Planting grassroots

By Bruce Felps

Allen Vaught might not still occupy the Texas House District 107 seat but he knows his way around the Legislature.

He and the Woodrow Wilson Community Council want to see a grassroots effort take hold to question, and perhaps help guide, Dallas ISD budget cuts that result from the district losing a possible $231 million in state funds.

Unfair Park earlier today published a good piece on the growing movement.

DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has said as many as 3,100 school employees, mostly teachers, could lose their jobs because of curtailed funding. That could mean student-to-teacher classroom ratios go to 40-1, while district administrators, consultants, vendors, and contracts remain relatively unscathed.

The Woodrow Council and Vaught want to know why the community should just accept the district’s “new reality, as Hinojosa called it, and the DISD budget cuts at the school level.

The budget problems, though, don’t start at the school district level. They start at the state level, Vaught said in the Unfair Park article.

“We also have to focus on the source of the problem: the Legislature and the governor,” he said in an interview with Unfair Park. “I mean, the governor has his emergencies: voter ID, the sonogram bill, state sovereignty, whatever that means, but nothing about funding schools is seen as an emergency? That’s because we don’t have their attention. We need to get their attention.”

He’s right, too, when he said in the article, “We don’t need a mob of people with abstract ideas yelling, ‘Don’t cut our schools!’ ” He and the Woodrow Council want to see an informed movement in which people — community school-backers — ask pointed questions and take their questions to Austin during the Alliance/AFT’s March 14 spring-break Lobby Day.

Get in touch with the Woodrow Council to find out more and how to get involved.

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