It is back to school time, football season is upon us and homecoming is right around the corner. The National Education Association in their 2017 - 2018 State Rankings and Estimates states the State of Texas has the most school districts, the highest number of students and the highest number of teachers however, Texas ranks 28 in the average teacher salary, and 39 in the amount of money spent per student annually. Needless to say our system is lop-sided and the resources for education does not match the needs in the system.
Another set of interesting documents is the Texas Education Agency 2018 School and District Accountability Ratings. The overall grades for our local districts are all over the place from A to “Below Standards” but the districts are consisting getting high marks in financial stewardship. If the schools are being good stewards of their finances, how does that equate to student success?
Looking at our community, so many of our children appear to be lost. Back in the day, when we were truly a “village” a lost child was the exception and not the rule. What has changed? We can point our finger at a myriad of circumstances but one thing is sure; the village is absent. It does not matter if you do not have a child in school. Your village commitment has no time limit. The schools need to know the village is here. The village needs to engage at school board meetings, PTO meetings, volunteering in the classroom or working after school and everything in between.
Last month, I attended a panel discussion with the SAISD superintendent, Edgewood ISD administrators, a Texas Education Agency representative and State Representative Diego Bernal (Vice-Chair of the Public Education House Committee). There was a lot of finger pointing and excuses but a resounding theme was the need for community engagement.
Education is a complex system that takes advantage of socio-economic barriers. The realities of a single-parent household are different from those of a two-parent household. This is where the village is so important. The single parent may not be able to attend board meetings, school functions, volunteer in the classroom or review homework based simply on time restraints. Stepping up to the last challenge, you now know your neighbor. Now, let’s connect with a single parent.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
This week’s challenge is two-fold:
1. Reach out to a single-parent to provide assistance in their child’s education. Some
suggestions: attend a school function, volunteer in the classroom, attend a parent’s meeting, homework assistance, transportation... The possibilities are endless. Let us know on Facebook your ideas and success.
2. Review the school board meeting schedule below. Attend the school board meeting in your district. Meet/greet your community representative. Let the representative know your neighborhood school and your interest.
• SAISD - September 17, 5:30 PM @ David G. Burnet Center, 406 Barrera St., 78210
• Edgewood ISD - September 18, 6:00 PM @ District Conference Center, 1930 Herbert
• NEISD - September 10, 5:30 PM @ Richard Middleton Education Center, 8961 Tesoro
• East Central ISD - September 20, 6:30 PM @ 6634 New Sulphur Springs Rd., 78263
• Judson ISD - September 20, 7:00 PM @ ERC Board Room, 825 Palisades Dr., Live
• South San Antonio ISD - September 19, 6:00 PM @ South San Antonio High School
• Southside ISD - September 21, 6:00 PM @ 1460 Martinez Losoya 78221
• Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD - September 18, 6:00 PM @ Central Administration
• Somerset ISD - September 10, 6:30 PM @ Somerset Jr. High School
• Harlandale ISD - September 17, 6:15 PM @ Vestal Elementary School