Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thoughts for the Holidays

At this time of year, there are many occasions to remind us of our good fortune. Veteran’s Day is certainly among those, along with Pearl Harbor Day, which was just last week. Add that to the upcoming season, and truly we find many reasons to be appreciative of what we have in spite of the current sluggish economy. As a leader of MISD, I am thankful for our students who come ready to learn each and every day, and I am thankful for the parents or other family members of those students who emphasize the importance of a good education. From the bus driver who picks up and delivers school children to those on the campuses and in the offices providing support services, I am thankful for the commitment of each one.

May you have a special time with family and friends over the holidays.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MISD Board Fights for Equity

MISD has talked about equity in school finance for many years. However, under the current system, our district is in the bottom 20% when districts are ranked highest per student funding to lowest. That means some districts within close proximity to us may receive $1000 or more per student than MISD does. If all districts must meet the same high student expectation, which we are, we must have equitable resources for our students. This inequity is what led our Board to the decision to join the Texas Taxpayer and Student Equity Coalition lawsuit against the state of Texas. Please check out our website for more information on how school finance works in Texas.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Honoring Our Veterans

For the past few weeks, we have recognized our MISD graduates who are veterans with video tributes at our football games. A compilation of the videos from all the high school campuses can be viewed at

Though there are other activities planned throughout the community to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions made by all, I hope this will be a reminder to thank the veterans we know for their service to our country. They are deserving of our appreciation. Pass it forward.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mesquite ISD Studying Lawsuit Issues

Recent headlines have read that Texas school districts are filing a lawsuit against the State because of the school finance system. Though we have not made the decision whether to support this suit either as a plaintiff and/or financially, we are studying the issues very carefully. Mesquite receives revenue that is below the state average and far below what some districts receive. We believe that this is wrong and that there must be equity within the system if we are all to be held accountable to the same standard—which we are. Senator Bob Deuell said it best when he remarked, “… I hope this commitment to end [target revenue] maintains because it's difficult to defend a system that sends a message that some children are worth less than others.”

Our students deserve access to the same resources that other students have. We will continue to monitor the progress.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good News to Start the School Year

Our year has gotten off to a great start for many reasons. One example is that State Comptroller Susan Combs visited our district last Thursday to present MISD with an award because we are one of 23 districts in the state to achieve the highest rating on FAST (Financial Allocation for the State of Texas) for two consecutive years. (There are more than 1,000 districts in Texas.) The bottom line of this report is that our spending is efficient while our academic achievement is high. Another event was one that occurred yesterday morning at West Mesquite High School. It was the kick-off event for Destination: Graduation, a program sponsored by United Way. Both North and West Mesquite High Schools were selected for participation in this generous grant program. There are other great things, too; but these are two of the most recent. Although the media typically focuses on the negative or controversial aspects of news, it is nice to see these two recognitions get the attention they deserve. Please share the good word with others.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering 9/11

The attack on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon was a defining moment for those old enough to remember September 11, 2001. We all can recall where we were at that moment in time when we realized that the first crash was much more than a plane crash. As we reflect on that event, may we always cherish and appreciate the freedom and opportunities we have as American citizens because of the sacrifices of others.