continue their successes down the street. If they do not close these schools, they're going to have to make up $11 million in revenue somewhere. It is my understanding that the 'somewhere' would be in teacher lay offs. That equates higher student:teacher ratios, which kills the opportunity for success and those test scores.

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

What Hulcy parents are opposed to their kids going to Atwell? closer to their homes without going across the I-20 bridge to a school that is half full and across the street from a LOVE truck stop.   Atwell and Turner schools have been exemplary and the children would benefit from the integration.  When are we going to take Judge Atwell's name off a DISD school. 

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

Sandra, your statement about the William Hawley Atwell name made me do some research.  Here is what I found, and you are right.  These facts come from http://www.tshaonline.org/hand... :

"President Warren G. Harding appointed him United States district judge for the Northern District of Texas, which comprised 102 counties. He assumed the judgeship in January 1923, and, though he retired in 1958, he remained a judge in special cases until his death. He became well known for his rigorous style, which countenanced no dilatory tactics on the part of the bar, and for his strict adherence to duty and constitutional precepts. In his later years he was sharply critical of the United States Supreme Court because of its civil rights rulings. In 1956 he said from the bench that the 1954 decision concerning desegregation of public schools had been "based on sociological opinion rather than law." He told reporters in 1957 that he considered segregation "neither immoral nor unconstitutional."

biscuit98
biscuit98

Better idea--lay off useless Leslie Williams who adds as much value as wings on a pig. Why the sacred cows on 3700 Ross Avenue are allowed to sit around and moo to the press on topics related directly to their uselessness needs to be answered.Williams had an OHI in the single digits and was promoted out of his self induced misery at Skyline. Typical way Ross Avenue handles total incompetence is to promote it off the campus. Where are the savings in moving kids from one campus to another campus? Flim flam.

Guest
Guest

School closures do seem to be a drastic measure, but no school district should be operating buildings that only run at 24% capacity (or 45% or 52%).

As much as everyone would probably prefer a close, neighborhood school, when they're spending tax money, there has to be some nod to efficiency.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Everyone loves efficiency...for OTHERS.

School districts are just giant pools of unreasoning self-interest.  That's why they need to be made as small as possible.  You've heard of "Too Big To Fail," DISD is "Too Big To Succeed."

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