Response to Dallas ISD Trustees’ failure to put any tax change up for public vote

DALLAS (August 18, 2017) – The organizations below comprising Strong Schools Strong Dallas are incredibly disappointed by the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees’ failure to bring forward any measure on the November ballot that would increase revenue for the district. The decision of Trustees Blackburn, Nutall, Foreman, and Flores to not support bringing a 13-cent Tax Ratification Election to the voters represents a complete lack of leadership to govern the district on behalf of the students, parents, teachers and staff who count on you every day. Because of your failed leadership, support staff will go without any pay increase, students will go without needed reading resources and enrichment activities, and schools most in need will lose out on additional resources desperately needed to help students succeed. The administration’s innovative proposal to invest $55 million in strategies to address racial equity were left unfunded.

Your decision reflects your complete refusal to listen to your constituents, who clearly and loudly voiced wanting better for all Dallas children. Of the more than 2,000 families we polled in all districts, there was overwhelming support for a tax increase to help our underfunded school system (60% were in favor without accountability measures in place and 74% were in favor with accountability measures in place.) As you know, Texas ranks 38th among the 50 states in school funding. And, despite being a city of extreme wealth, nearly 90% of DISD students come from low-income homes. In recent years, state and federal legislatures have shifted the percentage of school funding burden to the local level. As property values go up across Dallas, and enrollment declines in Dallas ISD, the foundation for a major budget crisis is being set. Recent $60 million budget cuts in Dallas ISD were significant, but cuts will be even more drastic under ‘Robin Hood,’ which is expected to impact the district as early as 2018 and will funnel more than $300 million of Dallas ISD funds back to the state over the next four years.

Trustees Micciche, Solis, Marshall and Resendez voted in favor of a 13-cent TRE, and Trustees Micciche, Solis, Marshall, Resendez and Flores voted in favor of a 6-cent TRE. It requires a supermajority of 6 votes to put a tax increase on the ballot for voters.

Our work isn’t done – this coalition will continue fighting for the full and equitable funding of Dallas ISD and will hold our elected Board of Trustees accountable for their votes.

Signed by members of Strong Schools Strong Dallas,

James Armstrong III, West Dallas 1
Patricia Arvanitis, Leadership ISD
Stefan Berthelsen, Teach Plus Texas
Michelle Bobadilla, University Crossroads
Rev. Horace Bradshaw, South Oak Cliff Alumni “Bear Cave”
Allison Brim, Texas Organizing Project
Rev. Gerald Britt, CitySquare
Charlotte Carlisle, Children At Risk North Texas
Sagar Desai, Commit
Melissa Higginbotham, Dallas Kids First
Rena Honea, Alliance/AFT
Arnulfo Garza, Faith in Texas
Kiyundra Gulley, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce
John Hill, CAMP Fellows
Aubrey Hooper, NAACP Dallas
Pastor Maxie Johnson, South Oak Cliff Parents Coalition
Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders
Damarcus Offord, Individual
Mollie Sanders, Rebirth of Red Bird
Ray de los Santos, North Texas LULAC District 3
Susan Schuerger, Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation
Debbie Sherrington, Hillcrest High School Community Foundation
Dolores Sosa-Green, Trinity River Mission
Taylor Toynes, For Oak Cliff
Ed Turner, Our Community, Our Schools
Sara Urquidez, Academic Success Program Dallas
Rachelle Warren, Individual
Brandi Watts, Stand for Children – Texas
Abby Williams, United to Learn

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