WELCOME NEW KEALING FAMILIES and STUDENTS
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

☆ 2018-19 PTA EVENTS & NEWS ☆ 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
April 6th, 2019, 7-10:30pm
http://www.kealingpta.org/kcs
Live Music, Fun, Food, and Community
 at Thinkery
1830 Simond Avenue, Austin, TX 78723

Join Kealing families, staff and community supporters for an adults-only evening features dinner, drinks, live music by the KMS teacher band, The Spiral Notebooks, and a live and silent auction.

We are returning to the Thinkery were there is plenty of parking in the garage and lots of room for you to view the silent auction and chat with other Kealing friends and parents.

Your support of Kealing Center Stage is critical to the efforts of the PTA, which supports instructional materials, professional development, new technology, field trips, and many other things that help improve the learning experience for our students.

For more details and to learn how to get involved, scroll down or visit the KCS page!



SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR
2019-2020 PTA EXECUTIVE BOARD & CHAIR POSITIONS
PTA is looking for great people who care about kids and advocating for them to fill volunteer positions on the PTA board next year.

Please use this form to review the positions and nominate yourself or someone else. The time commitment is a lot less than most elementary school PTAs. Previous board experience is not required, and we would love to have you join. Our executive board meeting typically are the 1st Tuesday of the month, and general membership meeting are the 1st Thursday of the month.


U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S

MARCH 18-22 | SPRING BREAK
Enjoy Spring Break! See you back on Monday, March 25th.

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 | 7-10:30PM | KEALING CENTER STAGE PARTY AT THE THINKERY
Become a financial sponsor
All levels welcome. The Kealing Middle School PTA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and the funds we raise are used to further the PTA’s mission of supporting Kealing Middle School, teachers, students and families. Sponsor at www.kealingpta.org/kcs. Questions? Email kcsdonations@kealingpta.org.

Donate items for the live or silent auction
Popular auction item ideas include restaurant gift cards, house concerts, dinner parties, vacation homes, tickets to sports and music events, and more. Do you have connections to any local businesses that might like to donate? Auction donation and support form.

Volunteer your time and talents
We need parent volunteers for many fun jobs, both big and small! To volunteer, email centerstage@kealingpta.org.

ONCE A WEEK | OUR NEW SHADE TREES NEED WATERING
We have six shade trees located in the back field of Kealing Middle School that need watering on Sundays or Mondays. We don't think the whole process will take longer than on hour. Equipment is available. Please sign up to help out.


N E W S



#EveryMemberCounts
Blackshear Elementary is looking for donations of clothes and household items April 1-5. Please drop donations off at Blackshear Elementary School, 1712 E. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702.

Just Fund It Texas!
Just Fund It TX
Just Fund It TX needs your help with “Join students in calling on the Texas Legislature to Just Fund It Texas! - Public education is the best investment in Texas’s future!”. Join Just Fund It TX and 2,968 supporters today.



Sign Up for Make It Matter Mondays Emails

Send a message to ACPTA Advocacy Chair Sonya Kaleel at advocacy@austincouncilpta.org.

South Austin Advocacy
ACPTA Advocacy Group is working on a unified action with some other school districts. They are specifically looking constituents from the following schools who would like to be involved in advocacy efforts in the early stages: Baldwin,Baranoff, Clayton, Kiker, Menchaca, Mills, Bailey, Gorzycki, Paredes, Akins. If you are interested, please contact advocacy@austincouncilpta.org.

National PTA 2019 Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award
Austin Council of PTA's just won this year’s National PTA advocacy award for the support of free rides for students on CapMetro. A HUGE thanks to the Kealing Parents and community who helped advocate to CapMetro about this issue.

PUBLIC EDUCATION  REALITY CHECK 
We applaud both chambers for proposing additional spending on public education. We recognize this is a big deal, and more than the legislature has proposed in many years. But...let’s have a reality check and put these plans in perspective. 

Texas students deserve better than being 43rd in per student spending. (Data Source: 2018 Quality Counts Report, “Education Week”.)
  • Texas spends 2/3rds of the national average per student. U.S. states on average spend $12,526 per student while Texas spends $8,485 per student.
  • Texas spends three times more per inmate than per student. Are Texas’ priorities mixed up?
The numbers in the House and Senate plans sound big because Texas is big, not because they solve the problems.
  • Texas would have to invest $22 billion more EACH YEAR just to reach the national average in per student spending. Have you ever met a Texan who wants to be average, let alone 43rd?
  • It would cost $3.5 billion just to cover the cost of inflation each biennium.
  • $5 billion in Texas local taxpayer funds raised for education aren’t being used for education this biennnium.
Texas needs to be honest with taxpayers.
  • It’s time for the state to pay its share. Local taxpayers’ share of public education funding has been growing, and the state’s share has been steadily declining. In 2008 the state share was 48% and is now less than 38%. 
  • Money raised for education needs to be spent on education. Taxpayers think their property taxes are paying for education, but much of that money is being diverted for other things.
  • Both recapture and non-recapture districts are sinking under the weight of school property tax growth as the state share has plummeted. 
Texans are done fighting over the scraps left from chronic underfunding of public education. We ask you to do the right thing and adequately fund public education.

So, please tell us what’s the long-term plan?
Find us at JustFundItTX.org

Spread the student created petition on Change.org


Message from Our PTA President, Jayne Rosso - AISD Budget Cuts
Note from Jayne: The following are not my words. I borrowed them from other schools' published information. It was shared with me and I thought it explained a lot of the various issues well.

As we approach the end of 2018, many of you are paying property taxes and reflecting as you revisit your personal and family budgets for 2019. Budget considerations for AISD are in process as well. I would like to share some data points that help make the budget discussions more personal for our campus and for the families who support us.

AISD budget data points to consider:
  • AISD will pay back $600 million to the State of Texas for recapture (Robin Hood) this year alone.
  • Last year AISD paid back $530 million to the State in recapture monies.
  • Essentially AISD pays out 46% of the local property tax dollars received from property owners back to the State of Texas.
  • This amounts to just over $8,000.00 per student in AISD that we pay back to the State of Texas.
  • The recapture amount for AISD climbs every year due to the Robin Hood formula, rising property values and no appeal process for AISD to challenge the payout amount that is crippling our school resources.
  • No other major urban district in Texas is “feeling the budget pinch” to the extent of Austin. Other districts paying out for recapture include Houston, Dallas and Plano, but no other district is anywhere close to the amount Austin pays back.
  • AISD is currently operating at a $30 million dollar deficit (dipping into reserve funds to make ends meet this year; but, this cannot continue).
  • Overall, 25% of what the entire State of Texas funds for public education comes directly from what AISD pays back in recapture dollars.
  • State of Texas funds 32% of public education costs with the remainder coming from local property taxes.
  • State of Texas funds 100% of charter school costs.
  • Regardless of political philosophy, the current Texas school finance system/formula has been found unconstitutional multiple times by Texas courts.
Austin ISD is diligently working to continue to provide comprehensive, effective education for all students. When the budget is so restricted that student services and instructional resources are affected, the intent/spirit of the law has to be revisited by our legislators. Here are some websites that examine this issue from varied perspectives:
Please take a few minutes to be informed on this issue as AISD needs community support to get through this dilemma. Until a legislative remedy is operational, AISD must devise a plan to continue educating about 80,000 students each school year. Thus, the budget for next school year must cut $30 million in order for AISD to remain solvent.

What cuts are being considered?
There were actually over a hundred possible cuts when the process started. Some have to do with eliminating particular positions or programs; others have to do with changing how schools function or how they are staffed. There are conversations about closing or combining under-enrolled schools and other discussions about reworking staff benefits.

Is AISD considering eliminating magnet schools?
Although there are always people who do not believe in schools of choice, there was never any serious conversation about closing any of the choice schools or programs (LASA, Kealing, Fulmore, McCallum Fine Arts, Lamar Fine Arts, Ann Richards, Early College schools, etc). From a financial lens, there are no real cost-savings in closing programs that are successful when the building itself remains open and functioning, as it would for nearly all the schools mentioned above.

What cuts are being seriously considered?
Changing the way secondary schools are staffed is on the table. There is definite momentum behind raising the secondary staffing guidelines (middle schools and high schools) so that the teacher to student ratio for general education students goes from 29 to 31. Changing the number at which a secondary school receives another Assistant Principal, Counselor or more classified assistance (think registrar, book keeper and office staff) is also being highly considered.

Why does it seem like all the cuts are to jobs?
Across the district most of our money goes to human capital (86% of the entire AISD budget is salaries), that means staff (campus and district) salaries and benefits. Yes, there are some expensive programs and buildings have maintenance and operations costs, but still, the majority of money is spent on people, so when you are looking for cost savings in the tens of millions of dollars it’s hard to do that without looking at people’s jobs.


FOLLOW US - The Kealing PTA is on Facebook!

(For upcoming school events that are non-PTA-related, view Kealing's school calender...)

https://www.txpta.org
everychild.onevoice 

Texas PTA Mission: To make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. 

My FAMILY + PTA =
A place where every child feels safe and supported
A place where all families feel welcome
A place where parents feel informed
A place to build relationships
A place to volunteer
A place where you can make a difference at our school and across the state

Membership goal is 650 - We can do this!
ALL Kealing parents, guardians, teachers, staff, and community members are encouraged to join the Kealing PTA.

$10 Individual (one membership), $19 Family (two memberships) 
[Membership scholarships available] 

OR 
Download 2018-2019 Membership Paper Form: 

2018-2019 is a very important year as it is a legislative one. PTA is the largest child advocacy organization in the US. Please help us grow our membership to greater than 500,000 Texans. This will help Texas PTA have a voice that will in turn put pressure on the legislators to fix the funding formula that is so negatively affecting Austin ISD schools.
The Kealing PTA supports the education and success of all children at Kealing Middle School. Here's a look at how your membership and donation to the PTA made a difference at Kealing last year:
  • Technology: purchased Chromebooks, the marquee is on its way. We should see it in about 6 weeks 
  • Teachers: provided a supplies grant for EVERY teacher (shared program w/ KMAG), sent an Academy teachers to a national conference , and organized multiple Teacher Appreciation days 
  • Programs & Events: Thanksgiving Community Dinner, 8th-grade celebration and graduation, School Partnerships with Vertical Team Elementary, Young Scientists Club, Kealing Men, and Parent Education 
  • School Grounds: Grounds improvement days, Monarch Heroes garden grant, Bright Green Futures grant for courtyard natives planting 
  • Community Engagement: Business Supporter program building connections w/ surrounding community.
PTA Membership, Donation, Business Sponsorship, and Corporate Matching are all ways you can help!

Warning Phishing Scam - Do Not Fall for This
In the past view months, emails for PTA Board members on various campuses around AISD have been asking Parents in a direct email to go out and buy gift cards and then to take the picture of the codes on the back and email them back. KMAG and PTA are never going to ask you for the codes. During the teacher appreciation holiday party in December, we may ask for physical gift cards to donate. We will never describe a big need scenario and then ask you gift card codes! Be on the lookout!
https://www.change.org/p/join-students-in-calling-on-the-texas-legislature-to-just-fund-it-texas-public-education-is-the-best-investment-in-texas-s-future