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Status of Public Education and Mineola ISD

Status of Public Education and Mineola ISD

With all the recent noise, news and legislative actions in Austin and Washington D.C., it is easy to draw the conclusion that public education is under attack.  The continued increase in unfunded mandates and loss of local control from federal and state agencies makes the priority to provide quality education for EVERY student that comes to our door in a safe environment more difficult.

There are many current issues facing in public education.  In my opinion, the two most critical are the teacher shortage and the overall funding of public schools.

  1. A shortage of teachers entering the field and the difficulty of smaller districts to compete to attract and retain teachers is a critical need.  Low wages are not the only factor. Loss of benefits, attacks on retirement and the high stakes testing environment are also related to why students are not willing to enter this field.  A recent legislative proposal of a required $1000 increase in teacher pay does no more than take away local control as we are left to determine which programs to eliminate to meet the unfunded budget item.  Teachers are state employees and yet their benefits are dramatically less than other state employees.

  2. Funding public schools has been a past priority and a cornerstone of our democracy in the preparation of children for their important role as a US citizen.  In the State of Texas, over 5 million (and growing) students are educated in public schools making us one of the largest states to fund education. Understandably, this is a major portion of our state budget.  Texas ranks 36 out of 50 states in per pupil spending in education (May 2017) with $2,555 less than average per student (May 2017)  the current push for vouchers to privatize and take money from public education will lessen the amounts provided.

I am passionate about public education and know that our mission and ministry changes the lives of our students and future generations.  Education is the great equalizer of opportunity for a choice in life and without it our democracy and quality of life is at stake in Mineola and Texas.  Our commitment to provide a quality education begins with having the best teachers in the classroom with dedicated support for their continual success.  Their worth is not measured only by a high-stakes test score. While we have seen gains in recent years, we know we have continuous work to accomplish in partnership with parents.

Please continue to support teachers and their incredible opportunity to impact the future world one child at a time.  We have plans this year to further engage with our families and community. We welcome your involvement in the process.  We look forward to working in unison towards the goal of becoming a “Destination District” providing a quality education in a safe environment for every child.

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