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November 30, 2012

Quinlan ISD superintendent speaks out on school equity

QUINLAN — Micheal French, superintendent of Quinlan Independent School District, presented his case for school equity before state legislatures on Monday.

French said the judge presiding over the case, Judge John K. Dietz, 250th Judicial District Civil Court Judge, was very receptive, but added that the lawyers opposing attacked him at every turn.

“I think judge Dietz listened to what I had to say,” he said. “But I received a barrage of convoluted, twisted questions, but the Good Lord was with me and I received a lot of positive feedback from superintendents, school board members, and according to attorneys and the Equity Center, it went extremely well.”

French is championing what he calls school equity, which he said will ensure all schools large and small, will be funded equally.

“It is an arguous task, but someone has to do it,” he said. “Quinlan ISD students are losing both college and career opportunities due to these funding differences.”

According to French, the lack of career opportunities is not a lack of teaching talent, but a lack of resources.

“This is not a lack of effort or knowledge,” French said. “It’s a lack of resources. Either the resources have to be provided or the standards have to be changed.”

 French said his schools are not afraid of the accountability but he wants schools to

have equal funding to have the resources necessary to teach properly.

“Every school is pretty much below the STAAR standard in Texas,” he said. “And the state cut $5.4 billion from us. Something has got to give.”

According to French, the funding issue has reached critical mass and needs to be fixed soon.

“We know money matters,” he said. “At least 70 percent of our students are economically disadvantaged, which cost more to educate. We are reaching a critical mass. They’ve tightened the belt and we’re about

to suffocate.”

French said all he cares about is ensuring that every kid in Texas receives the best education possible. He added that funding should show Texas cares the same.

“The bottom line is there are other counties, who have the same amount of kids, but get $4 million more than we do,” he said. “I don’t begrudge those other districts who get $4 million more, but I think our kids deserve the same.”

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