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Old 01-19-2011, 08:28 AM
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Location: Ohio
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Originally Posted by Merovee View Post
Perhaps bonds are not the best way to fund school districts. John Folks discusses bonds in one of the above links.
The school funding system in Texas is definitely flawed. Each successive legislature in the last 10 years (or more?) has seemed content to kick the can down the road and worry about it later rather than make significant changes. I wouldn't expect them to be capable of doing both consolidation and funding reform in the same session.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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I think the funding should all come from a centralized place....like the state. Every school district should get the same amount of money for each student. Of course, extra funding would be provided for special needs students. Right now, some districts are pretty wasteful in spending money without getting many results. I think in December last year, the comptroller released a list of schools that get the most bang for the buck.

Alamo Heights ISD has a high spending index and it's only "academically acceptable", not recognized or exemplary.

http://c0032622.cdn2.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/FASTp2districts.pdf (broken link)

I don't know when the study recorded the ratings, but AHISD improved to recognized August last year. Maybe their rating has gone down again?

Area school districts improve rankings - San Antonio Express-News
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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it ticks other districts off that AHISD gets so much more money per student. I have heard this in many a meeting. NISD was recently noted as one of the top 30 in the NATION for what it does to provide success for special education. Seems clear to me which district should be awarded more funds on that basis.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: The "original 36" of SA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatotex97 View Post
it ticks other districts off that AHISD gets so much more money per student. I have heard this in many a meeting. NISD was recently noted as one of the top 30 in the NATION for what it does to provide success for special education. Seems clear to me which district should be awarded more funds on that basis.
However, in this county, only AHISD returns money to the state. Every other district (even NISD and NEISD) has benefitted from the "Robin Hood" plan.

I agree that NISD is the "standard" which other districts should emulate. I would absolutely love for my own SAISD board to be like their peers at Northside.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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I was not aware that they "returned" funds. Good to know. I am sure NEISD is the same as many other smaller ones, there isn't money left to return in the end.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
I wouldn't expect them to be capable of doing both consolidation and funding reform in the same session.
I wouldn't expect them to be capable of doing either in any session. Though pleasant surprises would not go unwelcomed.

Another issue is that we seem to have a two-tier school system in the county with some schools districts dying while other areas of the county have school districts that are growing. It sounds rather cut and dry but each circumstance provides its own set of challenges. A holistic approach might better understand and face these challenges. Clearly some are satisfied with the status quo but the true question is does this hurt us on an overall level? I believe this problem is merely an extension of a dying city core combined with sprawling suburbs and both do need to be checked to some degree because they affect everyone's quality of life in different ways. Luckily those problems are being corrected in certain areas outside of the schooling issue.

Last edited by Merovee; 01-19-2011 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:42 PM
 
Location: The "original 36" of SA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatotex97 View Post
I was not aware that they "returned" funds. Good to know. I am sure NEISD is the same as many other smaller ones, there isn't money left to return in the end.
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of districts regarding "giving" and "receiving" under the plan. I found one article in the Express News from 2003 that said that NEISD and NISD received $15 million and $19 million respectively, and that AHISD gave back $17.6 million.

Just a note, Boerne ISD also gives money back. I found a statement from their Superintendent from 2006 that said they gave $4.8 million to the state but noted that Alamo Heights gave back $25 million the same year.

Kinda interesting, because a lot of people think that only the "poor" school districts in SA benefit from the Robin Hood plan.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:40 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Did you see how much AHISD was awarded before they gave money back? From this and from what Dr Folks has been saying AHISD is giving back as much as some or even more than what other districts are awarded. How is it AHISD even justifies getting so much more to begin with?
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatotex97 View Post
Did you see how much AHISD was awarded before they gave money back? From this and from what Dr Folks has been saying AHISD is giving back as much as some or even more than what other districts are awarded. How is it AHISD even justifies getting so much more to begin with?
The AHISD boundary includes the suburban cities of Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, most of Terrell Hills, and a portion of COSA to the north of those suburbs. AHISD is a small district, but includes within its boundaries some of the most expensive real estate in the area, so therefore, the district is considered "property-rich". AHISD still gets money from the State, but because they receive so much in local property tax revenue, they end up with more than what the State considers the district's "fair share" per student, so they end up returning the overage under the Robin Hood plan.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:22 AM
 
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Here is a Texas report on the optimal size for schools and districts.

Quote:
Large schools do seem to provide greater academic benefits for middle and high income families, according to several studies. In general, however, researchers find that large schools and districts have more bureaucratic and administrative costs while experiencing lower attendance, lower grade point averages, lower standardized test scores, higher dropout rates, and more problems with violence, security, and drug abuse.Research has defined an optimal size for schools and districts where both economic efficiency and improved student outcomes are achieved. The optimal size for schools ranges between 400 and 600 students, while optimal size for districts is about 6,000 students.When student numbers exceed optimal size, substantial increases in per pupil costs occur.
http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2006-...idation-cp.pdf
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