Results Realty Buzz: Texas Schools - A crisis is looming!!

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Texas Schools - A crisis is looming!!

School children in TexasI recently went to a meeting of the Spring Klein Chamber of Commerce where Dr. Cain the superintendent of Klein ISD spoke to us.  I was amazed to find out that there is a law on the books in the state of Texas that does not allow a school district to give a teacher any pay reductions & they also cannot be furloughed. Schools are going through a rough time right now and according to Dr. Cain if they can't ask the teachers to take a small decrease in pay then LOTS of teachers are going to be laid off.

My husband has been with a major airline for almost 25 years and two times in his employment we have had to take 10% pay cuts.  It was not easy but the alternative was to be without a job.  Unless something is done quickly according to Dr. Cain they are going to have to be sending out pink slip notices in April and this story is going to be repeated statewide.  I’m hoping that a bill is making its way through the Texas House to address this as I write this.  I can’t imagine that our Texas teachers would mind taking a small cut if it meant there would not be layoffs.   The rest of us are having to buckle our belts and I can't imagine that they would not like that opportunity also. The other thing that could be done is some of the teacher work days could be furloughed without pay and that according to Dr. Cain would have a huge impact on their bottom line.

The other thing that I found out at this meeting was the law that the state of Texas has on the books only allowing a 22 child class size in grades kindergarten through the 4th grade.  He told us that if a certain grade was full at 22 students per class and a new student entered that put that total over 22 per class  they immediately had to hire a new teacher and make a new class.  That is NUTS!!  When my children were small we lived in another state where the schools were very liberal and so I had my children in private Christian schools and I’m telling you the private school class size was huge.  I think there was something like 35 in each class but they did have a teacher and an aide.  Our children got an incredible education from that school.

We moved here when our children were in the 5th grade and 9th grade and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Klein ISD was still teaching reading, writing & arithmetic.  My children got a great education from Klein ISD.  My daughter ended up getting a degree in Communication Design at UNT and our son is now a sophomore at Texas A&M in Ocean Engineering.  He took the longer route as he was an Intelligence Analyst in the Army for almost 5 years.  The reason he joined the Army was because he scored so high on their entrance exam.

Like I said I hope a bill is already in the works as the public schools have to make key decisions in April and pink slips will be going out.  I am writing this as I want to see other people’s children have those same options that were available to my children and from what I can see something needs to happen quick or that is going to be in jeopardy.

I’m a real estate broker serving the  districts of Klein ISD, Spring ISD,  Tomball ISD, Magnolia ISD, Montgomery ISD and Cypress ISD.  All of these districts have done nothing but grow in the last few years.  Even though times are hard we are still in a big growth stage.  The boys and girls of Texas are the future and we need to protect our future.

Please consider writing your local Texas legislatures right away about this problem.  You can find ways to contact them at texas legislatures online.  Representative Rob Eissler is the public education chair.  I found that I could not email him through the website as I am not in his constituency but I called his office at 512-463-0797 and they were happy to give me his email address.  I don't think I should put that address on the web but if you want to contact his office you can either call that number or email me and I will be glad to personally give it to you.


Copyright © 2011 Marchel Peterson, All Rights Reserved. *Texas Schools - A crisis is looming!!*

Comment balloon 24 commentsMarchel Peterson • March 03 2011 05:07PM


I know this seems to be a problem all over; there are solutions that can be done but because of some law passed they can't be any changes made. You are right only we can make a difference by voicing our concerns and letting those in legislative know how we feel.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) almost 9 years ago

Howdy and afternoon to you Marchel

Marchel, cutting teachers pay, putting a cap on what teachers make along with making class rooms bigger, are just three of the things the State Governors come up with at their big Governors meeting.

But yet most of the State Governors and the other Law Makers of States, are not willing to cut their own pay. I'm sorry but unless the Politicians are will to take pay cuts, then I sure don't think anyone else should have too. Plus I sure don't think Politicians sure should not ask or in some cases force other to do so.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Hi Marchel, Thanks for letting us know about this crisis with the school budget.  It's scary.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) almost 9 years ago

Marchel: It appears the entire country is in crisis; one crisis after another. I would rather take a pay cut and have a job then no job. I heard they may also be handing out pink slips in our county. Seems most industries are getting pink slips these days. The only hiring that is happening is with the government, maybe we should go to work for the government...whatcha think?

Posted by Carl Winters almost 9 years ago

A lot of inflexible older rules there Marchel. I hope with your assistance and others like you more common sense approaches can be taken. Once something is law it is very hard to change it sometimes.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Marchel school systems are struggling everywhere.  Here in Connecticut we have seen many teacher being let go.  It does not look like it will be getting better soon, and the kids are the ones that will feel the impact of this most.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 9 years ago

Hi Marchel, it is amazing to me the things that get passed that we are not aware of until we get into a crisis mode.  I sure hope that gets resolved.

Posted by Judith Parker, CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC (ProStead Realty) almost 9 years ago

Marchel - I am sorry to hear that Texas is also facing some of the financial woes that other areas of the country are experiencing.  While it may seem that the front people in schools are teachers, there is a lot which often goes on that makes up the total scene.  For example, check out how much of the budget goes to administration.  Here in California, we have a schoold district in the next county, which actually let go of ,amu teachers, and cut teacher pay.  Then the administrators managed to get a hefty raise.  It seems that those at the top rung of any institution, often put the squeeze on everyone else, and then reward themselves in the process.  I'm not saying that's what is happening where you are. . .BUT just check it out!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 9 years ago

How did we ever get to the point where raising taxes on the top 2% of the wealthiest individuals on God's green earth is less palatable then paying for the very best education our children can possibly receive.  Baffling how teachers are now scorned across America....I don't know what this says about our priorities, but it ain't good!

Posted by Karl Hess, on The Jersey Shore (Keller Williams Shore Properties) almost 9 years ago

Marchel, as an Aggie myself, I'm glad to see you son chose Texas A&M.   My understanding that intelligence analysts are required to have very high scores on the Army's entrance exam.  So, you made your point very well that small class size isn't necessarily the best.  I saw Bill Gates saying the same thing on the news earlier this evening.  His foundation is spending a lot of effort focusing on the educational system it sounds like. 

In my opinion, education is going to have to be a priorty when States and communities are trying struggle with their budget issues. 


Posted by Sondra Meyer:, See It. Experience It. Live It. (Star View Real Estate ) almost 9 years ago

our superintendent of schools didn't take her 10% pay raise this week and I find that unusual and commendable.

Posted by 'The Diamond Group' 'A Cut Above The Rest', Lubbock Texas Real Estate (The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams) almost 9 years ago

Marchel, I fear that Wisconsin is just the tip of the iceberg. Wonder how California is able to pay their teachers?

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) almost 9 years ago

Marchel - We have much of the same going on here in Idaho. The teachers are complaining about their rights, but they forget that we the taxpayers have a few as well. For one we are sick of getting overtaxed for a bad product.

Posted by Kevin Robinson, Fractional Developer almost 9 years ago

Great blog Marchel,   Stupid laws like this that dont use common sense frustrate me. I hope everyone lets their representatives know this needs changing NOW!

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) almost 9 years ago

They already started cutting teaching and administrative staff. They started about 5 years ago. They actually wrote the current special education laws to make it easier for schools to do without special education programs and therefore staff. They have done this with other programs as well. Both my husband and I who were special education teachers were laid off. They did this in anticipation of this budget crisis, which they forsaw many years ago. The thing is, although they tried to prepare for it by laying off teachers and staff over the past 5 years, the money problems are much deeper than they anicipated because they didn't ever dream that property values would drop like they have. The property value drops due to the Hurricane Ike began the crisis, and then the mortgage/job crisis hit and rubbed salt into the wounds. It is just sad for the kids. They were already having problems reaching students before, and now...

It doesn't help us either, as Real Estate professionals. The money problems of one trickle down and around and affect us all.

Posted by Amy Law (Alliance Properties) almost 9 years ago

Marchel  The chickens are coming home to roost - many states have  representatives that have spent taxpayer money on many meaningless and wasteful  escapades.  However, our Virginia budget and state and county employees are in great shape.  As a right to work state our representatives are not beholding to unions and giving them the keys to the cash box

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 9 years ago

PAT, This is a huge problem across the county in most states.

DALE, In our school district this cut would be across the board.  The superintendent would take a bigger cut than anyone else because he makes more and so on.

SHIRLEY, It is scary!  I think the scary part is that no one seems to know about it.

CARL & CEIL, We have been there done that and it beats being out of a job!!

GARY WOLTAL, I hope some common sense prevails.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 9 years ago

GEORGE, This is very sad and you are right it is happening across our nation.

JUDITH, It is amazing all those little rules that we DON'T know about!

MYRL, In our school district everyone will take the cut.  The superintendent will take the largest cut as he makes the most. It just makes so much sense to me for everyone to take a small cut rather than big lay offs but who knows what will happen.

KARL, I'll be honest; I don't understand your comment.  In this case Texas schools are out of money (we can't print money like the government) so either everyone takes a small cut or we have big lay offs that is bottom line.  I am trying to help save teachers jobs; I don't see how that would be scorning teachers.

SONDRA, Yes our son had to score very high on that test to become an Intelligence Analyst.  He had a good education background and I'm hoping that will continue to be the case for our Texas schools.  I always wanted him to become an Aggie so YES I'm thrilled.  At this point he is just there for the education but when he gets out that AGGIE will open doors.


Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 9 years ago

ELIZABETH, This superintendent told us he would be taking this cut along with everyone else.  His cut would of course be a bigger cut.

MIKE, I have wondered about California also!

KEVIN, In Texas we have so far had fairly conservative schools.  I hope it stays that way.  Since the election we now have a VERY conservative Texas house which gives me hope.

AMY, I wish that Karl from above would read your comment.  I wrote this to try and stop more teacher layoffs and that is what is coming if this law is not changed.

KAREN, We do not have state income tax so our schools are based on property values and with property values not going up it is causing this problem. This antiquated law needs to change!!

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 9 years ago

Karen said what I was going to say about Virginia.  It is a sad state of affairs and I could not agree with you more!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 9 years ago

Marchel, the fact that there is such universal budget crisis in the states only a few years after the collapse of the private financial sector continues to be both challenging and disturbing. The issues are complex but not insurmountable. It just seems no cares until it affects them. Hopefully, the story will get some focus on what is happening and why and allow some change to take place next.

Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Marchel,

The budget crises throughout our country are scary.  Teachers cannot expect to stay protected against what everyone else is facing, especially the bad ones that we can't get rid of because they are tenured.


Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) almost 9 years ago

Marchel, great post. It sounds like some changes in Texas school system should be made. The sooner the better. Have a great day.

Posted by Elizabeth Byrne, Arlington Virginia Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Marchel -- In Ohio, it's been rules that the way our school systems are funded is largely unconstitutional and has been for a long time. Local communities are forced to propose levies, which sometimes voters reject, especially in these economic times.  It's sad that in this day and age, we can't figure out how to properly fund a world-class education for our youth, from birth to age 18 in a fair, equitable and comprehensive manner, before we turn kids out into higher education and/or the workforce.  We can pay now, or we can pay a whole lot more later.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 9 years ago

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