South Austin Popular Culture Center
"...On Monday, Superintendent Pat Forgione presented to the Austin ISD board of trustees the latest draft of his proposed budget for 2003-2004. The most dramatic change from earlier versions is a $7.5 million increase to provide 2% pay hikes for all teachers and staff..."
"...As I understand it, Leslie, your child's experiences at the awards ceremony have been so upsetting that you can understand why kids bring guns to school. That gun would be potentially used to threaten who, exactly? The list of offenders seems pretty long, but am I right in guessing it would include: childish seventh-graders who did not get awards and who made noise as their friends did receive awards; those who did get awards, especially those students who really excelled and received more awards than was seemly; teachers who spent countless hours preparing the awards ceremony and then inadvertently failed to communicate to you that it was in fact you who was being honored; people who donated snacks for the ceremony, but were so cheap with their generosity that all 300-some-odd people weren't given free food; those few teachers who do care for children but evidently stood by as your child was humiliated; callous administrators who allow such ritual humiliation ceremonies to even take place, and then stand by as those who received awards acted a little too happy; ridiculous teachers who had students doing school work on the second to last day of school; teachers who raise their voices; perhaps even you, as you were as you say, an instrument in your child's humiliation for receiving an award? Who wouldn't be outraged at all the horrible people listed above? Did I miss anyone? Thanks for understanding how kids could bring guns to school, and thanks for the warning, Leslie..."
"...The Austin Independent School District board of trustees heard some good financial news at its Monday work session. And trustees seemed to agree with the administration that after several budget cycles of severe cuts – including pay freezes and layoffs for teachers and other district employees – the district has built up its reserves and credit rating sufficiently that it can take a deep breath and start investing in education again...."
"..."Let's invest in new, state-of-the-art factories," they declare excitedly. "We'll launch a bold new initiative to train tens of thousands of teachers who, in turn, will educate the high tech work force of the future, generating a wave of jobs and making our American corporations the most competitive in the world!"..."
"...2 ballot. That input could be vital: So far the board, teachers' union Education Austin, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce are split – not on the need to fund vital projects but on whether the district has started the discussion too late...."
"...Shop steward Bill Kweder fired back in a statement that AISD drivers have very different responsibilities and probably should be paid more, and ridiculed the comparison to teachers. "[Teachers] truly deserve better," Kweder wrote..."
"...EDUCATION AGENCIES BRAWL OVER GRANTS The Texas State Teachers Association and the Texas Education Agency will square off in court on Monday for an injunction hearing over the distribution of the agency's dropout recovery grant funds to two nonprofit programs and a San Antonio-area private school. TSTA has called the grants an effort to shift funding from worthy public schools to private schools..."
"... AISD is planning to implement an education model known as First Things First at Reagan, LBJ, Crockett, and Travis high schools. First Things First is one part of an overall effort by AISD to redesign the high schools, and the program aims to pair high school students with mentors, who could be teachers, counselors, or classified staff members..."
"...Dear Editor, Speaking of teacher pay raises [“Triumph in the Lege?,” News, May 12], can someone please explain to me why the Legislature gave the judges/justices (some of which make anywhere in the range of $100,000 a year) of this state a 25% to 35% pay increase, and our childrens' teachers are getting a whopping pay increase of $2,000 a year? The state leaders obviously need a greater respect and understanding of the need to hire and maintain excellent teachers as they did for the judges! Thanks for your article. The public needs to be constantly reminded of what is important...."
"...Rider, 60, is a clinical social worker, with the longest record on education issues. In 1992, she jumped from the Parent-Teachers Association to the Austin school board, where she put in 10 years of unpaid service eight as president during some of the district's most turbulent times, including a test-tampering scandal..."
"... Remember those bonds that city voters approved last fall to build eight new AISD schools? This week the district will break ground on the first two, elementaries in the southeast and southwest. If nothing goes awry, the schools will open next August, much to the relief of the tots and teachers at severely overcrowded schools on Austin's fast-growing fringes..."
"...Additional special education teachers (16.5 full-time employees): 749,331..."
"...Just look at public education. Teachers are underpaid and overworked, and the Legislature last session made their situation worse by attacking job security..."
"...The other way to make a profit is cut costs. Edison uses this route, most notably by replacing experienced, quality teachers with younger, inexperienced, and therefore cheaper teachers..."
"...This article should be read by both adults and children. Teachers should read this to their students..."
"...Rep. Suzanna Hupp, in response to the Colorado school shooting, proposes that teachers, aides, and other school officials carry guns to prevent such tragedies..."
"...Progressives pressed for drastic action to keep Leo off the board, and the most unlikely supporters of Christie emerged to do just that. The state's education community was treated to the astonishing sight of Christie (who barely approaches "moderate," never mind liberal) nervously yukking it up at his fundraiser with representatives of teachers' groups and other bastions of Democratic support (who have never harbored great love for Christie). Since he drew no Democratic opponent, the primary season was do-or-die for Christie; he just barely did it...."
"...Other improv places in town can offer more stage time for their community. So we focus on the quality of our curriculum, teachers, and classes as our number one priority, with performance opportunities being a fun reward at graduation time...."
"...A few years ago, the late Milton Friedman visited the Texas Legislature, ostensibly on a humanitarian mission in support of his Foundation for Educational Choice, a voucher-promoting operation that helped lay the ideological groundwork for moving public money into private schools. Speaking to a rapt gathering of mostly Republican lawmakers, Friedman solemnly explained that most of the problems with public education could be traced to the baleful power of the teachers' unions, which were dictating educational policy to legislators and school administrators alike, strangling innovation, and making it impossible to run schools efficiently and within reasonable state budgets...."
"...Perry and Scott do have the nominal support of two of the state's largest teachers' unions. Both the Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Texas chapter of American Federation of Teachers opposed the application because they believe Race to the Top places too much emphasis on testing and punishing teachers..."
"... Keeping good math and science teachers in the classroom is a significant challenge in Texas public schools, researcher Ed Fuller recently told an audience at a Texas Public Policy Foundation luncheon on priming the pump to meet the state's impending high school math and science requirements. Starting with freshman in 2011, all high school students pursuing a recognized or distinguished diploma must take four years of math and four years of science..."
"...The budget also includes $2.3 million that the Texas Legislature granted to the district to spend on incentive pay. The money could be used to attract teachers to high-need campuses or to subject matter where more teachers are needed..."
"...The litany of complaints against HB 2 continues to mount from teachers, administrators, school districts, parents, and other school advocacy groups everyone involved in education, it seems, except voucher proponents, the wealthiest school districts, and major business interests. The Coalition to Invest in Texas Schools, which represents organizations from every school district, defends its opposition to the bill with findings from a study by state demographer Steve Murdock..."
"...Students place them on electronic LeapPads and read along with recordings of sentences, words, or phonetic elements which the students control by touching their Leap pens to different hot spots on the book's pages. Meanwhile, their teachers use the LeapTrack assessment system to identify individual weaknesses and specific LeapFrog storybooks designed to remedy them...."
"...Randall Iglehart, state president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators and a classroom teacher in San Antonio, was at the Capitol Tuesday to advocate for reform of the federal laws governing Social Security. Because of an expiring regulation that allowed teachers to retain both their pensions and their Social Security payments, about 30,000 Texas teachers are retiring this year about twice the average..."
"...(This is not just about job security and money. Most public-school faculties in Texas will jump at the chance to push an incompetent principal out the door, but teachers will also fight a system that drives away dedicated, competent principals working with limited resources and against great odds.)..."
"...On June 16, Austin ISD Superintendent Pat Forgione announced his revised 2003-2004 budget proposal, which would increase teacher and staff pay, reduce 10th- and 11th-grade class size, and cut by $8 million the amount of money the district will need to take from its fund balance (savings account) to help eliminate a $51 million deficit ("New Money for AISD Raises," June 20). The changes are not confirmed -- the AISD board of trustees will not approve a final budget until August -- but AISD spokesman Andy Welch told us that based on the trustees' preliminary endorsement, the administration has begun the hiring process for 61 new high school teachers in core courses (math, English, social studies) to reduce the 10th- and 11th-grade target class size from 32 to 28..."
"...Education begins in the home; if that institution is not well supported how can the schools in these communities be expected to produce the kinds of results demanded by Lands, the school district, and the state? Schools are already working themselves to the bone, stretching their budgets to the seams to increase teachers' capacity to teach all students well and provide them with best resources possible...."
"..."My agenda has got to remain somewhat fluid," says Barrientos, "but it will include teachers, kids, and state employees." Indeed, he's become the teachers' go-to guy in the Senate, and he'll be working the education beat again this session. "Teachers in Texas are still not average compared to the rest of the country," he said..."
"...While the AISD Board of Trustees decided to keep Ridgetop Elementary open after all, there is still one troublesome spot that likely won't go away for a while: Parents, teachers, and students want to know why they were kept out of the loop regarding the school's possible closure...."
"...They pushed a budget rider through the Texas Legislature that could force the state to sell nearly $800 million worth of stock in a half-dozen companies owning interests in record labels that publish rap music by artists like Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur. The sale of the stock would effectively drain the state's pension and investment funds, the same nest egg that state firefighters, teachers, police officers, and other civil servants rely on for their retirement income...."
"...Teacher pay-for-performance also got Public Ed's attention as a way to use a $100 million "effective educator allotment." This could incentivize teachers at low-performing schools through stipends, boosting their salaries, or increase a teacher's salary based in part on student outcomes. A system in Dallas known as Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) does a little of both, and it has been praised by Republicans as a model to replicate throughout the state..."
"...The East Austin Schools Manifesto unveiled in September is both Gordon's campaign platform and a list of demands for district leaders. Increased pay for teachers in Title I schools, the redrawing of attendance zones to further integrate campuses, and an equity office will give D1 schools new hope, Gordon said..."
"...When her son started kindergarten, Darcy Hamre made it her mission to educate the school community about her son's life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergy. In addition to working with the teachers and staff at the school and drawing up a sheet for substitute teachers explicitly identifying her son and the signs of anaphylaxis, she reached out to the families in his class...."
"...An IT consultant and manager at the Department of the Treasury, Anderson has served on a series of district bodies, including the Boundary Advisory Committee, the Budget & Finance Advisory Committee, and most recently as co-chair of the District Advisory Council. However, his conservative-style support for aggressive school accountability, especially when it comes to teachers, pushed the union to back Mathias' substance over his style...."
"...It comes down to how employees pay for their insurance. Most AISD staff, such as teachers and administrators, are on 12-month contracts, and their premiums are split across a full year's paychecks..."
"...Some Austin Independent School District teachers may see a bonus this year, but a pay raise still seems unlikely. Last month, the AISD board of trustees balked at a tax election that would fund a 3% pay raise for all teachers, instead staking their hopes on using federal job stabilization cash for a 2% raise..."
"...13 – one of only three planned for the entire school year. The meeting was scheduled for 8am ("What we want is a real relationship with the teachers," she said, "but the teachers were in the classrooms"), and she was disappointed to find that, rather than a discussion, there was just a list of school events that the district had already organized and for which they needed volunteers..."
"...When it comes to improving the district, Garcia has a straightforward approach, saying the trustees need to listen to teachers. "They're the ones we're trusting our children with when we drop them off at school," he said..."
"...Public school teachers took it on the chin, again, with a peanut-sized pay raise of about $425 a year. After taxes and deductions, education advocates say teachers will actually receive less than $25 a month enough to spring for a pair of movie tickets and a box of Milk Duds, but not enough to cover health-care premiums...."
"... Also, Austin has announced its "strategic compensation initiative" a plan to create some type of performance pay plan for principals and teachers but AISD won't be able to rely on the federal government for any help. Democrats slashed George W..."
"... Visiting a conference of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association Friday, Rick Perry's challengers denounced his education policies and called for higher salaries for teachers. Kinky Friedman said he would legalize casino gambling to pay for schools, Chris Bell said he'd end "high-stakes" testing and raise teacher pay, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn called the contest a "two-person" race or rather, one governor, one grandma...."
"...Lubber, president of Ceres. Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer at the California State Teachers Retirement System, one of the country's largest pension funds, said, "Investors are increasingly more concerned about the financial risks posed by climate change and our interest is especially strong for an industry that is so directly exposed to the physical impacts of global warming." Ironically, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners was scheduled to discuss the implications of climate change on the insurance industry at its fall meeting scheduled Sept..."
"... Budget and bond deliberations continued at the city, the county, and the school district. The AISD board adopted a $761-million budget Monday, including a one-time $1,000 bonus for teachers, but no similar payment to classified staff...."
"...AISD's TAKS-improvement plans include some items that don't directly cost money, such as longer class periods, or requiring teachers to more frequently test and closely monitor struggling students. On the other hand, such "free" measures do come with a cost when that increased workload translates into increased teacher turnover..."
"...Anyone who thinks school board meetings are boring should switch off Fear Factor and head on down to the Austin ISD board auditorium to watch the budget debate show. AISD's trustees have before them the unpleasant job of deciding whether to approve the $755 million budget proposed by Superintendent Pat Forgione even though it includes no salary increase for teachers..."
"...In other words, the governor is ready to cut a deal. He says he's willing to consider a scaled-down version of a massive overhaul of education funding and property tax reform, and settle for bare-bones legislation that would, at the very least, provide funding for textbooks and pay raises for teachers..."
"...During the same period, the state Democratic Party took in more than $671,400 in corporate and union money, or about 37% of its state funds. (Chances are good that the Dems would have more corporate/union dollars in their war chest if they were still in charge.) In any case, the Dems' top donors included the AFL-CIO ($45,500); Patterson Planning & Services ($25,000); Texas State Teachers Association ($15,400) and Texas Electrical Workers ($10,000)..."
"...The result is a highly personalized, highly focused educational experience between exceptional students and equally exceptional teachers, not to mention a close personal bonding between the two. Austin's favorite classical pianist, Michelle Schumann, loved her educational experiences at Festival Hill so much that she had her wedding there...."
"...Sources at AISD have told Naked City that Superintendent Pat Forgione sent apples to all of the district's teachers on May 5. The next day, a reply was written on the teachers lounge message board at Summit Elementary: "Dear Dr..."