Bill Gates Unplugged

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

EDUCATION: No Uncertain Terms

The bottom line, according to a Star-Telegram report, the Fort Worth school district needs more money soon or it will have to make major cuts, such as small schools and programs, Superintendent Melody Johnson told legislators.

[Editor: We do not need cuts in local education funding. We need help.]

"We’re in a real world of hurt," Johnson said. "I want you to know we have been responsible in using our resources and in cost-containment, but we’re just not getting anywhere with that. We need new revenue, or we’ve got to cut drastically."

Superintendent Johnson spoke on No Uncertain Terms.

State Representative Charlie Geren says, "I don’t care what you cut or what you add, but you have to have a common voice on what’s wrong with the system and how we can fix it."

[Editor: No one knows how desperately our children need more educational resources, not less. But we are not to selfish to recognize the needs and priorities of others- other counties in Texas.]

Charlie Geren says that we must have a common voice. Fact is, we have a common voice in Senate-elect Wendy Davis. We have a national consensus voice on education, and a forward looking Obama administration.

Geren asks: What’s wrong with the public education system and how can we fix it? Somewhere implied in the silent background is the question: How much is it going to cost us?

Like it or not, these are valid questions that needs to be addressed, especially in times where the Big Three must come to Congress with a bailout plan. If we need a bailout, we must have a bailout plan.

What is wrong with the FWISD system of public education?

*High Dropout Rate
*Low Academic Achievement

How to fix the problem?

Here is an opportunity to do a transparent introspection, line-by-line. Every line item justified in the sight of the public. We need to bring together each school's site-based management team into one setting for a "shake out" budget-cutting session.

And, then after we have streamlined our education system, we will be more trim to fight in the legislature for what our kids really need.

We can expect some belt-tightening.

But there are more ways to tighten our belt without scuttling our Ten Year Plan, or gutting our service. We can tighten our belt through efficiencies… more efficient curriculum delivery systems, integrated management, and community involvement can trim some of the fat out of the system and out of the school budget.

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