The Governor will be giving his State of address today, Feb. 1st. We have a Call to Action to help our school district. Please help us spread the word by sending emails and reaching out to the four decision makers listed below. We are asking for your help in asking these decision makers to please extend the Hold Harmless waiver through the rest of the school year.
If you've heard people talking about the Hold Harmless waiver, I hope I can explain in simple terms what this means. In Texas, school districts receive funding based on linking it to enrollment. ADA stands for Average Daily Attendance. Districts receive money based not on an enrollment number per se, but how many students are attending classes and how often. They calculate the ADA, plug into the algorithm and determine how much money a district will get.
Because of COVID, enrollment went down across the state for school districts including in Plano ISD for a number of reasons. We didn't have as many kids enroll in Pre-K or Kindergarten as expected. Overall, enrollment went down by several thousand students districtwide. Knowing back to school time last fall was tough for school districts, the TEA (Texas Education Agency) issued a "Hold Harmless" waiver through the end of 2020 for school districts using ADA #s from the 2019-2020 school year. This was a waiver for the first half of the school year. This was good news for every school district with decreased enrollment because they hired staff, bought programs and built an entire budget based on numbers that didn't deviate too terribly much from the year before.
In November, Ms. Bonser helped explain to the Texas PTA they were asking our State Reps. and state officials for an extension of this waiver to cover the remainder of the school year. They calculated that by not issuing an extension of this hold harmless funding into 2021, Plano ISD will not receive $10million for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. The President of our Plano ISD Council for PTAs sent a letter signed by herself and our Immediate Past President, Kelley Thomas, to our 3 State Reps. in December asking for their help in advocating for this extension. They are all aware this is an issue for us and have done what they can.
The decision makers on this issue are:
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, and
TEA Commissioner Mike Morath
We are asking you to send each of them a letter. We've produced an info sheet for you to have background information along with a sample letter.
Here is the link to more Hold Harmless information along with a sample letter option at the bottom of the page:
Thank you so much for advocating for our Plano ISD students!
2020-2021 PTA President
Mom to Penny (1st grade) and Olivia (6th grade)
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