North Texas school officials against vouchers, school grading system

Dozens of North Texas school superintendents hoped to send a strong message to state lawmakers on how to improve public schools by gathering and outlining priorities for the upcoming legislative session on Monday.

The nearly 60 superintendents and administrators from various -- and in some cases -- quite different school districts across North Texas want: the A through F grading system for schools scrapped, no new voucher programs and an increase in funding for schools through the rise in property taxes.

“What industries and the job world want is kids that can do these kinds of things,” said Doug Williams, Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent, as he walked through a STEM lab at an elementary school. “Not being able to pass a standardized test.”

The public school officials are also weary of any effort to slip in school voucher programs and education savings accounts.

“This system is based on getting vouchers in which we know is not helping poor kids, or minority kids. It's a subsidy for rich affluent folk,” said Michael French, Terrell ISD Superintendent. “That's the truth.”

The superintendents want to see state money from a rise in property taxes go to an increase in school funding – by as much as $275 per student.

Williams said he's hopeful lawmakers will hear their call.

“I think the biggest challenge us coming from those who believe public schools are not working,” Williams said.

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