Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

September 19, 2016     

Good morning.  I want to thank Dana Bickley, Coordinator in Academic Technology, and the many participants who joined in our Twitter chat recently.  The topic of the chat was how to integrate rigor in everything we offer and I was so enthused with the interest and responses of the participants.  As usual, I learned a lot from being around Northside teachers and administrators.  The next Twitter chat is scheduled for tomorrow, September 20.  The topic is Leaders All Around Us and it will be hosted by NISD principals Tod Kuenning and Billy Navin.

I know that I say to you quite often that the state should invest more in public education.  Most of the time I base that argument on the work we have all chosen to do – helping young people become productive citizens.  In my mind, investing in young people is simply the ethical thing to do.  Today I want to make the same argument – we need to invest more in schools that educate our future citizens – but make it a purely economic form.  For help, I turn to a famous Texas economist M. Ray Perryman.  Perryman is well known across the state and nation for his decades of work advising business and policy leaders in our state.  Recently, Perryman published an analysis of how additional investment in education would impact the state’s economy.  Perryman says, “The reality is that Texas lags behind virtually every other state in the United States (and all of the major competitors for high-quality economic growth) in terms of per pupil spending – and the gap is widening.”  I know this part is no surprise to you.

Perryman goes on to say, “The irony is that investments in education actually pay for themselves many times over when you consider the benefits, which range from increased productivity to decreased need for social services.”  Now to the numbers.  Perryman says that the long-term return on each additional dollar of state investment in public education is $49.69 in additional spending in the Texas economy.  In other words, for each additional dollar spent the state would generate a return on that investment of nearly $50!  We should 

all be so fortunate in our personal financial situations J Perryman goes on to compare that return of nearly $50 per additional $1 invested in education to other types of investments.  For instance, an additional dollar spent on an average private-sector initiative generates $2.82.  Other public sector investments, such as transportation infrastructure, generate $7.62 per additional $1.  So, as you can clearly see, investment in education makes sense even if you ignore the moral and ethical rationale.

Quoted in the July edition of the Texas Lone Star magazine, Perryman concludes, “What if I told you about an investment that would yield almost $50 for every $1 you invested?  What if on top of that, it improved lives, increased volunteerism, and otherwise paid major dividends to individuals and society?  A “no brainer,” right?  Similar logic applies to strategic investments by the state in public education, and it’s irrational and shortsighted to ignore the tremendous return on this particular investment of taxpayer dollars.”  Well said, sir.

The Northside Education Foundation (NEF) Employee Pledge Drive, sponsored by Randolph Brooks FCU, is underway and ends Oct. 7.  Be a hero for NEF and possibly win cash and other prizes for individual and campus participation.  The more money raised during the Pledge Drive, the more grants NEF can award to staff.  Make your donation using a convenient online payroll deduction form available here.  To apply for NEF grants, click here.

Finally, and as you know, the theme this year is Northside Strong. We have 106,000 examples of how we are strong, and I feel that we all have the privilege and an obligation to share those incredible stories.  One way to help tell about the great things happening in our classrooms is to send pictures and stories to our staff newsletter, Inside Northside Weekly, at https://nisd.net/inw.  Another way is to advertise to parents to use the Go Public hashtag #ProudParentGoPublic to mention great experiences their children have had in our schools.  I look forward to reading about all the incredible things happening both inside and outside our classrooms.    

Have a great week!