A Message from Dr. McFarland
November 15, 2023
Dear Crowley ISD families and staff,
It has never been more critical for you to reach out to your state lawmaker and make your voice heard. I implore you to contact your representative using the link below and tell them to share your opinions, concerns and thoughts.
The Texas Legislature has a rare opportunity to invest in our public schools in a way that enables us to keep up with rising costs, attract and retain high-quality educators, provide safe learning environments and strengthen the economic engine of our state.
This week, the Texas House will consider House Bill 1, which includes a voucher system that sends public tax dollars to private schools. According to the Legislative Budget Board, the voucher program will cost $2 billion in the second year of the program and continue to grow each year. This creates a significant new financial commitment for the state while public schools remain underfunded by more than $14 billion.
Like many of you are feeling at home, Crowley ISD is grappling with substantial increases in the cost of utilities, fuel, insurance, food and other essentials necessary for the operation of our school district, and we’re struggling to give meaningful raises to staff who are also feeling the effects of rising costs.
Without appropriate and sustainable funding, school districts will have to absorb the cost of inflation through budget deficits, depletion of rainy-day funds and reducing services to students. This could possibly include:
- increased class sizes
- a reduction in course offerings
- elimination of programs
- reducing employee benefits and, worst-case scenario, laying off staff
Our students and teachers deserve better.
Despite having a record surplus of revenue and the ability to fully fund school districts, some lawmakers are using teacher pay and school funding as a carrot to pass unpopular and controversial voucher legislation. The stakes are simply too high to play political games. We must demand that our lawmakers work together for the benefit of our students, staff and public schools.
Legislators must hear from Crowley ISD stakeholders. You can click this link to send a message to your representative urging them to vote NO on HB 1 and asking them to focus on funding public schools instead of diverting taxpayer dollars to private entities.
Enough is enough! It’s time to make your voice heard.
Here are the facts:
Public School Funding
- Texas ranks 43rd in the US in per-student funding.
- Public schools have been impacted by record inflation. Just as you have felt the impact of inflation, we are seeing massive increases in the cost of utilities, fuel, insurance and other expenses necessary for operating our school district.
- Our staff needs cost-of-living adjustments just to keep up with the rising costs of groceries, health care and gas.
- This year, Crowley ISD adopted a deficit budget, and we may be forced to make cuts to student programs and change staffing ratios to increase class sizes next school year.
- The state is sitting on a $33 billion surplus and expects record increases in revenue over the next two years. These increases are more than enough to cover increased funding for public schools and property tax relief.
Private School Vouchers
- Private schools are not held to the same financial or academic accountability standards as public schools.
- Private schools can pick and choose whom to admit.
- Vouchers do not improve student achievement and, in many states, lead to a decline in achievement.
On behalf of the Crowley ISD Board of Trustees, I want to thank you for entrusting us with your students and giving us the opportunity to partner with you in educating the future of our great state.
Let’s make sure our representatives in Austin know how important our public schools are to our community.
Dr. Michael McFarland
The Crowley ISD Board of Trustees
Front row (L-R): June W. Davis, board member; Nedra Robinson, board secretary;
Kelicia Stevenson, board member; Superintendent Dr. Michael D. McFarland;
Dr. La Tonya Woodson-Mayfield, board president; Gary Grassia, board first vice president
Dr. Mia Hall, second vice president; Daryl R. Davis II, board member