PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

September 20, 2012

Look around puts PAISD's tax-increase request in perspective

Terry Doyle
The Port Arthur News

— We are being asked to vote to tax ourselves even more by  PAISD. We already pay more school tax than anyone else in this area.  What is so hard to explain is why we pay so much and we all know industry pays something over 70% of the taxes. I did some looking around on the Texas Education Agency’s web sight and now see why we pay so much more than everyone else.  PAISD is simply wasting money.  I found where TEA lists all kinds of facts about school districts. It is in an area where PEIMS reports are found.

I learned that the Bastrop ISD has almost exactly the same number of teachers and students as PAISD.  I mean within two or three.  But PAISD has 111 more total employees than Bastrop.  Now I also learned that our average employee earns $39,598.00 per year.  So, we are spending four million plus more than a district almost exactly our size.  

The Canyon ISD has 9,068 students to PAISD’s 9,110.  So we have 42 more students.  But we have 152 more employees.  But wait, Canyon has only 551 teachers to our 580.  How can we possibly need 151 more people to work here, and at, $39,598 each.  About $6 million more each year.  Plus, in comparing us to Canyon I see where we pay our administrators $4,298,480 per year and Canyon pays, for the same thing, only $2,935,740. So, we are spending another million plus more than Canyon for administrators.

I looked a little closer to home in Galveston County.  The Dickinson ISD has 9,368 students, some 250 more than us.  But, we have110 more employees.  Why? And, no surprise, we spend $600,000 more on administrators than Dickinson.

In Bexar county the East Central ISD has about 350 more students than we have.  But, we have 110 more employees.  At, $39,598.00 each.  And, no surprise, they only spend $2,983,802 for their administrative staff.  More than a million less than us.  

In Dallas county, the Desoto ISD has 8972 students.  About 160 less than us.  But, we have almost 200 more employees. Why?  We also spend a half a million more on administrative pay. Why?

I hope some other taxpayers do some digging.  It is clear that if we vote to give these people more money they will squander it.  Perhaps another taxpayer will check other areas of waste.  I hope so. Perhaps test scores.  Or, graduates in college and do some comparing;

I spent time on the board.  It was the same thing then.  To many people on the payroll.  Wasting money. Way to many administrators.

Maybe someone can remember how many employees we had when we had over 17,000 students.  Someone might know if we spent near this much on administrators pay.

I don’t think our teachers are overpaid.  Underpaid if anything.  The payroll is bloated.  The administrators payroll is grossly bloated.

Terry Doyle

Port Arthur