Breaking News
More () »

Superintendent says his district needed at least $250,000 more in state funding to meet new security requirements

After “the most challenging of legislative sessions,” Wylie ISD superintendent David Vinson is calling on lawmakers to fund mandates they passed.

WYLIE, Texas — David Vinson says he was driving to work a few days before the 2023 school year began when an old 1980’s-era song came on that perfectly encapsulates the current state of his job.

The song? "It’s Tricky" by Run-D.M.C.

“I’m telling you, it’s tricky making all this stuff work this year,” Vinson said.

At the top of the list of things making life difficult for Texas superintendents is the passage of House Bill 3, which requires an armed officer, guardian or marshal on every school campus.

Vinson said he applauds the effort, but wishes the state would have given districts more money to pay for it.

He said he needs a minimum of “at least $250,000 more" to fund the 14 officers we’ve had to put at campuses.

And those are annual costs that will be in perpetuity, Vinson said.

“Glad to have them. They’re going to be super welcome,” he said of the contracted officers he’s hiring. “But we need that money.”

Wylie ISD is using L&P Global to provide the officers. The contract cost a total of $532,170 for the 2023-2024 school year.

HB 3 raises the amount of state funding districts receive for school safety to $10 per student per year — an increase of $0.28.

It also provides them with an additional $15,000 per campus. But Wylie ISD still had to find $222,635 in general fund resources to cover the gap that state funding didn’t.

The legislature also failed to pass teacher pay raises during the regular session. So, Wylie ISD had to fund a 3% raise on its own.

“Our teachers deserve every bit of it,” he said. “But it’s not just teachers.”

He said attracting and hiring school bus drivers in the current economy required a $1.3 million increase in spending. And new special education mandates necessitated an extra $3.1 million.

“We need more money for those particular things, because it’s costing a lot more to do regular old business in education,” Vinson said.”

Gov. Greg Abbott has promised a special session in the fall to address teacher salaries and vouchers.

Vinson isn’t sure how a voucher program might impact Wylie ISD yet, but he said he’s constantly trying to bend the ear of lawmakers.

“The legislature has so many mandates. We’re going to have to recognize Fruit and Vegetable Week. Every time that we have another law passed and things that are going to be done, it’s more things for public education to take care of,” he said.

Before You Leave, Check This Out