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The Malakoff News
Malakoff, Texas
May 2, 2001     The Malakoff News
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May 2, 2001

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Wednesday, May 2, 2001 - The Malakoff News - p/CE 9B School BoardElection May 5, 2001 Concern: Teacher Benefits/Taxes The two/most important assets of a public school are students and teachers. Good students make good citizens d good teachers make good students. They are inseparable and without question that most important assets Of a public scho01. Approximately three years ago a majority of Malakoff board members received a letter' from a concerned citizen recommending a study of a possible merit raise and a tenure raise for the MISD teachers and employees; No studywas conducted. Approximately 14 months ago one or two board members asked the admin- istration for an economic feasibility study on merit raises and tenure raises for MISD employees. No report was ever submitted back to the school board. Education is in a crisis in Texas. Many schools are paying bonus money tO teacher who sign contracts with their schools. It's a very competitive market for schools and difficult to attract new teachers and difficult to retain good teachers. What has our current school board done for our teachers locally that was not a mandate from the state? Not anything. What is the plan of MISD trustees and administration to attract new teachers and retain our current teachers? Is there any plan at all? The big question is how do we give our MISD employees a raise Without increasing our already high tax rate even higher? The answer is priorities. Do we put administration buildings and parking lots over our teachers and students? Sometimes we have to look at how others do things to educate ourselves. Let's take a look at neighboringschool district. Both schools are in the same classification and the same UIL district. The Kerens ISD has absolutely dominated the MISD in almost all UIL events for years and years. How does Kerens ISD attract and retain it's good teachers to their school? One system they use is a tenure raise. Kerens pays its teachers a tenure raise. It's not a lot of money but after a teacher has been in they system for several years it's a help. That means it is more difficult for the good teachers in Kerens to move to Malakoffor any other school system. How can we keep our good MISD teachers? A tenure raise!! Our first question has to be "how do those people do that"? Is Kerens, a "rich school district" with a lot of property value to tax with a high rate like MISD? Let's take a look at a comparison between MalakofflSD and the Kerens ISD. Kerens ISD Total taxable property value- $77,000,000 Malakoff ISD Total taxable property value- $437,066,745 Kerens ISD tax rate- $1.33 per $100 value Malakoff ISD tax rate - $1.45 per $100 value Kerens ISD total annual budget -$4,700,000 Malakoff ISD total annual budget- $9,146,817 Paid pofitical advertising Isn't it incredible how such a poor school district like Kerens can give teachers a tenure raise even with a lower tax rate than Malakoff. Kerens ISD has roughly 78% less taxable property value than the MalakoffISD. A Kerens ISD trustee recently reported that the school board also has purchased one of the best health insurance programs for their teachers and employees of any school in a 70 mile radius of Kerens. Not only does KISD dominate MISD in almost every aspect of UIL events but they also manage to beat us in teacher benefits. How can "those people do r that"? Let's take a look at one small example of how they do it. On March 31,2001 Kerens ISD held its Priority annual spring high school track meet. The fee per visitor was $2 per person. That's not a lot of income but remember pennies make nickels, nickels make dimes, dimes make quarter and quarters make dollars. What ever amount was collected it was one small step toward less taxes. The first observation was that Vance Vaughn, h superintendent of schools was taking up money at the gate. Not only did the Kerens superintendent get to shake alot of hands and meet people he set a great example to the track athletes and to his teaching staffofa good work ethic and grea t support of school activities. Great public relations! On the other hand, only on Malakoff board member was present at the Kerens meet, no school administrators were present and the MISD Athletic Director left at lunch before the track meet was 50% completed. In our opinion this was not a good example for our school: district and its student athletes. On March 17, 2001 the MISD held its annual spring track meet. There wasno one collecting at the gate. It was totally free. We all must assume that MISD is a rich school district and it doesn't need that $2 gate receipts. Our school district doesn't need the $2 becaiase all the majority of the MISD board of trustees has to do is go up on our tax rate to get more money. In fact, the MISD is so wealthy we can pay a superintendent of schools, an assistant superintendent and an athletic director $177,795 per year but yet we can't find a wayo pay the MISD teachers and aids a $50 or $100 or something per year raise to try and keep them in our schoolsystem. Priorities! Doesn't it 1 seem absolutely incredible that MISD with it's bloated $9,146,817 annual budget can not find a little extra money and a better health insurance plan for its teachers without raising taxes again. We know as concerned citizens that if Kerens with it's 50% less budget can find a way then surely the MISD board of trustees can find a way. It's only a matter of priorities! MISD Election There are three MISD school board seats open and the election is May 5,2001. Let's all go and vote on May 5 and at least try our best to replace two of the three incumbents. We need some new board members who really care abou, our $2 and our teachers. Concerned Citizens of MISD P.O. Box 812 Malakoff, Texas 75148