GISD PROVIDING SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR ALL STUDENTS IN 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
July 15, 2020
I was reading the other morning and came across some great wisdom: Do not withhold good from those who need it when you have the ability to help. I immediately thought of our school board. For the last six years, trustees have consistently been good stewards of taxpayer money by lowering taxes, adopting balanced budgets, and putting money back into reserves.
More importantly, the board understands funding is meant to help those in our community – specifically our students. Last year, trustees gave every teacher in the district funds to purchase school supplies for their classrooms. They understood how much our staff members spend out-of-pocket annually in the classrooms and wanted to help. This year, they are stepping up to purchase supplies for all students.
The importance of this action is twofold: first, our board recognizes that over fifty percent of students in GISD are economically disadvantaged. In addition, many more of our families live paycheck to paycheck and their personal finances have been strained by the recent economic slowdown. Partnering with Operation School Supplies to provide supplies for all students demonstrates our district’s empathy and compassion in a time when negativity and criticism feed nightly news cycles.
Secondly, our country is in a public health crisis. In the spring, Governor Abbott shut down schools, yet all families in our district continued to pay their school taxes. The state required GISD to offer virtual instruction, which allowed us to save budgeted funds ordinarily spent on utilities, substitutes, and other expenses. Purchasing school supplies seems like a reasonable, affordable “thank you“ to our families.
Finally, GISD has heard from many parents, teachers, and community members encouraging in-person instruction when school returns. If we are going to be successful in this endeavor we must take every opportunity we can take to limit exposure and keep families healthy. If a few less trips to the store can help our families stay safe then it is an incredible bonus.
Of course, GISD is not alone in this mission as many families and community members continue to make donations to Operation School Supplies to help offset costs. Ultimately, the district is in a position of strength due to outstanding, fiscally conservative leadership.
We are blessed to have leadership on our school board that understands the importance of investing in our students. Whether they are providing meals for hungry kids or school supplies for students, our school board continues to show strong leadership. GISD’s budgets are balanced, we have significant financial reserves, and we continue to make deposits in the lives of our most important investment...our kids!