The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved five priorities for the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature, during the Jan. 26 board meeting.
Key priorities include funding and supporting the following initiatives:
Safety will continue to remain a top priority for Dallas ISD. To ensure students remain protected against any potential threat, the district seeks an increase in the state’s School Safety Allotment to a total of $200 per student, which currently stands at $9.72. The additional funding would be used to implement our comprehensive safety plan. Currently, the district spends approximately $210 per student.
Additional funding to address student learning loss, teacher shortage, and cost of inflation
Dallas ISD seeks to raise the Basic Allotment by $200 per student to give every district in Texas the opportunity to accommodate rising costs, including salary increases, which should address the teacher shortage. Inflation has not only impacted the cost of living for team members, but also for school districts to cover operating costs for items such as fuel, utilities, supplies and services.
Ensure accountability of tax dollars
Among other priorities, the district opposes all efforts to use public dollars to support a voucher program. Public tax dollars directed toward education should only fund public schools with clear systems of accountability in place. The diversion of tax dollars to schools unaccountable to taxpayers takes needed resources out of public school classrooms, hurts Dallas ISD’s ability to pay our teachers, team members, and reduces transparency for the use of public tax dollars.
Preserve local decision-making
The district believes a vast, diverse state cannot answer every challenge with state-mandated solutions. Locally elected, locally accountable school boards need flexibility to meet the needs of their students, manage taxpayer resources, conduct elections, and respond to the needs and priorities of their communities.
School districts like Dallas ISD, which serve students from low-income families, need the resources to get children into Pre-K as early as three years old, since it dramatically increases their potential and achievement throughout their academic life. If full funding is not viable statewide, provide full funding to Pre-K for students in Tiers 4 and 5 of poverty. Currently, Dallas ISD adds $13.3 million over what it receives through the state’s Early Education Allotment and half-day ADA to serve its nearly 10,000 students enrolled in Pre-K.
A full description of the district’s priorities can be found here.