Rockdale ISD mulls plans after deficit is forecast
Dr. Howell Wright

Wow, what a tough financial situation the state is in after Comptroller Susan Combs announced the state projects a shortfall of $26.2 billion for Texas to meet what it had last biennium plus expected growth.

Public school officials have been told to expect less money to operate than last biennium because state leaders have stated they do not plan to use any of the estimated $9 billion Rainy Day Fund or raise any new tax revenue to offset the projected shortfall.

How will Rockdale ISD handle this scenario? We don’t have a final answer, but we will have a plan that will be shared with the public.

The good news is that we are financially sound as a district so we will not have to make any major overhauls that surrounding districts are facing, and we will make the right decisions and best decisions for our school district.

The financial scenario we are in as a state will challenge some of our decisions, but because the district relies on its core beliefs, our students will be winners.

Last week, I listed all of our core beliefs, and this week I want to focus on the first one: The district will always put the needs of children above the wants of adults.

This belief is essential when making decisions for the school district, and I want to assure our public that every member of our board of trustees follows this core belief.

It is not easy being a school board member because many people expect different things from board members.

Our board members ensure that students come first through their questions and research prior to making a decision.

All of their decisions might not coincide with every stakeholder’s wish, but each member votes with a student-first attitude.

As we face what some have claimed to be public education’s most difficult financial scenario in over five decades, our board will continue to make decisions with the needs of children as their first priority.

January is School Board Appreciation Month as declared by Gov. Rick Perry.

When you see an RISD School Board Member, please let them know that you appreciate their dedication, their willingness to give up hours of their personal time each month, and their courage to ensure that children come first in Rockdale ISD.

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2011-01-20 digital edition

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