RISD Teachers vs Administration – ANT-ithesis

Federal Bureaucracy: 22,500,000 employees (more than manuracturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining & utilities – combined)  7.2% of the entire US workforce.

School Bureaucracy: Rockwall Independent School District has a non-teaching to teaching staff ratio of about 1:1. In fact, RISD teachers constitute only 48.8% of all staff – fewer than half of all employees are teachers. (Source: Red Apple Project)

Proportionally, RISD has a much larger bureaucracy than the federal government.

Schools exist for what purpose? Education, you say. Well, then who are the most important people in the school? Obviously, the children, you reply, and right you are.

Now my next question: who are the second most important people in the school? School Board of Trustees? Administrators? No: teachers are the second most important people in our public schools – any schools, for that matter.

If students are primary importance and teachers are secondary, why do we pay teachers least, on average? (Source: Red Apple Project)

I believe school administrators have become a self-sustaining “machine” represented by well-funded lobbyists across the nation, nationally, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA); here in the Lone Star State, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). TASA headquarters is walking distance from our state capitol.

Budget cuts are inevitable as our economy declines. Make no mistake about it: the decline will continue. Property values will continue to diminish as real wages also fade away. One solid indicator of the state of our general economy is the largest retail establishment in the world: Wal-Mart. A recent CNNMoney.com article titled Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers are ‘running out of money’ tells the story bureaucrats don’t want to hear.

Is it common sense to lay off teachers instead of reducing administrative staff? Is it not time to demand we protect our children from being crushed by the bureaucracy of school administration?

What can you do to protect the interests of your children? Contact individual Rockwall School Board Members directly. It will do no good to contact RISD staff. You’ll just get a ‘spin’ from a very nice and respectable lady whose sole purpose is “communications”. Click on this link to learn who your trustees are and the when-and-where of School Board meetings.

Creator of drawings unknown

URGENT – Call your Texas state rep TODAY to preserve our conservative majority

Fellow Texans:

Although we elected a supermajority to the Texas House in 2010, subsequent re-election of RINO Joe Straus as Speaker of the House allowed the Speaker, a  known liberal, to appoint RINO’s to chair key committees. Rep. Burt Solomon, a known liberal, drew up a map that diminishes our conservative majority, if adopted.

Former State Representative and attorney, the Honorable Joe Nixon, has developed a better map. His proposed map H155 conforms to federal and state laws, while preserving our conservative majority.

View this 13-minute video to hear the details from State Rep. Wayne Christian. Click on the picture, or on this link, for video.

Wayne Christian's Texas Legislative Update: April 21, 2011

Please call your state representative today, Monday evening. Call them again tomorrow morning. Tell him/her to support redistricting map H155. If you do not get to talk with a person, be sure to leave a voice message.

Suggested message:

My name is ________________ and I live in _____________ county. My home address is _________________________ and my telephone number is _________________________. I ask you to vote FOR Redistricting Map 155.

District 89
Jodie Laubenberg
(512) 463-0186
 
District 62
Larry Phillips
(512) 463-0297
 
District 2
Dan Flynn
(512) 463-0880
(800) 734-9515
 
District 3
Erwin Cain
(512) 463-0650
 
District 7
David Simpson
(512) 463-0750
 
District 4
Lance Gooden
(512) 463-0458
 
District 101
Cindy Burkett
(512) 463-0464
 
District 1
George Lavender
(512) 463-0692
 
District 11
Chuck Hopson
(512) 463-0592
 
District 56
Doc Anderson
(512) 463-0135

Thank you,

Rockwall County TEA Party

Texas Alliance for Life Supports New Version House Bill 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 19, 2011

Joe Pojman, Ph.D.

CONTACT:
Joe Pojman, Ph.D.
Executive Director

512.736.3708 (mobile)
512.477.1244 (office)
joe@texasallianceforlife.org

AUSTIN — After careful analysis, Texas Alliance for Life strongly supports the new version of the sonogram bill passed on April 12, 2011, by the Senate State Affairs Committee, the Committee Substitute for House Bill 15 (CSHB 15), sponsored by state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston). The original House Bill 15 is authored by Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville).

“We enthusiastically support this new version of the sonogram bill, which combines the best elements of the House and Senate versions,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “No bill is perfect, and this bill is not an exception. However, this bill provides nearly all of the informed consent protections allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court to at least 92% of women considering abortion. We believe this bill raises the standard of care related to informed consent for abortion to the same level that patients expect for other medical and surgical procedures. That is what women deserve.”

The following are a few of the key features of CSHB 15:

  • Prior to every abortion, the physician who will perform the abortion or a certified sonographer must perform a sonogram before any sedative or anesthesia is administered. Currently, as revealed by public testimony, every abortion in Texas is preceded by a sonogram, and first trimester abortions are preceded by transvaginal sonograms. However, current Texas law has no sonogram standards for abortion facilities, and even transvaginal sonograms are performed by poorly trained, uncertified individuals, according to the public testimony.
  • Before every abortion, the physician must give an explanation of the sonogram images of the unborn child. The woman may waive this right only in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormality, and judicial bypass for a minor.
  • Before every abortion, the physician must allow the woman to see the sonogram images of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat along with a verbal explanation of the heartbeat.
  • At least 24 hours before every abortion, the physician must have a private consultation with the woman to discuss the procedure, medical risks, and alternatives. This ensures that every woman has the right to speak with the abortion doctor at least 24 hours in advance about risks, complications, and alternatives, just as they would receive from a physician prior to virtually any other procedure.
  • For women who reside in counties with more than 60,000 people (more than 92% of women seeking abortions), the sonogram must be performed at least 24 hours before the abortion, and the consultation must be given in person.
  • For women who reside in smaller counties or more than 100 miles from an abortion provider (less than 8% of women seeking abortions), the sonogram may be performed at least two hours before the abortion and the 24-hour private consultation may be done by phone.
  • The Texas Medical Board must take appropriate action against physicians who violate this law.
  • The Department of State Health Services must make random, unannounced inspections to ensure compliance.

“We strongly encourage members of the House and Senate to vote for this bill,” urged Pojman. “Texas needs to provide the protections to mothers and unborn babies that they deserve.”

 # # #

Mayor Pro Tem Todd Gottel
City Hall (delivered by hand)
Rowlett, Texas

April 19, 2011

Dear Mayor Pro Tem Gottel:

When Debra and I returned from South Carolina a week ago I was re-energized.  I love the City of Rowlett…I am passionate about the City of Rowlett.  But, I learned I have to harness that passion in more positive ways.  After the haze brought on by our family emergency was dissipated, I knew I had to redouble my efforts to improve communications with the Council and with Rowlett citizens and planned to make that special effort this week with hopes that the Council would do the same.

However, late last week I was provided an advance copy of the upcoming City Council Meeting agenda which clearly showed no interest on the part of the councilmembers in curtailing the name-calling and unwarranted personal attacks on my integrity and character.   Three separate agenda items are set for April 19 with a clear purpose of weakening the Rowlett Mayor.  Even you refused to provide me specifics of any events you believe are violations of the Code of Ethics for which you claim I should be censured or reprimanded.  That, no doubt, is because there are no violations.

Regardless, it has sadly become very certain to me that you and the majority of the City Council will not let me govern.  Instead, the name-calling and nattering will continue and it will continue to injure the reputation of not only me but also the City of Rowlett.  So, I will reluctantly step down from the position of Mayor of Rowlett, effective immediately.

I am very pleased that I had a major role in the transformation of the City of Rowlett over the past four years.   Today, Rowlett is recognized nationally as one of the top 25 Best Small Cities in the entire United States of America!  In all of Texas, the Texas State Comptroller has hailed the City of Rowlett for achieving a unique and high level of transparency and accountability.  I am very proud of both of those significant achievements.  And, there are others.

I wish you only good fortune in moving forward.   I believe both the momentum and direction are in place for Rowlett to achieve its true destiny.  I urge you to stay focused on the truth and be forthright with the citizens and friends of Rowlett.  Maintain the direction that you and I, working together, set during the past four years.  Do not allow any more backsliding.  I will pray for your personal strength.

I regret disappointing any one of the overwhelming majority of voters who re-elected me in 2010 to lead the City.  However, I will remain involved in city matters, but as a private citizen.  I will continue my public service elsewhere and am exploring several opportunities to serve within the North Texas region.

I truly wish the citizens of Rowlett continued prosperity and growth.

Respectfully,

John E. Harper

PS – I do have a request…please arrange to leave my city email account open to my access until May 2 so that I can download and keep the messages I now have filed in my local folders.

Rowlett Mayor John Harper

Open Letter to Jodie Laubenberg – Save the Rainy Day Fund

Honorable Jodie Laubenberg
Texas House District 89 Representative
Rockwall County Office
507 East Boydstun
Rockwall, TX  75087-2721

Subject: Use of “Rainy Day” fund for recurring (budgeted) expenses

Jodie,

I know that you and all state representatives and state senators have been mercilessly pressured to maintain state school spending levels. School administrations have recruited teachers, students and parents to write, call and “walk the halls” in order to minimize budget cuts. Our own Rockwall ISD sent out an appeal along with “talking points”.

You and I know very well the purpose of holding money for contingencies. Our Texas “Rainy Day” fund was established to cover emergencies like hurricanes, floods, epidemics and wild fires – events for which it is impossible to budget.

Isn’t it the purpose of the budget to cover recurring state expenses? Is it wise to tap our emergency fund to placate school administrators? Even as I write and as you read this letter, over 1,000,000 acres of Texas is ablaze. Just this morning I heard reports of additional firefighters being dispatched from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Where will the money come from? What happens when hurricanes lash our shores?

Long-range weather forecast predicts 17 names storms, nine hurricanes – five major hurricanes – during 2011. Presently, our northern hemisphere is in a period of unstable weather. No doubt, you are aware of the extraordinary number of tornadoes wreaking havoc across the southern tier of states. It is this weather pattern that exacerbates west Texas grass fires.

I urge you to preserve our emergency funds and make the hard choice to cut state spending. As I have said before to you, the problem with school funding lies not with students or teachers. The chief problems are district indebtedness and bloated bureaucracies. Our opportunity is to preserve teachers’ jobs and represent the interests of students as we reduce administrative overhead. For the record: Rockwall ISD has a non-teaching staff to teaching staff ratio of 1:1.

Sincerely,

John White

Rockwall, Texas 75087

Changing Fate in 45 Minutes

How often does one have opportunity to change fate?

Fate, Texasis now home to hundreds of new residents. Our beloved Congressman Ralph M. Hall was born and raised there. Its distinction of being

John Stacy - City of Fate Place 3 City Council

“the smallest city in the smallest county in the biggest state in the union” (before Alaska joined the union) no longer applies. It is arguably the fastest growing city in the smallest county of Texas. Fate has never looked so good.

Emerging Leadership

Fate, Texas has a new future naturally fueled by quality growth, new neighborhoods, greater tax base and increasing demands for municipal services. Citizens of Fate are in good hands. High quality leadership comes with the growth. John Stacy is at the forefront of emerging leadership and John Stacy can’t do it without your help.

Taking Control of the Future

Today, April 16, John Stacy invites you to take 45 minutes to change Fate. John invites you to help get the word out about upcoming municipal elections by simply going door-to-door in the Woodcreek Neighborhood with flyers announcing John’s candidacy for Fate City Council, Place 3.

John has a strategy and a simple plan. Meet him at the main entrance to the Woodcreek neighborhood, in the parking lot next to the amenities center and swimming pool. Take hold a packet of flyers and an organized map and within 45 minutes you will be changing Fate forever.

Contact John Stacy With Questions

jwstacy@hotmail.com

Funding Texas Public Schools & De-funding Bureaucracy

Un-Educated Misdirection

All across Texas children, parents and teachers rise to protest imminent budget cuts to public school funding. School administrators encourage phone calls, organize rallies on the steps of the state capitol and flood the halls of the State Legislature with teachers and parents who fear public education jeopardized by curtailments of state spending. What is the real threat?

What’s Under the Hood?

Americans For Prosperity set up a web site called The Red Apple Project that provides financial reports for all Texas public school systems. Let’s look up data on our Rockwall Independent School District. Click on the RISD linkand download the report in PDF format. While you print the report, let’s consider a

Take a Bite Out of Waste

few facts.

We senior citizens remember when public schools were managed very differently. Relating to my own Palacios ISD, I remember well that teachers were in control of students, the school office would have two or three administrators, including the principal and janitors were lowest paid employees. Teachers represented about 90% of paid staff – that’s about a 1 to 10 administrator-to-teacher ratio.

According to Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans, Rockwall ISD student population increased 96% over a ten year period of time. During that same time period, school staff increased 140%. Today, our non-teaching staff to teaching staff ratio is right at 1:1. So, what’s the big deal? Let’s look at some numbers.

Take a look at that report you printed out. Focus on line items 43 through 46. What do you see? Shameful, isn’t it? Our top-heavy administration siphons off the big bucks, while average teacher salaries fall dead last. Our superintendant’s salary is higher, almost by a factor of two, than the salary of the Governor of the State of Texas. Next in line are Assistant Superintendant salaries.

Across the state, Assistant Superintendant salaries range from $36,565 to $160,896. Rockwall ISD pays $123,109, according to the Texas Tribune.

Administrations Have Taken On a Life of Their Own

This week in Austin, I talked with a young public school teacher from Sugar Land, Texas. She never knew about the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) whose office is walking distance from the State Capitol. It’s an affiliate of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). What do we find on the TASA website?

Corporate sponsors, news about legislation and links to reports from districts around the state. For example, there is a bill before the Texas Senate to cut teacher salaries. What? No bill to cut administrator salaries?

School administrations exist to protect the jobs of administrators – some exceptions, but few in number.

Useful Idiots

School administrations foment anger and fear among students, teachers and parents. Cutting state spending, they say, will hurt children, harm the classroom and so forth. Nonsense, I say.

School administrators use students, parents and teachers as “useful idiots” to lobby the Texas Legislature, hoping to maintain their own lifestyles.

Bottom Line

State lawmakers, yielding to all the cards, letters, emails, telephone calls and busloads of children, are going to draw from the state’s “rainy day fund” to fund recurring expenses – this is absolute foolishness.

Budgets cover salaries, debt service and miscellaneous expenses. Contingency funds, the “rainy day” fund, is how we cover unexpected expenses, like wildfires, hurricanes, floods and like “acts of god” over which we have no control.

Take Action

Tell your state representative and your state senator to cut administration overhead, while preserving class room teachers. While we’re at it, let’s demand the legislature empower teachers to better and more efficiently manage their classrooms by cutting onerous mandates.

Texas SD-2 Senator Bob Deuell

Bob.Deuell@senate.state.tx.us

(512) 463-0102 Austin Office

(972) 279-1800 Mesquite Office

Texas District-89 Representative Jodie Laubenberg

jodie.laubenberg@house.state.tx.us

(512) 463-0186 Austin Office

(972) 772-8525 Rockwall Office

(972) 468-4189 Murphy Office