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DISTRICT NEWS

Public School: The Foundation of Democracy
10/19/2018

District News from SuperintendentIn the Pampa ISD, we are settling into the 2nd six weeks of the school year and we are excited about the accomplishments and successes of our students and staff on the fields, on the courts, on the stage, and especially in the classrooms.  We are raising the rigor and challenging our students and staff to bring their best every day!  I am #PampaProud of the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our staff and am impressed with the work ethic and growth mindset that I am seeing from many of our students in the classrooms.  Learning and growing is a process that takes many stakeholders being involved along the way.  We appreciate the support of our community and parents as we continue to improve how we serve our students in the Pampa public schools.

 

Speaking of public schools, I truly believe that public school is the very foundation of our democracy.   The quality of the future of our community, of our state, of our nation, and indeed of our world depends on the quality of the education that each generation receives.  If we want a successful future in Pampa, in Texas, in America---then we must educate ALL of our students. 

 

I also want to remind you that one of the primary duties of the Texas Legislature is to fund public schools.  Article VII of the Texas Constitution states “…it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and MAKE SUITABLE PROVISION for the SUPPORT and MAINTENANCE of an EFFICIENT SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS.”    Did you know that currently, the state only funds about 38% of the cost of public schools in Texas?  In addition, that number is expected to go DOWN in 2019.  This is unacceptable.

 

So, what can be done about this?  Fortunately, we have the most powerful tool available to us that impacts the decisions being made at every level of government in America--- VOTING!  That’s right--- voters determine WHO gets to make decisions for us.  WHO we put into office has a direct impact on WHAT happens to us---in almost every aspect of our lives from education, public health, laws, to our rights, roads, and other infrastructure issues. 

 

I am often amazed at the voter turnout---appalled is probably a better word.  According to polling data published on various websites, less than 10% of registered voters determined who held office in the last statewide election.  That is just 10% of the REGISTERED voters.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of Texans that are not even registered to vote.  As I noted in earlier statements, voter registration has ended for the mid-term elections coming up in November.  However, it is never too late to be engaged.  Moreover, if you are a registered voter---never pass up an opportunity to vote.  Vote in every election—no matter how big or small.  In fact, voting is the BEST way your voice translates into outcomes that matter to us all. 

 

 

There are many issues involving public education that will be voted on in the next legislative session.  These include determining how many state assessments your child or grandchild must take every year and how much money will be put into education to help pay for counselors, teachers, instructional materials, and technology.  Other important issues involve the teacher/educator retirement system and health insurance for all of those in the profession. 

 

So, what can we do? I came across a list of things that focus the thoughts and actions needed by all:

  1. Plan to vote—no excuses!  Study the issues and the candidates. 
  2. Be smart—don’t be fooled by slick campaigns and promising quotes
  3. After the election—plan to support those who are elected, but determine to educate, motivate, and push them to do what is necessary to support public education---it is in the constitution!
  4. Stay engaged--- after an election is over, people tend to let their enthusiasm for the issues dwindle.  After the election is when the work gets done---or not!  Stay engaged in the issues and demand that your voice be heard.  We must remind our legislators that our vote is our evaluation of the job they are doing. 

 

Democracy is grounded in the concept of the people voting and having a voice in the decisions made for the state and the nation.  Democracy will not work if the people do not vote; nor will it work if those who do vote are uneducated.  Therefore, it is easy to understand that educating ALL of our students is the foundation of our democracy. 

 

I urge you to bring the passion you have for our children, for our community, and for our public schools with you when you vote.  Thank you in advance for being an engaged citizen and for supporting Pampa public schools.  The children in our classrooms are the future and the decisions we make today will define that future for them. 

 

As always, we want you engaged in our schools.  We welcome your feedback, ideas, suggestions and we want to know your concerns.  We have a wonderful volunteer program—VIP’s that will provide opportunities for you to engage in every aspect of the Pampa School system.  You are always welcome and we are always listening.  Give us a call at 669-4700 or visit our website at www.pampaisd.net

 

Tanya Larkin, Pampa ISD Superintendent

 


Red Ribbon Week October 22-26
10/18/2018

Red Ribbon Week Pampa ISD will be participating in the 2018 Red Ribbon Week campaign from October 22-26th. This year's theme is "Life is Your Journey,Travel Drug Free." Pampa ISD students are encouraged to show their support by participating in the following dress up days:

 

Red Ribbon Week Schedule


UPDATE! Important Alert
10/16/2018

News Alert UPDATE**  Law Enforcement has just notified Pampa ISD administration that the situation at WALMART has expired and ALL campuses may now return to normal activity.  Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together as a community to keep our students and staff safe.  

The Pampa ISD has been informed that there is a potentially dangerous situation at the local WalMart.  Because of the proximity of WalMart to Travis Elementary and Pampa Junior High, we have determined that it would be in the best interest of our students and staff to LOCK OUT these two campuses.  That means that on the inside, the students will do business as usual; however, no one will be allowed to enter either campus until authorities on the scene have informed us that there is no threat of danger.  We appreciate your patience and understanding while we do our very best to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. 


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