Showing posts with label RISD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RISD. Show all posts

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Problem with RISD's School Closures

"Don't tax you.
Don't tax me.
Tax that fellow behind the tree."

— Louisiana Senator Russell B. Long

In local school politics, that political adage might be:

Don't close your school.
Don't close my own.
Close that school way across town.

With votes Thursday evening, March 21, 2024, the Richardson ISD officially moved to close four elementary schools all over town. In December, I called school closures the "third rail of local school politics. Touch it and you die." I knew that no matter how long RISD dragged out the community discussions, the community would never reach agreement on which schools to close. So just two months later in February, when I first heard of Project RightSize, I said, "Bold. Quick. Decisive. Well done." Now, a month later it's official. And I was wrong (again).

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

FAQ Reveals Inconsistent Treatment in Project RightSize

Project Rightsize (edited)
RISD FAQ, edited

The Richardson ISD is working on a plan to reduce expenses by closing four schools. The district website has a page with FAQs. There is one question whose answer I find difficult to accept. The question is about teachers, but my difficulty with it can be seen by replacing "staff member" with "student." When RISD says, "RISD will not remove a staff member at one campus to replace them with another," they are demonstrating the "people-first" approach they are taking, at least as regards staff members. Good for them. But why not demonstrate the same "people-first" approach for students? Why not say, "RISD will not remove a student at one campus to replace them with another"? The argument for this is even stronger for students, as RISD exists for the children, even more than for the staff.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Choice and Rationing Needed After School Closures

Don't Fence Us Out!

In the Google Street View above, the fence around Dartmouth Elementary is in the foreground, and houses that are newly zoned to be outside the Dartmouth attendance zone are in the background. Right across the street from the school. This can't be the best solution Richardson ISD can come up with for needed school consolidation. I'm here with a better idea.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Musical Chairs with RISD School Closures

Source: SchoolSite Locator by Davis Demographics

The Richardson ISD announced that due to a severe budget shortfall, it is necessary to consolidate (i.e., close) five elementary schools. One of them is Springridge Elementary. Its students are to be reassigned mostly to Dartmouth Elementary. The big problem with that plan is that there isn't enough room at Dartmouth for all the students vacating Springridge.

The RISD's solution involves, first, reassigning 42 students who live in the Forestridge Elementary attendance area, but for various historical reasons were assigned to Springridge, back to Forestridge. And second, like dominos, changing an attendance boundary to reassign 113 Dartmouth students to Yale Elementary to create enough room to transfer the remaining 221 Springridge students to Dartmouth.

I thought I had a better solution.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Magnet Schools and RISD's Budget Hole

Source: H/T DALL-E

The Richardson ISD Board of Trustees has a regular meeting Thursday, February 22, 2024. One of the (many) items on the agenda is this:

TOPIC Recommended Budget Reductions: Project Rightsize

In December, the Community Budget Steering Committee presented a series of recommendations to effectively “right-size” the budget...

The Administration Team will provide an update on the budget planning and recommendations for the Board’s consideration and feedback.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

RISD and CoR Election Filings

Source: Texas Ethics Commission

The Richardson ISD will hold an election for Board of Trustees on May 4, 2024. Two seats are up for election: Single-member Place 1, currently held by Megan Timme, and At Large Place 7, currently held by Chris Poteet.

Chris Poteet is the only candidate who has filed to run, according to the RISD's elections filings page. Megan Timme's plans are unknown by me. No challenger has yet filed for either seat yet. Deadline to file is February 16, 2024.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Plugging RISD's Budget Hole

Source: H/T DALL-E

At the Dec.14 regular meeting, [Richardson ISD] trustees received operating budget recommendations from the Community Budget Steering Committee, which has been meeting for six months to arrive at measures the district can consider to address a significant operating shortfall in the 2024-25 budget.

First, let me compliment RISD for creating a Community Budget Steering Committee. Inclusion of the community is important for a problem like this. Keep it up. Keep spreading the word to make future community committees ever more inclusive.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Angie Chen Button and Vouchers

Source: Texas Monthly

This week, the Texas House voted in favor of an amendment stripping school vouchers from a school funding bill. You can read elsewhere how significant this vote is (in the short run, very; in the long run, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), but here I want to report on how my Texas representative, Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson) voted.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Why School Vouchers are Bad for Texas

Source: NEA

The school voucher bill being deliberated by the Texas House of Representatives has been argued over elsewhere, everywhere. The bottom line for me is that it takes tax dollars currently being spent on public schools and diverts them to private schools. That hurts public education.

Monday, August 14, 2023

An Underfunded Mandate for Texas Schools

Source: Richardson ISD

Texans who follow the history of public schools in Texas are familiar with the story. The legislature passes mandates theoretically to improve schools but fail to provide sufficient money to pay the costs of implementing the new requirements. The latest example is Texas House Bill 3 (HB3). Except this time, it doesn't even pretend to improve education. It requires Texas school districts to have an armed officer on every campus, as if the secret to better reading scores is more guns. No, that's too absurd for even the Texas legislature. For them, it's the secret to ending gun violence in schools that is more guns. More guns seems to be their answer to every problem. In any case, for Richardson ISD, it's an underfunded mandate requiring the hiring of an additional 34 security personnel (plus two supervisors) and equipping them with handgun, duty belt, ballistic vest, and RISD Logo shirt.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Woke Bureaucrats Invade Kentucky Schools

The photo above shows "woke bureaucrats" parachuting into public schools in Kentucky to "hijack our children's future" and teach CRT. Or at least that's what one imaginative candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, Kelly Craft, Donald Trump's own former U.N. ambassador, claims is happening. Watch her television ad yourself. Then watch Tuesday's election results from Kentucky to see if voters are persuaded.

Monday, May 8, 2023

My Thoughts on the Recent Election

OMG. What Just Happened?
The Wheel followed seven contests in the local elections this year. All were settled on election night with no runoffs. Of the seven, voters' choices matched my recommendations in four of the races. I take no satisfaction in that's a majority. I think it's more an indication that voters and I are on slightly different wavelengths. Oh well. On to my first impressions of the results.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

CoR and RISD Election Results

Final unofficial election results for the contests The Wheel was following this year for City of Richardson and Richardson ISD.

I'll have thoughts about this in the blog tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

8-Day Campaign Finance Reports for RISD

Source: DALL-E

Candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees have filed 8-Day Campaign Finance Reports. Here are the totals for the 30-Day Reports and the 8-Day Reports, ranked by the combined totals.

Total Political Contributions
Eric EagerPlace 6$2,484.14$1,886.09
Debbie RenteriaDistrict 3  $2,226.43$1,943.40
Blake SawyerPlace 6   $1,967.37 $573.00
Bonnie AbadieDistrict 3$1,205.00 $650.00

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Wheel's 2023 Voters Guide

Early voting for the 2023 local elections in Texas starts Monday, April 24. On the ballot will be Richardson ISD Board of Trustees, City of Richardson City Council and the City of Richardson Bond Proposition. Use to see your personalized ballot and to read how the candidates answered a questionnaire by the League of Women Voters of Richardson.

Here's the executive summary of The Wheel's recommendations:

For City of Richardson mayor, I recommend Janet DePuy.
For City of Richardson Place 1, I recommend Curtis Dorian.
For City of Richardson Place 3, I recommend Stephen Springs.
For City of Richardson Place 5, I recommend Todd Hunter.
City of Richardson Places 2, 4, and 6 are uncontested.

For City of Richardson Bond Proposition, I recommend a Yes.

For RISD District 3, I recommend Debbie Renteria.
For RISD Place 6, I recommend Eric Eager.
The other RISD Districts and Places are not up for election this year.

Read on for the reasons I make these recommendations.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Quick Recap of RISD Candidate Forum

The LWV of Richardson hosted a forum for the candidates for Richardson ISD school board Monday evening at the RISD Administration Building. All four candidates participated. For District 3, Bonnie Abadie and Debbie Renteria. For Place 6, Blake Sawyer and Eric Eager. Former Richardson mayor Steve Mitchell moderated. Nine questions were asked. Here's a quick recap.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Money Race for Richardson ISD

Source: DALL-E

Candidates file campaign finance reports 30 days before elections. For the Richardson ISD, that means all candidates for Board of Trustees have filed reports. In recent posts, I looked at the money races for Richardson mayor and the Richardson City Council. In this post, I'll focus on the two races in Richardson ISD.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

First Impressions of Candidates for Local Elections

The deadline to file for a place on the May ballot was February 17, 2023. The lineup for elections for City of Richardson City Council and Richardson ISD Board of Trustees is now set. Here are some mentions of the candidates in opposed races from The Wheel's archives. There is more to draw on, but these will do for first impressions. Some of these are from endorsements from past elections. Do not take any of these old quotes as an endorsement in 2023. Which candidates are worthy of endorsement in 2023 remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 10, 2023

One Week to Deadline to File

With one week to the deadline to file for a place on the May ballot, here's the state of play for the elections for City of Richardson City Council and Richardson ISD Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Stay in Your Lanes, Candidates

It's campaign season. If you are a regular reader of The Wheel you know that I don't like political parties getting involved in nonpartisan local elections. I also don't like campaigns mixing up city politics with school politics. Stay in your lanes, candidates.