Praying For A State-Funded Jumbotron

The lawsuit filed by local school districts against the state isn’t about getting more money into the classroom, it’s about sending more cash into the black hole of the bureaucracy. One superintendent admits he wants more state money so his district can fund a jumbo-sized video scoreboard at their football field.

For all the talk from public school administrators about school finance, they only put about half the education dollars into the classroom. When they didn’t get as big of an increase from the legislature as they demanded, school administrators started cutting closest to the classroom and suing the state.

According to the Brownwood News, Brownwood ISD
superintendent Reece Blincoe had to tell the school board this week the district wouldn’t be able to get a fancy new video scoreboard.

Blincoe said that if state funding to the district gets back to normal levels, the district might be able to contribute to the  cost of a new scoreboard in partnership with Howard  Payne University which would require less sponsorship money from local businesses.

In an October post on his own school district blog (talking about rubbing shoulders with President Obama, and parroting Democratic propaganda about education finance), Dr. Blincoe wrote he is praying “the [school finance] lawsuits will force the legislature to fulfill
their constitutional requirement to provide an adequate education for ALL children in Texas.” (His use of all-caps.)

So with more state dollars coming to the school district, the school district could “contribute” to the cost of the scoreboard? I thought he wanted state dollars to contribute to the cost of an adequate education? Or, perhaps, a football stadium super-size video-playing scoreboard contributes to an adequate education? We know kids just don’t get to watch enough TV today…

Like many superintendents, Dr. Blincoe seems far more concerned about having a top-of-the-line scoreboard than providing a cost-effective education.

The funny thing is, the people of Brownwood don’t really want the new scoreboard. How do we know?

The district held a public meeting on November 29th to pitch the idea of the new scoreboard to local businesses to help secure interest in sponsorship money to make the project a reality.

The result? Blincoe says the ISD “didn’t at this time gather enough commitments to move forward on that project.” Translation: people here don’t want to pay for it, so we’ll just have to use state dollars.

It’s not like the district is without a scoreboard. Indeed, the current model shows video and the whole nine-yards; it’s just not the newest, bestest scoreboard your money can buy. Blincoe says, “We have a board that keeps score and keeps time so we will keep on trucking with that.”

(FYI: This is a school district that reported spending $37,981,591 on 3,507 students — or, $10,830 per pupil.)

In typical educrat double-talk, here’s yet another superintendent talking about spending money on education as he spends his time, and your money, finding ways to buy baubles and toys.

If the courts side with the school districts in their latest round of lawsuits, we’ll see even less money making to the classroom — but at least Dr. Blincoe in Brownwood will have his prayers for a new jumbotron answered.

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Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is the CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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