☆ ☆ ☆  2018-19 PTA EVENTS & NEWS  ☆ ☆ ☆
U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S

☆ ☆ ☆   MLK Day of Service Kudos  ☆ ☆ ☆
There was dirt flying, mulch moving, water flowing to, clippers snipping, garage bags collecting, paint rollers flying and many rolls of tape unwinding.  KMS is grateful for how much you accomplished yesterday.  Seven 30 gallon shade trees were planted and five staff bathrooms were painted. A lot of people helped and I want to thank you all.  I have a special shout out to the 2 kids who taped and painted for 5 hours.  Thanks Dee Gonzalez, Theresa Spicer, Leilani Plougmann, Kate Griffin, Laura DiCarlo, Dusty Harshman, Kara Kockelman  for all the time they put into this project.  And to our Business Supporters, we could not have done it without you:  Dominoes, RockStar, HEB, Keep Austin Beautiful, Organics by Gosh, Texas Native Nursery and Texas House Rep. Eddie Rodriguez. Thank You! 

A Morning with Dr Stuart Ablon & Dr Bruce Perry  
JANUARY 24 | THURSDAY 8:30 am to 11:45 am
Austin ISD PAC
They will be speaking on how to support the social, emotional and behavioral/mental health needs of our students. What can the available brain science tell us about why students struggle in some contexts and thrive in others?  Limited seating- RSVP required

Kealing Center Stage Party & Auction Planning on JANUARY 25
Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors on Chicon at 7:35 am Friday, January 25 .  Our planning is off and running.   We would love to have you join us.  For more information, please


Seeking your input on the hiring of the new Executive Director for Special Education
Dr. Lisa Goodenow, Associate Superintendent of Academics and SEL would love your input via a short survey which her department will use to develop a profile for the next phase in hiring.  The survey will only take a few minutes and will be active until Wednesday, January 23 at 9:00 am

JANUARY 25 | FRIDAY | 6PM 
Reflections Awards Ceremony  
January 25 6:00 PM 
Austin ISD PAC

FEBRUARY 25, 2019
Rally Day

TX PTA Rally Day

Attending Rally Day is an investment of your time and resources that Texas students cannot afford for us to overlook. Help us reach 2,000 attendees!

Concerned citizens of Austin, please plan for it, and mark it on your calendars. PTA members like you will descend on the State Capitol and show lawmakers that our united voice carries far and wide.  


Though Texas PTA advocates for students year in and year out, a new legislative session is invaluable for realizing the change needed to improve our schools and educational system, and to enhance the lives of our children. To that end, we invite all Local and Council PTAs and students from across the state to attend Rally Day on February 25, 2019, held biennially in Austin. Rally Day embodies the bold spirit of our CommYOUnity.


N E W S

#EveryMemberCounts JOIN THE PTA <<== CLICK TO JOIN & LEARN THE BENEFITS!

The 2019 Legislative session has started and School Finance is making news. PTA and other groups are working hard to ensure the Legislative understands this is an important issue. There are many ways to get involved, but if you are concerned about your property taxes, our children’s education, and you want something easy to do, join the PTA and help us show our strength in numbers.


Kealing PTA Issue Awareness
Go to www.kealingpta.org to learn about
  • Texas School Finance Basics
  • Texas PTA Legislative Priority: Public School Funding System Reform
  • Texas PTA Legislative Updates - how to get them
  • Austin ISD Legislative updates - how to get them
  • ACPTA’s Advocacy update and actions  including Make it Matter Monday’s
  • Join #JustFundItTx campaign   www.Justfundittx.org
  • Spread the student created petition on Change.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

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.

2018-2019 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Let us know how YOU can help by submitting this form:

For more information, email volunteer@kealingpta.org.

☆ ☆ ☆ IMMEDIATE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Reflection Judging Volunteers. Local artists and art lovers are needed this fall to serve as judges for a K-12 student arts contest called Reflections, sponsored by the Austin Council of PTAs. We ask for one hour of your time at Kealing (please email reflections@kealingpta.org) and at the district level. Reflections recognizes and celebrates thousands of student artists across six disciplines. Today’s art-loving students are tomorrow’s artists, and we want them to know that art is an essential part of what makes Austin the city that we love! You can register here to help at the district level.
  • Business Supporter Program. Click here if you are with a local business that would like to donate to the PTA or would like more information. If you are interested in helping visit 3 or more local businesses in August, please contact Ellen Anspon at business.supporters@kealingpta.com.
  • Membership and Hospitality. Do you like meeting new people? Do you like you bake? Or, can you help pick up early morning coffee donations? Sign up to help  with PTA's fall membership drive and back-to-school events in August and September. Please complete our 2018-2019 Volunteer Interest Form.

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!