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Public Forum Information

Public Forum Questions

Wylie ISD and the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees have received questions from community members during the public forum portion of board meetings concerning various topics. By law, board members cannot discuss non-agenda issues during a meeting. In our continuing effort for transparency and accountability, we are posting questions and answers for everyone in the community. Please note that some of the questions contain statements that are inaccurate.

Public Forum Guidelines

David Williams (05/20/24)

“Good evening, members of the board. My name is David Williams. I'm here to be the voice for my daughter, [student's name]. [Student's name] was ranked in the top 10% at Wylie East High School. She set a school record by placing first in district attendance twice in the last four years. She's a senior this year. In addition to that, she played varsity basketball this year. She also played golf for three years. I'm here today because tonight, [student's name] wasn't allowed the opportunity to sign on signing day as a student-athlete. She got a golf scholarship from Fisk University, where she will be attending starting in the fall. She should have been allowed to sign on signing day. We asked to see a policy, but it didn't exist, and was told it was a decision.

Never should leaders in the school district make decisions based on personal bias in retaliation. Each decision should be in the best interest of the student. To take away a child's hard work and accomplishments is simply unfair to the child and should not be in the hands of unreasonable egos. It is a shame that this is the example that Wylie ISD is showing their students. You know, it's very important, the examples we set for kids because we don't even realize when they're paying attention to us and when they're not paying attention to us. There have been numerous students that come up to me and my wife because we're always around and they say, “Hey, you know, we don't think that this was fair.” And so, this is just, you know, one thing that we wanted to relay to you, the board, but not just the board, but the school district and everyone who may have heard about the situation. As elected officials, which one of you will step in and be a voice for the students? This is not just about our daughter. This is about other students as well that may face this. Because we don't think anybody has faced this before in Wylie ISD or at Wylie East. What can you do to ensure that this doesn't happen again to the next kid? Out of the eight district champions, [student’s name] was one of those. Like Mr. Craighead said it is rare to get as many district champions as we've had. And it's kind of a detriment to the district to not realize that parents play a significant role in the kids actually succeeding and getting to the level where they can win the district championship. Thank you.” -David Williams


We appreciate Mr. Williams taking the time to address the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees. We agree with his statement that decisions should be in the best interest of students. We strive to ensure that students remain at the forefront of all decisions. There are, however, policies, procedures, practices, and standards our district, schools and organizations follow.

In this case, the Wylie East Athletics Signing Day activities were hosted by the sports teams and were limited to students who played for the respective teams. While we are very proud that Mr. Williams’ daughter, who is a talented student-athlete, earned a scholarship to play golf at the collegiate level, she did not play golf for Wylie East High School her junior or senior seasons.

In lieu of participating in the Wylie East Athletics Signing Day, the campus athletic coordinator and the principal suggested that the “Raiders Are Going Places” event, which celebrates students with post-secondary plans, would be a great opportunity to highlight her scholarship. This information was communicated to the family. While we always aim to improve our operations, we support the campus’s decision in this matter. We wish Mr. Williams’ daughter the very best and are grateful for her contributions to Wylie East High School and Wylie ISD.

Lindsey Buerger (04/15/24)

“Hi, my name is Lindsey Buerger. These are my children, Eli, who is 12 and in seventh grade, and Emmeri, who is 11 and in fifth grade. They’re both homeschooled but both attended Smith Elementary through fourth grade and had many wonderful educational experiences there. My husband and I chose to homeschool our children beyond elementary for a number of reasons and both are thriving, but we are still big fans of the school district and the amazing educators here. Eli currently plays basketball for both the rec and competitive league. Emmeri is a dancer who participates on a competitive dance team. She’s an artist, a writer and has a love for acting and music. Both have maintained great relationships with many of their public school peers since they began homeschooling, and they would love to be able to expand their opportunities for sports and arts within their own community of Wylie during the UIL school seasons.
 

So, as a taxpaying resident of this district, I’m here today to ask you to support and opt-in by Wylie ISD to allow homeschooled students access to UIL extracurricular, academic and athletic activities. Due to the passage of Texas Bill 547 in 2021, homeschooled students are now allowed to participate in UIL-sanctioned, extracurricular activities. Texas House Bill 3708, which passed in 2023, ensures that school districts that opt to allow homeschool participation in UIL will now receive funding of $1,500 per student, per activity in which they participate. Not only is this a matter of personal importance to my family, but homeschool access to UIL activities is also extremely valuable to our district and the Wylie community for the following reasons -- Allowing homeschooled students to participate will increase the talent pool for both academic and athletic extracurricular activities. Increasing the talent pool will only lead to the further success of the district’s programs and the success of student teams. Allowing homeschooled students to participate will foster a stronger sense of community among the students, parents, and families within Wylie ISD. Extracurricular activities are often where communities bond. Bringing more people into that community will only make it more diverse and enrich the community bonds, representing the Wylie Way. Currently, there are already 37 other states dating back 50 years which allow homeschoolers access to extracurricular activities within public schools and now finally, Texas schools have the opportunity to catch up, and allowing homeschooled students access to participate will mean giving students living within this district both academic and athletic opportunities that they might not ever otherwise have, altering the course of their future. I do understand that this will take work on both the part of the homeschool parents, students, and the Wylie ISD educators and administrators to ease the transition for the schools. There are a number of other Texas school districts who have made this work over the last couple of years… [time expired]” -Lindsey Buerger


We thank Mrs. Bueger for taking the time to address the board and for her supportive words about Wylie ISD. While we recognize that approximately 35 districts and charter schools across the state allow homeschooled student participation, after careful consideration of House Bill 547 (87th Texas Legislature) and consultation with area school districts, Wylie ISD has chosen not to permit homeschooled students to participate in University Interscholastic League activities within our district. At this time, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the students we serve.

Michael Schwerin (02/26/24)

“Thank you, Dr. Day, school board members and administration. I’m coming up here actually in reference to a conversation that you and I had with Dr. Day after our last school board election. (And) one of the things that you promised to me, and I promised to hold you accountable for was that you would be more transparent in the budgeting process each year, and I’m coming up here tonight because unfortunately, I’ve not seen that transparency transpire so far even this year during the budgeting process. I know even in past years there have been multiple conversations, multiple presentations that we can see what’s happening within the budget and how things are happening, and this year has not been anything.

In fact, last month when during the presentation, not a single one of you board members asked a question about the budget process about what was happening, didn’t provide any kind of direction, as you are school board members, you’re fiscally responsible for our taxpayer dollars. And you should be asking those questions, and you should be providing the guidance, the overall guidance for the school district and for the administration on how they should be spending our taxpayer dollars. Tonight was another perfect example of a presentation that was put up here by Dr. Vinson, it was probably a great, great idea that we should all be supporting and be doing, but there probably is a price tag associated with that and there wasn’t a single question about what that cost would look like for us, and what that would affect our budgeting. As someone who works on a daily basis with people that are struggling to meet their daily needs with food, rent and utilities, I find it important that you guys consider those hundreds of families here in Wylie that are struggling like that, probably thousands of families in Wylie that are struggling with that.  And for many of them, they’re being priced out of their homes, they can’t afford food to put on their table or rent or utilities and they’re being forced out. In fact, I’ve had friends that have been forced out of Wylie ISD because they can’t afford the rent on their homes anymore and that falls strictly on the seven of you as board members. You have the fiscal responsibility to make sure that you’re keeping your tax rate lower and keeping fiscally and sound responsibility of our funds. I don’t think you’ve looked at anywhere you can cut expenses and I’m not saying that we need to cut everything, they’re probably things we can all agree on that we should be focusing on, whether special education, funding safety security, SROs, several other things that are in there with the disciplinary stuff that was discussed tonight.

There’s lots of great things that can be done, but then there are probably things that we can be cutting. I don’t think any of us have an organization or business that we don’t cut some things year after year that just are no longer fiscally responsible or fiscally manageable for us to do. That’s all we’re asking to do is to be mindful of that and look at ways you can cut and keep our taxes in line and keep our taxes lower. Thank you.” -Michael Schwerin


We appreciate Mr. Schwerin taking the time to share his feedback regarding the budget process. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of open dialogue on fiscal matters and the responsibility to our community in ensuring prudent financial management. The presentation at January’s meeting was a review of the 2024-25 budget calendar, outlining what occurs each month during the process. As next year’s budget process gets underway, we want to assure the community that there will be more presentations to the board, offering additional insights into the decision-making process. We acknowledge that it is important our community is well-informed about how their tax dollars are being utilized.

2024-25 BUDGET CALENDAR (PG. 7-8)

The district and board are also mindful of the economic challenges that some members of our community may be facing, and the responsibility we bear in managing taxpayer dollars responsibly. Each year, the district conducts a comprehensive review of the budget, actively seeking opportunities for cost savings without compromising the quality of education for our students and competitive compensation for our educators and staff. Approximately 84% of the budget is allocated to payroll expenses, and in line with responsible growth management, we only allocate positions as needed.

Regarding concerns about potential budgetary impacts associated with proposed initiatives, the district keeps fiscal considerations among the top priorities of our decision-making process. The current cost associated with the initiative Mr. Schwerin referenced is approximately $3,500. It's important to note that the initiative is in its initial stages, and any future potential costs will be thoroughly communicated to the board.

As the district and board navigate the complexities of budgetary decisions, we want to emphasize our commitment to the continued success of our students and the responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds.

Jay Combs (01/22/24)

"Well, good evening, and thank you for having me. I’ll start by telling you something that you already know very well. The teachers, leadership and staff at Smith Elementary School are amazing. They are incredible educators, and for four years, they worked hard to provide the best learning experience possible to my son, to my wife and I’s son, and that’s not an easy task. You see he’s visually impaired. He reads, writes, does math via braille, only braille. He gets around by use of a mobility cane and that presents difficulties, but the Smith Elementary School is top-notch in how they dealt with that. However, the school board needs to hear about challenges as well as congratulations. You see, two years ago, the special education executive department decided to remove our son’s braille teacher and replace her with an out-of-state contractor doing teleteaching. If that sounds incredible, insane to you to teach a blind student via television, that’s because it is. It’s like teaching a deaf student over the telephone. And, my wife and I, of course, objected to that and the school district went to the lengths of actually hiring a lawyer who spent an entire day at the meeting with my wife and I – thousands of these taxpayers' dollars were spent to defend this teleteacher.

Ultimately, the school relented, and they hired an emergency certified teacher who had not even completed her course studies in braille yet and never taught an academic braille student. Unfortunately, my wife and I had to make the heartbreaking decision that the needs of our son required us to resort to schooling for our son privately so we can have access to teachers who are experienced and could meet his needs. Last year, while he was still a student in this school district, he competed on behalf of this very school district in an event called the Braille Challenge. It’s kind of like the National Spelling Bee, but it’s all in braille. To the braille students, it’s every bit as important as the National Spelling Bee. He won that event at Region 10 and his score was high enough that he was called on to represent the state of Texas–the entire state of Texas–in an international competition at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In fact, he was one of the top 10 students in the world last year. He wasn’t recognized by this board, but he was one of the top 10 students in the world, and he represented the state of Texas with pride. At the end of the regionals, he received three things…a backpack, a braille monopoly game, and he was so proud to receive those, but he also received a braille printer. It’s called an embosser, and after the conclusion of that event, his teacher told us that they’d keep the embosser at the school to use them, and we of course agreed, but when we made the heartbreaking decision to remove [student] from the school district… [time expired]" -Jay Combs

We appreciate Mr. Combs taking the time to address the school board. Board members and district leadership were concerned and saddened to hear about the family’s experience. Our deputy superintendent has been in contact with the family and has discussed each of the situations mentioned in Mr. Combs’ remarks to the Board. We are grateful for the conversations we’ve had with Mr. Combs, and we are committed to working with the family regarding their needs and what they believe is best for their child.

Aleksandra Rolfson (08/21/23)

“Good evening, y'all. I'm here to speak about the bond, but I do need to address a quick note. I was surprised to have Wylie ISD employee sign me up to speak tonight. I had to provide my ID. Board operating procedure says a person who is wishing to address the board shall sign up prior to the beginning of the meeting on the day of the meeting. The signup sheet for citizen comments will be available at the meeting location. Each citizen should sign up personally. It says nothing in there about providing ID or anything else. Just a quick note.

Now about the bond. It's a nearly $300 million bond that's being proposed. My question to ISD and to the board of trustees is, if this $298 million bond is passed and new schools are built, where would funding for new expenses come from? New expenses such as teacher salaries, utilities, maintenance, et cetera? From my understanding, this bond cannot be used for those things. It has to come from an operating budget. We all know where the operating budget comes from. And even though this bond may not raise taxes right now, it more than likely will raise this operating budget for all these new expenses.

I would appreciate it if you guys would answer that or at least consider answering it. Thank you.” -Aleksandra Rolfson

That is a great question. Regardless if the bond passes or not, Wylie ISD will still welcome nearly 3,100 students over the next 10 years and must hire more teachers and personnel to provide quality instruction. Planning for new operating expenditures is very important, and it is vital for the district to budget conservatively when bringing a new school online. The new operating expenditures would primarily be funded by additional state revenue generated from an increase in ADA (average daily attendance).

Michael Schwerin (08/21/23)

“Again, I would like to actually reiterate Aleksandra's comments as I start my speech as well too, is that if you are going to change the protocol, a notice would be great and helpful for that for people that are there. I mean, thankfully I had my ID on me, but some people may not carry their ID or may be in their car and may not have it with them here and leave it at their house. And so just a simple email or notification, like several other districts do when they change their protocol, would be helpful for transparency purposes, as well too.

The first thing I'd like to also talk about is the tax rate. It's interesting that for years we've been told that there's no way we can ever do the no new revenue rate here in Wylie ISD. It's just not possible. But then come to hear the news last week that I believe, if I was reading the numbers correctly, from Frisco ISD, is that they actually were able to pass a rate that was below the no new revenue rate for some reason. Didn't have any conversation about losing state funding or being penalized from the state, which is what we've been told is the issue here. And it's interesting that Frisco is the one district that we're chasing up there on our school accountability ratings, and they're yet able to do that.

So again, I'd reiterate the ability for us to be bold as our new logo and our new information is, and look at why we can't do that and why we can't look at keeping the rate under the no new revenue rate. If they're able to do it, then it's obviously something that can be done. So let's start looking at that.

Secondly, with the bond, I would also like to talk as a member of the Facilities Master Plan Committee that met over the last [inaudible 00:03:41], I think it's important that I speak up for the several committee members that were speaking last week at the meeting and brought up our concerns about the feasibility and just the look of having a $300 million bond with a single question during our current economic situation that we're in. I think several of us asked, do we really want that all in one question? Why can't it be broken out into several questions? I'm not saying that we don't need some of the items on there. I think several of the items are needed and are very important, but it's also a matter of in the current economic situation that we're in what's actually needed and required for us to do our business, and what is nice to have that could be pushed off and waited and not put more burden on our taxpayers.

And one example of that was the elementary school. We find out last week that they're still looking at three different options for the elementary school rather than looking at the one. So if we don't even know what we're going to go with for that elementary school, why are we putting that in the bond right away? And when we don't know, there's three or four different options that we're still looking at for how we might configure that elementary school.

Another interesting thing was breaking it out into several questions because that was what the county is doing. The county is doing a $600 million bond. They have it in several different propositions. Why can't we do that same thing?

So thank you for your time and I just hope that you'll consider looking at being empathetic to our community.” -Michael Schwerin

Dropping below the Texas Education Agency’s prescribed maximum compressed rate "floor" and adopting a no-new-revenue rate would have jeopardized around $15 million in funding for Wylie ISD. The TEA mandates that no district can set an MCR lower than 90 percent of any other district to ensure tax rate fairness.

Wylie ISD adopted a tax rate that is 18.5 cents lower than the previous school year, coming remarkably close—within .003 cents—of the no-new-revenue rate. This significant tax rate reduction is attributed to legislative actions that increased the state's contribution to school district funding, enabling districts to compress their tax rates and reduce the local financial commitment. It’s important to note that this is not new money for school districts but rather a redistribution of existing funding. Wylie ISD is especially proud to adopt a lower tax rate while still maintaining a balanced budget.

The public is invited to watch previous Master Facilities Planning Committee meetings and review the documents provided to the committee to better understand the recommendation for calling for the bond. With regard to the meeting and the different Pre-K options, the district wanted to provide complete transparency on the various possibilities as we navigate through the decision-making process. Ultimately, Wylie ISD is experiencing unprecedented growth in Pre-K and must transition to full-day Pre-K by the 2025-26 school year to be in compliance with state law.

Wylie ISD has one proposition on the ballot this November, adhering to state legal stipulations for bond elections. Based on the proposed projects, which were reviewed by bond counsel, they were all permissible within one proposition.

Dawn Shallow (08/21/23)

“First of all, I'd like to look at each one of you as I read this. I'm here tonight to express my grievance with Wylie ISD. You have violated my protected First Amendment right. I hereby put you on notice that you have violated my First Amendment right, which is free from retaliation. On June 19th, during your last school board meeting, I used my First Amendment right to speak to the school board meeting and to object to the high tax rate. And as it pains me right now and hurts me to repeat your words, but these are your retaliation words to me on your public government site.

‘Wylie ISD is appalled and disheartened that Mrs. Dawn Shallow compared Wylie ISD taxpayers to the atrocity of slavery’ ... it goes on. But you also go on to say, ‘Wylie ISD sincerely apologizes to any individual who may have been hurt or offended by the insensitive comments made.’ 

That's my right, my free speech that you're speaking of. What was my sin? What demanded such public shaming and retaliation? Using my First Amendment right to come on the night that you're discussing Wylie taxes, objecting to the tax rate and stating that myself and fellow taxpayers are financial slaves to this Wylie ISD budget.

Regardless of how you interpret my words, it is my protected First Amendment right. We speakers follow your rules. Don't name names, don't call out people, but your response on your public website is personal, emotional, and inappropriate.

Before I lose my time, I want to make sure I let you know that I have been harmed by your retaliatory response to my protected First Amendment rights and ask for a written apology, a written public apology on the same school board public forum comments website, and retraction of your unconstitutional retaliatory response. There was a court hearing. I see your lawyers are here today. It is case number 122-CV448DAE on June 26th of this year, that Judge David Allen Ezra stated in his order on a Round Rock ISD retaliation against a person's First Amendment right.

The Judge states page 20, section E., First Amendment Retaliation. As a general rule, the First Amendment prohibits government officials from subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions for engaging in protected speech. A First Amendment of Retaliation claim requires that a plaintiff show, one, he was engaged in constitutional protected speech. Two, the defendant's actions- [time expired]” -Dawn Shallow

Grievance forms are located HERE for district stakeholder use. Level 1 grievances are handled by the Human Resources department.

Mrs. Dawn Shallow is referring to a federal judge’s ruling to allow a lawsuit against Round Rock ISD to move forward due to specific actions allegedly taken by RRISD.

Additionally, from the public forum webpage on the Wylie ISD website: Wylie ISD and the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees have received questions from community members during the public forum portion of board meetings concerning various topics. By law, board members cannot discuss non-agenda issues during a meeting. In our continuing effort for transparency and accountability, we are posting questions and answers for everyone in the community. Please note that some of the questions contain statements that are inaccurate.”

Jeffrey Keech (08/21/23)

“Bonds. I looked through the Master Facilities Planning Committee meeting notes, and I am not convinced the school district needs any additional schools. I looked at the campus facilities' handout from the March MFP meeting, the 17 elementary, middle, and junior high schools were all listed, along with their projected percentage of capacity in the 2027/28 school year. There were two schools, Akin and Burnett, were listed as being over a 100% capacity. Watkins was listed at 100% and the other 14 schools were all listed at below a hundred percent capacity. Five of those 14 schools are listed at below 90% of capacity. I believe that the school capacity district-wide is projected to be 92% in 2028. And I think a little bit of rezoning can handle any capacity issue at one or two schools.

Also in the March meeting slides was a slide highlighting the 2019 to 2022 three-year enrollment change for ISDs in this area. Wylie ISD increased by 10% and some of the high-growth districts to the east, such as Princeton or Community, increased by about 40%. However, enrollment in the more developed districts declined. Plano declined by 7%. Garland declined by 4%. Richardson declined by 4%. McKinney declined by 5%, and Allen declined by about .5%.

So the 10-year Wylie ISD student population projection from the master facility planning notes is projected to grow by 16% compared to 41% growth in the prior 10 years. So all of this is a strong indication to me that soon the student population here will plateau and then it will be stable or slightly decline.

And so just to close, to put this proposed bond initiative into perspective, the current pre-K to 12th grade student population is approximately 18,866 students, is projected to grow by between 1,523 and 2,318 students in the next five years, with the average projection being a growth of 1,877 students. Again, that's from the Master Facilities Planning notes. So the bond proposal being discussed is for $298 million dollars. So using the average growth projection of 1,877 new students, that equates to a cost of $156,738 for each new student. And I just ask if any of my numbers are not correct, can you please use the public forum to correct those for me? But anyway, thank you very much for your time.” -Jeffrey Keech

Wylie ISD appreciates Mr. Jeffrey Keech’s question. Student population growth is projected to grow by approximately 3,100 students over the next 10 years, although not as rapidly as in the previous 10 years. Regarding school capacity, aiming for 100% capacity or utilization isn't optimal. It's crucial to keep in mind that the district cannot uniformly allocate 22 students per classroom, given the diverse requirements and regulations for certain populations, such as special education and Pre-K. Considerations must also extend to hallways, cafeterias, and other shared spaces. 

We have explored rezoning options, but it has been determined that this approach wouldn't effectively address the capacity challenges. We encourage Mr. Keech and other interested stakeholders to watch the Master Facilities Planning Committee meeting videos available for viewing on the website as they go more in-depth regarding capacity.  

Michael Schwerin (06/19/23) - Public Hearing

“First of all, I'd like to say that I do understand this is a tough budget year. I think everyone in the audience and every one of the taxpayers are dealing with the inflationary issues that we're struggling with. But I also think that I was hoping that you all would take a more conservative approach. You all have said many times that you are conservatives and oftentimes, I've been told you're much more conservative than I am. But when you don't look at actually asking the staff to make cuts in areas that they can, I understand that there's lots of instructional areas that should be off limits, and there's certain other areas that are, and I do applaud you for actually increasing the special education budget. Because I actually remember about 10 months ago, I came here and asked about that, and I was told very inconsiderately that you guys were spending way more than you needed to and everything was fine. All the while you were actually finding out that you were needing to spend more and have more in the special education budget, which is what I knew was happening after talking to teachers and to parents within the district.

But then at the same time, you can look at other areas to cut. I run an organization, I have to do that all the time. I have to look at ways when I'm adding in mandatory requirements, to make increases to my health insurance costs and to other additional costs due to inflation. I look at other areas so that I can balance that out and where I can look at making cuts. And when you look at the budget and you have an increase of over a million dollars and you look at the administrative and then just leadership salary positions, that becomes a little bit frightening in there that we're looking at those kinds of increases, when there, which probably are not necessarily all due to inflationary issues.

And then, at the same time when you're talking about the security issues and then you look at the budget and the budget in the safety and security is actually flat, is a little bit concerning as well to me, that we should be looking at that. And in this day and age, are we really wanting to keep leaving that flat? Again, these are no questions that I haven't heard from any of you all. I mean I was told a year ago, during last election that we were going to have a much more transparent budget cycle, but I think it's actually been a little less transparent because there's been less questions from you all seven, asking where the money is going, where can we cut, where can we look at making cuts? That's what a conservative elected official does, who's a good steward of our dollars, looks at making those cuts.

And yes, we might be doing a balanced budget, but maybe the conservative way is looking at doing a deficit budget where we spend down some of the 77 million dollars that we have in our cash reserve. And maybe this is the time, this is a rainy day. It's a really bad year economically for everybody, so maybe we need to look at making that kind of cut. But, there's not been any kind of that kind of discussion by the seven of you all and that's what makes me very disappointed. Thank you.” -Michael Schwerin

The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees thanks Mr. Michael Schwerin for his thoughts and perspective. However, the district respectfully disagrees with the notion that adopting a deficit budget and utilizing reserves aligns with a conservative approach. In fact, the district's stance on conservative principles entails deliberate efforts to minimize debt through strategic actions such as bond refunding and executing cash defeasances. These measures reflect a responsible approach to financial management, prioritizing long-term fiscal stability while still meeting the needs of the district and our students. The Board of Trustees remains committed to making informed financial decisions that uphold the district's financial health and ensure a sustainable future for Wylie ISD.

With regards to the safety and security budget – the district has monies set aside in a contingency fund that is earmarked for safety and security.

Dawn Shallow (06/19/23) - Public Hearing

“Hello and Happy Juneteenth Day. This date represents the end of slavery. That's a wonderful concept for everyone except for Wylie ISD taxpayers, because we are slaves to the Wylie ISD finance department, superintendent and school board. In economic downtimes such as this, parents, students, taxpayers are struggling to pay basic necessities. Yet our school district thinks it's a good idea to increase our taxes so that they can get a piece of the pie, of our overinflated property values.


So, I'd like to ask some questions. Why can't you vote for a no-new-revenue rate? The no-new-revenue rate is 1.27%. It's simply 0.09% less than what the finance guys have proposed. Why can't you make cuts to travel lunches, further education, in these economic hard times? Just because you can milk the taxpayers and increase our taxes doesn't mean you should.


Every year our school board gives the district an open checkbook, which shouldn't happen, especially in these times. I ask you to send the budget back and ask the finance department to use the no-new-revenue rate of 1.27, which is the no-new-revenue rate, it's just like what the City of Wylie can do, then our district should be able to do. If you can't do that, I ask you to send the budget back and ask them to cut 10%. If you can't do that, I ask you to send the budget back and ask them to cut another 5%. I'll have more to say about the budget during the public forum. Thank you.” -Dawn Shallow

Juneteenth

Wylie ISD is appalled and disheartened that Mrs. Dawn Shallow compared Wylie ISD taxpayers to the atrocities of slavery. Such a comparison is highly inappropriate and disrespectful, and it does not align with the values and principles upheld by our district. Juneteenth holds immense significance as a commemoration of the end of slavery, and it should be honored and respected. Comments that diminish the importance of this milestone are unacceptable. Further, slavery should not be trivialized and discussions about the topic should be done with the utmost respect, empathy, and understanding of its impact on generations of people.

Wylie ISD sincerely apologizes to any individuals who may have been hurt or offended by the insensitive comment made. Our district is committed to fostering a respectful and inclusive environment for all members of the community, and we will continue to uphold these values.

Tax Rate

As has been shared in previous public forum responses, Texas school districts are required to submit their certified values to the Texas Education Agency for them to calculate and approve their Maximum Compressed Rate (MCR). Wylie ISD adopts the tax rate allowed by law to fund district operations.

City and school district funding are vastly different. While the City of Wylie may be able to adopt a no-new-revenue rate, the district cannot, as school districts receive the majority of funding from two sources – local property taxes and the state. School funding and tax rates have been a subject of legislative concern, and taxpayers who are interested in addressing these matters are encouraged to contact their local representatives to express their concerns.

If Wylie ISD were to adopt a no-new-revenue rate, the district would experience a significant decrease in revenue. The reduction in property taxes collected would amount to $8.871 million, and state aid would decrease by $7.448 million, resulting in a total revenue decrease of $16.32 million. Such a decrease in revenue would necessitate exploring options to offset costs, which could potentially involve cutting programs such as athletics and fine arts and others.

Wylie ISD will continue to strive to responsibly manage its finances while providing a premier education to all students and retaining a quality staff. 

Luca Pareti (06/19/23) - Public Hearing

I'm new to this city, and I see a unique opportunity in this city for the community and Wylie ISD to collaborate and start a new approach. I think that the idea that Wylie ISD feels undermined if they stop spending or if they do less, and vice versa, some citizens are mad, when they see their money misspent. We can change it because the property values doubled in the last five years. This gives a unique opportunity to this school district to have an enormous amount of money, without really increasing or maintaining the same rates. Technically we could cut the rates at 50%, with adjusted inflation, and have the same income.

Now of course, all the expenses are going up every year. This year particularly, we have high inflation. But I think if we open our minds and we start thinking about new ways to be efficient, there are going to be areas like special education, where I think we all agree, we want to put some more money.

But, I'm sure if we take the same effort that we put into what can we do more, where we can spend money? If we apply the same energy to where we can cut money, we are going to find ways where we are going to be happy. We are going to be able to keep the spend low and at the same time, Wylie ISD is going to be productive, efficient, and we're not going to lower in the quality of the education. I think it takes an effort from all of us to give you feedback and from all of you to give us a feedback, have an open discussion. And I think if we reduce the friction and do it more friendly, I think we can really find a solution for this and we're all going to benefit from it. I think transparency, like Michael said, I think it's the key. If there is going to be transparency, everyone can have honest feedback, and if we take the time to go back and forth and put it together, I think we're going to succeed in making progress.

This is going to be a tough year. We don't know what's going to happen over the next couple of years. A lot of people are looking at private school, homeschooling. At some point, the numbers may start going down, may start slowing down. And I think that needs to be put into consideration. I think if you start thinking about this now, we're going to be in a good position when maybe, there's going to be school vouchers, maybe there's going to be major changes in the scenery. And I just wanted to raise those points because I think it's the right time now to think about how we can cut so we can be efficient in the next short future. That's all.” -Luca Pareti

Wylie ISD extends a warm welcome to Mr. Luca Pareti and appreciates his attendance at the Board of Trustees meeting, as it demonstrates his commitment to staying informed and engaged in the district's affairs.

Wylie ISD is committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and maintaining our position as a premier school district. The district recognizes the importance of financial accountability and transparency in all aspects of operations.

Efforts are continuously made to prioritize fiscal responsibility, effectively manage resources, and allocate funds in a manner that maximizes educational opportunities for students. Through careful budgeting, strategic planning, and prudent decision-making, Wylie ISD aims to provide a high-quality education while being mindful of the financial impact on taxpayers. However, it is important to address Mr. Pareti’s comment about “cutting the rates at 50%, with adjusted inflation, and have the same income,” — the district cannot do that and bring in the same revenues or maintain the same level of operation.

We value the trust placed in us by the community and are dedicated to upholding that trust through efficient use of resources, prudent financial practices, and a commitment to academic excellence. Wylie ISD remains focused on fostering an environment where students can thrive and succeed while honoring the trust and support of the taxpayers who make it all possible.

Dawn Shallow (06/19/23) - Public Forum

“OK, so I couldn't get this all in one speech, so I broke it into two. I'm speaking tonight, not so much for the school board, because you all don't listen to taxpayers. First of all, give me 10 things that you have voted no on in the last five years, 10 years. Have you ever voted no? You don't listen to us. So maybe in the board notes you can tell us 10 things that you voted no on.

I'm speaking tonight mostly for my fellow Wylie and Murphy Taxpayers. The school district gets a near-maximum school tax rate on our homes. The maximum they can charge is a rate of 1.3645. They threw us a bone this year and are proposing a rate of 1.3622. That's a 0.0023 difference. In other words, we taxpayers will see another increase to our tax rates of approximately $400 for each homeowner. They show us a lower rate because it's pleasing to your eyes. But what actually happens is that your overinflated property taxes are here, their rate comes down here, they're still getting multi-million dollar increases. Wylie ISD is taking advantage of the uninformed, those who are too intimidated to speak at these meetings to you because of the retribution that you give, and you're taking advantage of the taxpayer's overall good nature.

Taxpayers, Wylie ISD lies to you about the process. If you listened carefully tonight, they set the tax rate. And they said our property values could go up, could go down, and that's going to alter the tax rate. But did you hear them once say that their budget is going to alter or fluctuate? No. Their budget is set in stone, they're not willing to budge and they base it on our overinflated property taxes. Like I say to my kids, do you want it or do you need it? Even listening to Ms. Spicer just now, there are all these things that people want that we don't need, especially in a down economy, just as we have now.

To add salt to the tax wound, these taxes aren't enough for them. They’ve already had plans in the works to ask voters to approve a multimillion-dollar bond package. Stay tuned for that. They want a new football field, more tennis courts and new furniture in an economic downturn. Friends, these people are not our protectors. They protect the school, they protect the teachers, they protect the administration. They don't protect parents and taxpayers. I'd like to know who's guarding the hen house? Because I see the foxes are. Thank you.” -Dawn Shallow

Voting Items

Wylie ISD follows a proactive approach and provides information to trustees prior to the board meeting to ensure the board can make an informed decision. Additionally, the administration only presents items that are believed to be in the best interest of the district, and it is ultimately the prerogative of the board to vote for or against those items. Mrs. Dawn Shallow is welcome to review the Board of Trustees' official minutes to determine which items received “no” votes over the past 10 years. 

Board Responses

Wylie ISD and the Board of Trustees welcome stakeholders to ask questions and share concerns about the district. Stakeholders reaching out to trustees and administrators is an important part of the dialogue and collaboration that takes place within the district. It provides an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their opinions, seek clarification, and contribute to the decision-making process, and many stakeholders contact the district when they have questions or concerns. Responding to public forum speakers and correcting false information is not retribution.

Possible Bond Package

Mrs. Shallow comments about a “new football field, more tennis courts and new furniture,” are in reference to information that she found in the district’s Facilities Condition Assessment, which is a comprehensive document intended to guide future planning. The document assesses the condition of all district facilities. Stakeholders are encouraged to review the information located on the Master Facilities Planning Committee webpage, learn more about long-range planning in Wylie ISD and gain a better understanding of district matters.

Randi Jackson (06/19/23) - Public Forum

“Good evening. We have a crisis in this country. It is not new. It's been going on for generations now. And the evidence of this crisis can be seen from the federal government all the way down to our local school boards. We have gotten into the habit of not living within our means. My household would fall under the category of economically disadvantaged, that 28.1%, this is last year's statistics that I'm going off of, of students that make up that portion of the district. This is a letter from my landlord that we got last week notifying me that because of property taxes, my rent's going up $300 starting next month. $2,500 a month for under 1100 square feet.

I am not alone in this. Renters, those of us who make up the majority of the economically disadvantaged, are being priced out of this district. If we can't buckle down and find a way to live and work within our means, we're doing the children we are here for a massive disservice. If we as a country, not just here in Wylie, but this is where we have the most impact locally, if we don't decide to bite the bullet and suffer a little bit now, we are doing our children a massive disservice and dooming them to suffer even more later.

Last year, Trustee Leggett asked, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Mr. Roderick, how much we would lose if we adopted a no-new-revenue tax rate because it was right prior to an election, and that was one of the things that was being harped on. The answer was approximately $12 million, and that does sound like a lot, but considering the total budget of $181 million for general funds, that would bring us to $169 million from last year's numbers. This year, I'm not sure how that would be adjusted based on the new revenue rates and all that stuff because you guys hire people who are a lot more knowledgeable and better at that stuff to know those things.

All those aspects of the district are important, where you're talking about athletics, where you're talking about CTE, all of those things. But I can tell you that I'm not the only one getting priced out of Wylie. And if it affected you personally, you might give more weight to these warnings that we've been giving you. We absolutely want the best for our students in Wylie, but not at the expense of the less fortunate in Wylie. Real quick, fun fact. Did you know there are 31 million people living in Texas and the governor makes $153,000? There are 70,000 people in Wylie, and the superintendent makes over $280,000. Thank you.” -Randi Jackson

Renters

We appreciate Mrs. Randi Jackson expressing her concerns about the financial challenges faced by many in our community. Wylie ISD acknowledges the need to balance the financial demands of the district while being mindful of the impact on our community members. We want to assure stakeholders that the district is committed to responsible financial management and being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Additionally, the budgetary decisions made by the district are guided by a comprehensive evaluation of the district's needs, educational priorities, and the best interests of our students.

It’s also important to remember that Wylie ISD doesn’t control property values. The Collin Central Appraisal District, an independent body, sets values within Collin County. Rising values and tax rates have varying effects on businesses and multifamily homes. Unfortunately, how landlords pass along those costs of inflation, property taxes and rising values is at their discretion.

No-New-Revenue Rate

Over 84 percent of the district’s budget is toward payroll. For the 2023-24 budget, that is approximately $165 million. Setting the no-new-revenue tax rate would result in a $16.32 million loss of revenue and would require the district to look at possibly eliminating personnel and programs.

Superintendent’s Salary

The superintendent’s salary is comparable to other superintendents in Region 10 and North Texas.

Dubravko Vukmirovic (05/15/23)

“Greetings, thank you so much for this opportunity. I want to be professional here. I had a son who was in middle school and now is in high school. I have 20 years in cybersecurity, holding architectural and management roles. It's very short. Wylie ISD doesn't have web filtering solutions for YouTube, games, or games on other non-game websites, including pornography. The ISD doesn't have any solution to prevent kids from that kind of dopamine drug in schools. A teacher came to me and said, "Your son is on YouTube for four hours across five teachers while in class." But I'm really asking myself, who is allowing this at school? The teacher says that they don't have time for this and, basically, I'm coming here to say that you have the power to prevent allowing any dealing of these dopamine drugs to our students. And then teachers punishing students because they cannot focus. You need to seriously look at this as a drug and look at who is sharing these drugs, allowing the drugs, et cetera.

Here's the solution, Blue Coat Proxy enterprise web filtering in your schools that will filter words on websites, not just one website name. Block YouTube. Another solution is to block YouTube and instead use myvrspot.com. Your teachers already have that, but it's always easier just to send a YouTube link, which now you have to enable the whole YouTube. Please follow up on these action items. In the world, in PISA, China is leading in the number one place while the USA is in the 13th place. So there we still have.

The second subject I want to address is physical education. As they chose a few sports players over the majority, children's obesity level in developed countries are three to 10%, and in Texas it's 46%, 15 times higher. The children in middle and high school get a hundred percent score 'already' only showing up. PE teachers are not responding to complaints and emails. Nobody tests children in a middle and high school for six pull-ups, 50 sit-ups, eight shuttle runs, seven feet long jumps, 50-yard dash, 600-yard run, a rope climb, and a one-mile, run for eight minutes and 23 seconds. Solution – implement APFT mandatory requirements for PE teachers, including like that. China is again leading. The United States had this in 1970 and then it kind of died down. So three minutes. [time expired].” -Dubravko Vukmirovic

Technology

Wylie ISD has web filters in place for pornography, video games, inappropriate YouTube videos and more. Federal law requires school districts to block websites rated 17+ on devices connected to the district’s internet. While on district devices, network, or WiFi, students are restricted in what they are able to view. The district cannot restrict or filter devices that are not Wylie ISD owned or not connected to the district’s network.

There are also many YouTube videos that enhance instruction and allow students to better connect to the content they’re learning. While Wylie ISD and teachers frequently utilize MyVRSpot, YouTube can be a valuable resource for students conducting research for classes. Blocking the platform would restrict students from completing such work at school. Students are smart and tech-savvy, and our district regularly tests filtering mechanisms, expands filters, and monitors technology use to better protect students while they are on Wylie ISD devices and network. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s campus principal if there are issues with technology usage that they aren’t able to resolve at the classroom level.

Physical Education

Wylie ISD physical education teachers follow the standards outlined by the Texas Education Agency’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Students in grades PreK-5 participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year as part of the district's physical education curriculum or through structured activity during a campus' daily recess. Students in grades 6-12 participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity through their PE classes or an approved PE substitution such as athletics. Participation in PE or an approved PE substitution is a requirement for high school graduation.

State law requires school districts to annually assess the physical fitness of students in grades 3-12, using the FitnessGram assessment. Parents can learn more about the state-required assessment HERE. The district cannot implement an assessment such as the Army Physical Fitness Test and must follow requirements the state sets. For concerns about the curriculum required for Texas schools, parents can always reach out to the State Board of Education, which sets policies and standards for districts. If parents experience issues with communication with teachers, please contact a campus administrator.

We appreciate Mr. Vukmirovic for taking the time to share his concerns and ideas with the school board.

Michael Schwerin (04/17/23)

“Good evening. I come up here speaking as a concerned parent who's not afraid to speak up and get up and talk to speak to you tonight. And I would hope that you would consider and realize over the last year how the number of parents that are up here speaking is actually decreasing. And I think Jill alluded to a little bit of that concern. That I'm not afraid to get up here and speak, but I am speaking for those that are afraid. Many have reached out to me via phone, email, and text, that are afraid to speak because of the attacks by district personnel and the gaslighting that we're receiving. It's just inappropriate for you to be spending taxpayer dollars on that kind of activities and attacking parents in Wylie ISD. And again, the way you do that with the public forum, with the forum comments using district resources on a district website is inappropriate and borderline illegal.

So why are they coming to us? I think that's something that all seven of you should be asking. They're coming to us, those of us that lost an election, that they're actually willing and hearing an open ear and a comforting ear and someone that's willing to stand up and speak for them, rather than going to the seven people that are elected to represent them. That should be really concerning to all of you and to the administration.

The administration chooses to gaslight, deflect, or attack parents that just bring up simple questions, and then community members as well, too, who aren't even students. And referring because we don't have students in this specific school that we don't have any rights to bring up any questions or comments about that, which is just incorrect.

This is a simple example of what happened recently in April with a trans substitute teacher that was teaching at Akin and Draper and at least one other school that I've been told by parents. Without any kind of confirmation and discussion to parents ahead of time or to district personnel, principals onsite. And when parents did reach out and ask about information, they received nothing. 'We're working on it. We're looking into it.' No more comments for three weeks. Why? Why are we not talking to our parents and answering questions and providing information? When you have a teacher, a substitute teacher, a trans substitute teacher that shows up and reads a story, that gets really concerning to a lot of parents in Wylie ISD. As a Christian community, a conservative community that I know all seven of you have talked about that we are, that should be concerning to all seven of you as well.

We're here, we're listening, we're not going away. We are on your side. I've said this multiple times in the two years I've been coming up here and speaking, that we wanna be here, we wanna be working with you, but when you attack us personally and professionally, that is a problem. And that's why no one is coming to you and no one's calling you and asking you directly. And they're coming to us 'cause we're willing to listen and have those conversations and then stand up here and take the arrows that are coming to us. Thank you.” -Michael Schwerin

Individuals are welcome and invited to speak during the public forum portion of school board meetings, and Wylie ISD is well within its right to respond to questions asked and statements made. Stakeholders have requested more transparency from the district and responding to questions and statements made during public comment is part of our effort to increase transparency.

As stated in response to two different speakers more than a year ago (January 2022), “This Q&A page was created following the November 2021 board meeting to address questions raised during public forum. All stakeholders have access to this webpage.”

Although the district appreciates Mr. Michael Schwerin’s statements regarding a wish to work together, we will not stay silent when false statements are spread about Wylie ISD, the Board, and individual employees. There is no conspiracy or effort to hide, ignore, or attack parents that raise questions – only corrections in an effort to tell the truth.

Substitute Teacher

On April 17, Mr. Schwerin reached out to district administrators with questions about a substitute teacher. The Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources responded to Mr. Schwerin on April 18. District administration has responded to any parent who has directly reached out about the matter. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email response .

Jill Palmer (04/17/23)

“Good evening. I'd like to begin by addressing the extremely hyperaggressive and frankly very hostile tone of accusation from the March forum response of me spreading misinformation.

It seems the author and those of you collectively approving those notes for comment are wanting to play in the game of Petty Polly. Well, I play that game pretty well myself. I just sent you an email. That email, do as you wish with the information. I have provided just one sliver of the misinformation that I have proven facts for. I really do not appreciate the aggressive and hostile attack on my integrity, ‘Spreading false information,’ is in fact defamation of my character.

Furthermore, in the same email that you received, you will find a written, respectful request at the advice of my own white-collar suit counsel. Yes, I have access to my own, mine are just way better dressed. They have advised that not only a written but a verbal request here for all of you to hear, I request that my family, let alone my children, will not be used in your comments. This is why. Because the actions of the supporters of the last election are completely questionable and I do not trust their mental health. And down the road, what if a rogue teacher wants to retaliate on my child. So, let's tone down the aggression because that is the reason why parents are scared and not wanting to come up and speak here.

Third, I want to respect the comments from last October, so I've been waiting 'til now. We have one month to the end of school, so I would love a recap as well as the stakeholders of the DEI committee of everything that's been actioned. What went well, what didn't, and what are the plans for the next year? What's going on there?

Ooh, I have plenty of time. So I'm gonna leave us with this and this is actually a closing more for Virdie and Mike 'cause I know you're new in your roles. I encourage you to start asking more questions. Both of you in your announcements for running for your seats, you basically had the same tone. You were making a commitment to continue on the vision of this leadership. Start asking questions, because currently, the vision is taking the rights away from the parents based on the influx of emails and messages I received of the parental rights being taken away of when and where their parents are able to engage their child in political and social conversation. That is not okay. Start asking questions because that is your legacy in the seats you hold. Thanks.” -Jill Palmer

Wylie ISD stands by the March 2023 public forum response to Mrs. Jill Palmer. The district will not allow incorrect information to disparage our district, diminish the accomplishments of students and staff, or attempt to divide our community. The district and school board welcome feedback, questions, and concerns from stakeholders and do not shy from criticism, but we cannot continue to waste resources on the ongoing adversarial efforts by some.

Email to Board - Student Suicides

Mrs. Palmer did not provide factual information in the email sent to the Board of Trustees during the April 2023 board meeting. At the March 2023 board meeting, Mrs. Palmer stated, “And the most tragic I've actually just confirmed two weeks ago, the five children who have taken their lives, and that's all that I know of. And when a concerned parent came to this district to figure out how to bring awareness, the district responded, ‘We don't want any negative awareness to our destination district.’ The irony of that with that answer. So is it really for all kids, or is it for only the kids that make us look good? If we're going to support all kids, then show up.”

In her email to trustees on April 17, Mrs. Palmer provided the names of five students who allegedly died by suicide in Wylie ISD. Of the names provided, three students did not attend school in Wylie ISD, and the district is not privy to their causes of death. Of the other two names provided, one student graduated in 2014 and died in 2017. The other student was a current student who died in 2014. While it is not the district’s place to share the causes of the death, the district can confirm these two students did not die by suicide.

For transparency purposes, we are providing the email exchange between Mrs. Palmer and Board President Stacie Smith. Names have been redacted out of respect and privacy for the families. Although Mrs. Palmer stated she did not need an email response and requested confirmation of receipt, Mrs. Smith replied to provide clarification and facts regarding the students named in the email.

As stated in the March 2023 public forum response and reiterated in Mrs. Smith’s email to Mrs. Palmer, any loss of life is tragic, and it is especially difficult to understand the death of young people. Our school district has experienced several tragedies over the years, and it never gets easier. Weekly, our students experience loss–relatives, family friends, personal friends, and more. Our schools and counseling teams do what they can to help students as they grieve.

D&I Update

A D&I update was provided to the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council on Feb. 22. We typically provide presentations to DWEIC such as program updates, demography, dropout prevention, facility planning, safety and security, federal funding and more. The presentation was posted on the D&I webpage on Feb. 24 for interested stakeholders to view. The presented here for your convenience.

Jeffrey Keech (04/17/23)

“Hello. School choice legislation was mentioned at the last school board meeting and one of the statements I heard was something along the lines of school choice opportunities that were debated in the Texas legislature would cost each ISD about $7,000 for every student that takes advantage of any of these school choice programs. So, this district here, spends, in '22-'23 spent $12,500 per student, and the statewide average is around $14,000 per student. So Senate Bill 8, which is probably the best known of the school choice bills that were debated in the statehouse that would fund an $8,000 education saving account for every parent who opts their child out of the public schools.

So, I assume that a school district that spends $14,000 per student educating, actually spends the $14,000 on the education of that child and that if the child were to withdraw from that school district, the total expenses for education for that district would decrease by $14,000. And not on a one-by-one basis, but if you take out 10 kids, I imagine the cost goes down by approximately $140,000. What else would the money be spent on if it's not spent on educating the students there? So, now, very basic math tells me that 14,000 minus 8,000 is 6,000. And so the state is actually saving $6,000 in education expenses for every child that opts out of the school district.

Furthermore, I think we can all agree that no one knows the needs of a child better than the parents. No one cares more for that child than their parents. And that parents would not take on the additional expense and commitment of a private or a charter school if the education for their child was worse at that school. The overall education experience provided for the child is- is gonna be at least as good and possibly better for each child that opts out of a public school.

So, the board's summary notes that are emailed after every one of these meetings, you addressed select comments from public forum speakers. And I would just like to ask if my math is incorrect or my belief that parents know the needs of their children best, if that's wrong, please take advantage of your summary notes and explain why my math isn't correct or why I'm wrong about the parents knowing best for their children.

It seems to me that if a parent finds a better educational opportunity for their children and the taxpayers of the state save $6,000 in the process, we should all be happy with that outcome. And it was disappointing to hear criticism of school choice programs at the last meeting here. And I just want to say that school choice initiatives place parents at the center of their children's education, it returns decision-making to the families, and I do think we should all remember that it’s always about the kids. Thanks very much.” -Jeff Keech

Mr. Jeffrey Keech is correct – parents and families know what is best for their children. Wylie ISD fully supports a parent’s right to choose the best educational setting for their child, whether it’s public school, charter, private, home school, etc. While we believe we offer students a premier educational experience, we recognize that parents may want a religious environment for their child or a setting that better suits their child’s needs. Parents should feel empowered to make the best choice for their kids. We understand that choice may not be Wylie ISD. With that said, Wylie ISD does not support legislation that would harm the district or take away from the students we serve. School choice still exists even without vouchers or education savings accounts.

The cost of educating students and operating schools is more complicated than Mr. Keech's simplified example. Last school year, Wylie ISD spent more than $89,000 per student for five students exhibiting severe behavioral issues. That example is on the higher end; however, the district spent approximately $445,000 to serve those five students. Every student’s needs are different and public school districts exist to serve all students. Additionally, if the district lost 100 students, it wouldn’t necessarily result in a reduction of staff as the students leaving would likely be from different campuses and grade levels – not all from one school, grade or class. The district will also still have the same expenses, such as utilities, insurance, and more.

Shannon Ayres (04/17/23)

“Good evening. My name is Shannon Ayres and I am the Collin County Education Division Lead for Citizens Defending Freedom or CDF. I'm here regarding the recent proposed rule change to Title IX, that broadens its language to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This undermines federal law and the legislative authority of the United States Congress. While some organizations have followed the misleading guidance of the Department of Education's 2021 Notice of Interpretation, following President Biden's Executive Order on the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. Both have been significantly misinterpreted as it was made clear by the court that the latter was a Title VII issue that did not apply to Title IX or any other law.

The Supreme Court in Bostock emphasized that sex-based employment discrimination consisted was consistent with Title VII, but it was not. It was unconstitutional but explicitly refrained from applying their ruling to Title IX. As such, this renders the Department of Educations's NOI and the Executive Order null because it expressly contradicts Supreme Court precedent. If this wasn't enough, there have been a handful of cases further demonstrating the inapplicability of the Bostock ruling to Title IX issues. This includes a recent ruling out of a federal district court issuing a preliminary injunction barring the execution of the Biden Administration's NOI and Executive Order from taking effect in 20 states, including Arkansas and Oklahoma. Separately, a federal district court in Texas affirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected categories because Title IX must be read in the original context in which it was drafted in 1972, where sex was understood to be biological and binary. A federal appellate court covering Florida, Georgia, and Alabama jurisdictions also found this to be true, ruling that a local school board's bathroom policy did not violate Title IX because Title IX conforms to an understanding of sex consistent with the societal understanding of sex at the time of its drafting. Beyond this, applying any directive that neither conforms to these recent rulings nor takes into consideration the necessity of receiving Congressional approval before making a change to federal law is itself an unconstitutional act.

In Bostock v. Clayton, the Supreme Court stated the people's representatives are the ones who must amend Title IX, thereby making it unlawful for non-congressional officials, including school board members, to assume changes to Title IX in the absence of approval to amend it, a power reserved exclusively by Congress. I would ask that you consider this information before acting on the coercive tactics by organizations intentionally misapplying Title IX to push a political agenda. A serious consequence of this misapplication includes the erosion of student privacy stemming from the rights of students to use sex-separated facilities and to participate in sex-separated sporting activities. One final note. This rule change is currently open for public comment in the federal register until May 15. Due to the federalism implications of this rule change, they are encouraging state and local elected officials like yourselves to review and provide comments. [time expired]” -Shannon Ayres

The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees thanks Ms. Shannon Ayres for her comments.

Jill Palmer (03/20/23)

“Good evening you guys. I know it's been a couple of months. Mom duties and Monday's activities, so I haven't been here. But for some of you, the voices in your head, no, you haven't gotten rid of me just yet. I want to start to reiterate in December when I said the work starts now to try and figure out how we can keep moving forward to engage the community. I want to just bring tonight some reminders. The first reminder I want to reference, Dr. Day, when you talked to the PTA forum last October, you confessed that the board needs to do a better job communicating to the district, to community, to parents, to staff, what it means, what's going into the budget… Actually, the NNR is on the consent agenda, well you took it off the consent, it’s on the agenda. And I love that you’re expanding on it but what more can we do?

We always like to reference other school districts and mimic whatever decision [inaudible] to make. Plano ISD actually had town halls at the high schools and they were able to bring subject matters one or two that were going to be discussed on those evenings. So I think that's something that we can kind of try and figure out in our district because we haven't had that avenue. And so in order to get more money and more capital from us, I think we also need to have more information and not just a presentation, which is really hard to follow and you know no one is going to go online and listen to it. So let's just be real.

Reminder number two, your campaigns touted for all children, all students, right? You even used our taxpayer money to remind us that it's not all about education. It's about the character. Support of our students, our community, and our staff. So I kind of want to know where is support for our students that don't make this district look great, who don't support the ratings, the ones who are battling anxiety and depression every single day, who are dealing with the escalated fights happening at the highs, dealing with the perverse sexual behavior happening in the bathrooms, the vaping.

And the most tragic I've actually just confirmed two weeks ago, the five children who have taken their lives, and that's all that I know of. And when a concerned parent came to this district to figure out how to bring awareness, the district responded, ‘We don't want any negative awareness to our destination district.’ The irony of that with that answer. So is it really for all kids or is it for only the kids that make us look good? If we're going to support all kids, then show up.

The last reminder, the groomer teacher that resigned, he's still active at the State Board of Education, so whoever is in charge of getting that alerted and red-flagged where he doesn't have any further access to children, that needs to happen. Thanks.” - Jill Palmer

Mrs. Jill Palmer has yet to contact district staff regarding the situations she mentioned, and it is disappointing she chose to use a public arena to share misinformation about Wylie ISD.

Budget

The district always welcomes opportunities to explore ways to be more transparent with stakeholders.

Student Suicides/Deaths and Mental Health

The death of any student is a tragedy and difficult to comprehend. However, Wylie ISD is not aware of five student suicides this school year or in the past three school years. In the event of a student’s death, it is not the district’s practice to share the cause of death with school families unless the affected family grants permission or specifically makes the request. While Mrs. Palmer may be interested in learning details about a student’s cause of death, that information is not the district’s news to share, and Wylie ISD believes in respecting a family’s privacy and their time to grieve.

The district will notify the impacted school’s families about a student’s death to ask for privacy for the grieving family and to ensure parents have the opportunity to speak with their child about the death. Counseling and assistance are provided for any student or staff member struggling with the news, and the district-wide crisis team stations on campus to provide additional support.

Suicide awareness is discussed in Wylie ISD, and suicide ideation affects many people, both children and adults. Last fall, the high schools hosted informational tables at lunch during Suicide Prevention Month. The district featured Wylie High School’s efforts HERE. Guidance & Counseling also provide resources for students and families struggling. This is not a subject we take lightly, and “reputation” is the least of our concerns when it comes to our students’ safety, security and well-being.

Mental health is a priority in Wylie ISD. We recognize and understand there are students who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related matters, and our district has poured resources into supporting those students. Every Wylie ISD campus has a Professional School Counselor on staff. These counselors, who each have master’s degrees, help students work through their anxiety or depression at school and provide responsive services when students express that they’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or more. Counselors follow Texas Education Agency Guidelines and the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, including Guidance Curriculum, Responsive Services, Individual Planning, and System Support to help meet student needs at school.

At the high school level, we also employ two Student Support Advocates (SSAs) at each campus. Our SSAs have backgrounds and specific training in mental health in public schools. The role of our SSAs is to assist the students facing personal struggles and to help them find the help they need to get through life’s hard times. The SSAs alone have received hundreds of visits over the past two years and provide families and students with educational resources and also host wellness workshops.

We are proud of our work to help our students and always strive to improve. The district is disheartened by Mrs. Palmer’s statement, “So is it really for all kids, or is it for only the kids that make us look good? If we're going to support all kids, then show up.” Wylie ISD exists to educate and serve all students and takes great offense to statements that insinuate otherwise.

Student Behavior

Mrs. Palmer does not have children who attend Wylie ISD secondary schools, and we are unsure what she is referencing about “escalated fights at the highs” and “perverse sexual behavior happening in the bathrooms.” If Mrs. Palmer or other parents are aware of specific incidents, we encourage them to bring information to campus administrators.

While the vast majority of students will make the right choices, there are students who will make poor decisions. We believe the education of students is a shared responsibility, and it is our hope that parents have conversations with their children about appropriate school behavior.

As shared in an August 2022 public forum response, every school year, students and parents sign the Student Code of Conduct which explicitly outlines the district’s expectations for student behavior. There can be serious consequences for failure to abide by the code of conduct. The following is the acknowledgment form students and parents sign:

I have read, understand, and agree to abide by Wylie ISD's Student Code of Conduct for the [school year]. I understand that [student name] will be held accountable for the behavior expectations and disciplinary consequences outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. I understand that the Student Code of Conduct governs all behavior at school, at school-sponsored and school-related activities, during online or other remote instruction, during school-related travel, or while traveling in a vehicle owned or operated by the District. I also understand the Student Code of Conduct governs some designated behaviors occurring within 300 feet of school property, some designated behaviors occurring off-campus, including certain electronic communications and postings, and any school-related misconduct regardless of time or location. I understand that a referral for criminal prosecution is possible for certain violations of law.

Former WHS Teacher

As shared with Wylie High School families, Wylie ISD notified law enforcement, Child Protective Services (CPS), and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) the same day the district received a report about the former teacher (March 3, 2023).

Mrs. Palmer does not have children who attend Wylie High School, otherwise, she would have been aware of these facts. We encourage Mrs. Palmer to contact the Texas Education Agency and the State of Texas regarding the matter since the state’s timeline for updating an educator’s certificate status is beyond the district’s control. Wylie ISD reported to all required agencies, provided any requested documentation, and WHS principal Brian Alexander communicated information about the situation to families. Reiterating the message Mr. Alexander shared with families, the district will not tolerate improper communication to students. It is disappointing that Mrs. Palmer faults Wylie ISD for a system the state can only update. For transparency purposes, we are providing copies of the district’s March 3 notification to SBEC. Individuals can also learn more and look up educator certificates on the TEA website.

Michael Schwerin (03/20/23)

“Thank you. I'm here to speak again as a parent of the district and as a former candidate who talks to thousands and thousands of parents and taxpayers throughout the district. And again, I heard over the last 12 months, a lot I've heard about is, ‘It's all about the kids. All about the kids. All we care about is the kids.’ But then I come to the school board meetings and I start hearing more focus on ratings and how ratings and what the ratings are rather than actually what's happening within the classroom. Last month was a perfect example where we're concerned more about the fact that we might lose our ‘A’ rating than actually what's being taught to our students, and focusing more on college readiness versus career readiness in other areas.

And as a parent of a student who actually a couple of years ago came home crying because she decided that she might not want to go to college. She might want to just look at going directly into her career who was by staff, teachers, and students made ostracized and made to feel belittled because she decided she might not want to go to college right away. This is a pretty much straight-A, GT student who made this decision, who we support in that position who was ostracized. So I'm concerned about that. And then when we come up tonight and we start talking about the school voucher system and how that's going to hurt us, again, it's because you're saying they don't have accountability, but it's because people that are leaving this district, because they leave because of the school of vouchers, because of what the kids are being taught in their other districts, in their other schools and not being taught here or being exposed to here in Wylie ISD that they're not being exposed to in those other districts.

Things like books that we've heard about a lot about. And I was actually really alarmed to actually have a parent who happened to go to the Boots and Barbecue gala who showed me a picture of several pages of a book that was actually removed from the libraries here in Wylie ISD, the Boy Next Door because it was obscene and vulgar and was sitting on their table. And I don't know how many others had that happen, but that is alarming and I still don't understand what happened. As someone that's a fundraiser and does fundraising for a living and does events, I know it's difficult and there's a lot of things, the moving parts in there, but that's something that I would not have missed and I would've been paying attention to because it's been something that we've been talking about for the last 12 months or more here in Wylie ISD.

And then we come today's meeting as well too and I'm alarmed the fact that... As you said, Dr. Day, we are going to focus on being more transparent and more open, but then we spent all tonight we talked about was hearing about millions and millions and millions of dollars that you're asking us to spend. Not a single discussion about cutting budget or where we can cut expenses to make up for those needed increases in special education and other areas that I agree with, we need to do, but they also need to be looked at other areas that we can cut. That's how a true leader works and how a true leader that listens to the taxpayers who are concerned about the budget and concerned about the growing tax burden. Not blaming the state for putting more erroneous unbudgeted things to it, but actually figure out how we can make that work.” - Michael Schwerin

Board Reports, CCMR Report, and Vouchers

Wylie ISD provides the Board of Trustees with information reports about matters that affect the district. This includes but is not limited to reports about the budget, accountability and more. It appears that Mr. Michael Schwerin did not understand the Feb. 27, 2023, information report about the Texas Education Agency’s proposed changes to accountability for College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR). The proposed changes diminish the work school districts are doing to prepare students for life beyond high school. Instead, the TEA is placing a heavier emphasis on:

  • student persistence in college (whether students continue past the first year of college), and 

  • irrelevant industry-based certifications (TEA is ‘sunsetting’ important certifications such as OSHA for student achievement indicators - see 2019-22 list vs. 2022-24 list on the TEA's industry-based certification list webpage.

Our goal as a school district is to provide educational experiences that will allow our students to thrive no matter what path they take. Not every student will attend college, and that is perfectly OK. We need to graduate workforce-ready young people who will help our country flourish and are passionate about their work. Wylie ISD and other public school districts should not be punished for these efforts.

Vouchers or ‘Education Savings Accounts’ is a hot topic in the 88th Legislature and would have a significant impact on public schools, including Wylie ISD. It is vital that we have conversations and discussions about matters that affect our district. We stand by our stance in opposing a school voucher system/Education Savings Account.

Boots ‘N Barbecue Gala

Signage from Boots n Barbecue event

It is disappointing that Mr. Schwerin did not reach out to the Wylie ISD Education Foundation to learn more about the decorations. In fact, WEF had signage at the event that stated, “Decor brought to you by nearby libraries and friends. Books used for decorations were provided at no cost by local and regional libraries and were slated to be destroyed or recycled. They are for decoration purposes only and not content for classrooms.” A photo of the sign can be found below. Half-Priced Books, the City of Wylie’s public library, McMillan Junior High, Wylie East High School, and private individuals were among the groups who helped donate more than 1,000 books for the event’s decor.

Additionally, with the exception of high school students who performed during a designated timeslot, the event was for adult attendees only. The book referenced has never been on a Wylie ISD shelf, and we are not sure what decorations at such an event have to do with Wylie ISD libraries or students.

Budget

Wylie ISD and the Board of Trustees are committed to being good stewards of tax dollars. The district will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of students, staff and taxpayers while remaining transparent during the process. 

Dawn Shallow (01/23/23)

“Good evening. I am here tonight to want to be an informed taxpayer. I think I speak for all Wylie taxpayers. There’s 50,000 of us. I was reading the superintendent contract you approved nine weeks ago and I find it vague. So, in an effort for transparency, I would like some information posted on the website. When I’m reading the contract that you approved nine weeks ago, some of it’s straightforward… the base salary, $280,000, $6,000 for a car allowance, $12,000 for civic responsibilities, that brings us to $296,000 a year. But what I am confused about is vague and I would bet that not one single taxpayer knows the answer to this. Probably the eight of you do and maybe HR. The Texas retirement, this is kind of vague. It says the district shall supplement the superintendent’s salary by an amount equal to the superintendent’s portion of the monthly member contribution to the TRS for the term of the contract, including any extensions. This salary supplement shall include both the retirement and TRS-Care parts of the TRS member contribution. So my question to you is, and this is what I would like published, how much exactly is that? Because I go to the TRS and it says eight percent is the member contribution rate. So, is our superintendent getting paid the $296,000 in addition to the eight percent more, which would be another $22,000? I would bet not one single taxpayer knows the answer to this. Only you guys do. So I would like to know exactly how much we pay our superintendent. How much is the TRS retirement we pay for him and how much is the TRS health we pay for him? So I would like that for transparency because eight percent is another $22,000. So, I would just like to know the answer to that. I would like to say thank you, school board, for working for free. Thank you.”

For the 2022-23 school year, the superintendent is receiving $23,986.90 for the TRS supplement. The superintendent’s contract and salary are comparable to other Region 10 and North Texas superintendents.

Jeffrey Keech (10/24/22)

"Hi, I'd like to start by just thanking Mitch Herzog and Heather Leggett for your service as a trustee. My children and many others have benefited from all your service to this community. When I was about 11, I joined the Boy Scouts and I remember being asked one of the first things I was asked was, how do you eat an elephant? If anyone knows how to eat an elephant? Well, you eat it one bite at a time. So let's say that you know that we want to talk about this flattening the tax rate, what do you call it, no-new-revenue-rate or just keep the taxes next year what they are this year.

In order to do that, you have to start by looking for ways to save money. I'm sure there's at least some waste in a government entity with a $231 million budget. So I think a good place to start and maybe identify some line items in our budget that may not be necessary. Like I’ve seen expenses for $12,000 for T-shirts, $15,000 for a keynote speaker, $10,000 for a different keynote speaker. And I wonder if those are all necessary? Maybe they are. But I wonder if you've looked into those. Or maybe look at the travel budget between July of 21 and April of 22. The district spent about $86,000 on plane tickets, hotel expenses, travel agent fees and conference registrations. I'm sure if we add in the per diem, that total amount is well over $100,000. The district attended conferences in places like New Orleans, New York, Las Vegas and San Diego. In a post-COVID world, I wonder if those travels are really necessary. Then private sector companies all over the world are finding out that no, they're not necessary. In fact, you can probably learn as much or more by attending conferences virtually or taking online training classes. I do believe the district spent about 30 nights at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Round Rock. I wonder if that was necessary. I would imagine it’s very distracting there. And I think you could probably get the same amount of learning without having to travel there.

And while we're discussing some of the conferences, let's look at some of the material that was presented at one of these conferences. In the last two years, the ISD sent 13 counselors to the American School Counselors Association annual conference, the opening session for this conference talked about educational equity. There was a session about implementing culturally sustaining anti-racist practices in their work. There was a session about supporting transgender and gender-expansive students. I wonder first they had to define what a gender-expansive student is. And there was also a session that asked what does it mean to be white? One of the answers on the bullet point given was that because white folks don't necessarily see whiteness as a culture, this allows them to think about themselves as individuals and not white. And I don't think that kind of thinking has any place in this school district or any in the country." - Jeffrey Keech

Expenditures

Wylie ISD and the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees remain committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. There is a purpose behind every dollar spent in Wylie ISD.

Travel

The Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Round Rock hosted several education-based conferences this past year. Employees attended these conferences for professional development. While in the past conferences have been offered remotely, many reputable professional development conferences are now in-person events only. Further, in-person conferences allow staff members to network with other education professionals. Some of the district’s more successful initiatives, such as #IHaveAPlanWISD, came from ideas shared at conferences.

Counseling Conference

Our district encourages employees to seek professional development opportunities, and our school counselors attend such conferences to remain up-to-date on best practices in their field to meet the needs of the students and staff at their campus.

Mr. Jeffrey Keech named only a few sessions out of the numerous breakout sessions offered at the conference. One of the days offered nearly 80 sessions. Sessions included everything from how to “teach exemplary classroom lessons” to “CTE and college readiness.” Our counselors attended sessions that they believe would help them best serve the students and staff of Wylie ISD. A link to the sessions offered at this year’s conference may be found on the conference website.

We are not aware of our staff attending the sessions Mr. Jeffrey Keech mentioned. When our counselors returned from the conference, they shared with district counseling administrators what they learned and if there was anything they wanted to bring to their campus or the district. Counseling administrators always vet materials, resources, practices, etc. prior to any campus-level implementation. In the past, our counselors have discovered valuable resources at this conference, such as grief materials, tips for students and families going through a divorce, small group activities for students who have ADHD, and more.

Jessica Fourrier (10/24/22)

"For the past two years, I have been more involved coming to the board meetings, reading all the school emails and really trying to know what's going on with Wylie ISD. My family moved to Wylie because we were told and believed that Wylie was a good school and a conservative city. I believe that Wylie is a conservative city but I think that the Wylie ISD school board and Vinson have fallen short, in so many ways. They have bowed to the woke culture that is ruining schools across America. We should be teaching patriotism in school, how to be proud of our country, how it was founded and how far it's come. We should be teaching Americans to be united and not divided because of their differences. That is not happening, but I think it should and could with the right people making the decisions.

Since the people supporting your campaign the keyboard warriors are so interested in truth in fact, I thought I would share some facts.

Fact number one. You as a board with Vinson, hired Sara Wicht from the Southern Poverty Law Center, paid her $15,000 to come up with the program “Let's Talk” which was to facilitate conversations between teachers and students about white privilege, Black Lives Matter, mass incarceration and police brutality. You did this without consulting parents and ended up wasting taxpayer money.

Fact number two. At the Wylie High School graduation in 2020, Virdie Montgomery asked all students to kneel for solidarity for George Floyd and social injustice. And all of y'all knelt with him. Why on earth would you think that it's okay to teach children about a personal belief that you have my house would never kneel for a criminal that assaulted a pregnant woman, no matter how he died.

Fact number three. In January, I spoke at the board meeting about the books that are obscene in our schools and asked that they be reviewed. None of you emailed me. I asked Jacob Day to check into the book issue at the next meeting and he said he would. I never heard back from him. I've heard y'all say Wylie ISD doesn't have any bad books in their library. That's a lie. The bad books are not just about pornography, but also about CRT and books glorifying teen suicide. Wylie ISD has secretly removed at least six books on this list without communicating with me or posting it on the forum that y'all created to show your transparency.

Fact number four. Wylie ISD is not allowing parents to assist with the book review process, which by state law they're required to do. It does not matter if you yourself consider that you have an established library. That's not real.

Fact number five. I have emailed the entire board at least 15 times in the past two years and I've received either a generic thanks for your email or nothing at all. What does that say for your transparency?

Fact number six. You all claim to be conservative. Even though you say this is a nonpartisan race. Yet you all have voted on, done things that would not support your claim to being conservatives.

[Board President Stacie Smith interjects, “Mrs. Fourrier, please remember that there's no electioneering allowed, this will be your only warning.”]

Fact number seven. Please don't waste my time. I'm gonna keep going. You have been spreading misinformation to the public about the taxes. The tax rate y'all voted on was technically numerically lower than last year. But because of house prices going up so much, you will be getting 11% more from the citizens of Wylie, totaling $16.8 million more dollars than last year. And you knew what the mortgage rates were before you voted. So in essence, you did raise taxes. So in conclusion, you're not transparent. You don't work with parents unless they're patting you on the back and you're not conservative. I will not be voting for you." - Jessica Fourrier

Our district celebrates America, and patriotism is often exhibited at our schools and events. Students in grades K-12 also recognize Celebrate Freedom Week annually in their social studies classes. In May, we proudly shared that our local American Legion group presented a 40-minute program focused on flag etiquette to McMillan Junior High students. Additionally, Board Policy AE(LEGAL) states, “Educators shall cultivate in students an informed American patriotism and lead students in a closed study of the founding documents of the United States and Texas.”

  1. The district has made missteps, big and small, over the years. This includes the hiring of Sara Wicht, which the district addressed during the Diversity & Inclusion presentation at the Aug. 21, 2021 Board Meeting (time stamp 34:20-36:05 of the archived video). Ms. Wicht was hired to provide limited training on equity to district and campus leaders, campus liaisons, and the original D&I committee. Yes, Ms. Wicht is associated with the “Let’s Talk” resource. Yes, the resource was shared with a few Wylie High School staff members at a voluntary lunch meeting. However, let us be clear – teachers were never encouraged or directed to facilitate these types of conversations with students.
  2. As stated in the Nov. 15, 2021, public forum response to Mr. Michael Schwerin, everyone in attendance at Wylie High School’s 2020 graduation was asked to join with their thoughts and prayers for “those who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus and for our fellow Americans who have lost their lives to civil injustice.” The graduation reference sheet, which the principal shared with families days in advance, included the following bolded bullet point, “we will have a short ceremony to show unity with our students.” Video from the commencement ceremony can be found on our graduation ceremony recordings page under the 2020 tab.
  3. At the Jan. 24, 2022 Board Meeting, Mrs. Jessica Fourrier read an excerpt from “The Bluest Eye” and asked that it be removed from libraries. She also sent an email to the district on Jan. 6, 2021, requesting that the book be removed. As stated in our public forum response, the book was removed from library shelves in Fall 2021.

    Wylie ISD and the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees have never issued a statement that said, “there are no bad books in this district.” And, as has been shared with Mrs. Jessica Fourrier in the public forum responses and in a Jan. 18, 2022 email to her from the district’s legal counsel, school districts cannot remove books or deny students access to books simply because an individual disagrees with the ideas the materials may contain. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email from legal counsel to Mrs. Jessica Fourrier.

    Books are not “secretly” removed from library shelves. Throughout the course of each school year, Wylie ISD librarians spend time “weeding” books that do not meet collection standards. This is standard library practice. Books are weeded every year for a variety of reasons, including lack of student interest or poor circulation (never checked out), damaged condition, outdated material, and/or to create physical space for newly acquired books. The primary reason for books being “weeded” in our district is due to a lack of student interest/poor circulation. From Aug. 1, 2021 to Oct. 26, 2022, Wylie ISD librarians weeded more than 15,000 books from our high school and junior high libraries.

  4. State law does not require school districts to have parents assist with the book review process. Wylie ISD has established libraries – most of our school libraries have existed for decades.

  5. School board members acknowledge and forward emails that are outside the board’s purview to the superintendent. The superintendent is directed to respond or ask the appropriate administrator to respond. The purpose of the school board is to govern and oversee the management of the school district, hire the superintendent, set local policy, approve the budget, set the tax rate, and communicate with the community. District administration has answered and addressed numerous emails from Mrs. Jessica Fourrier and her husband Mr. Mitch Fourrier over the past two years. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email communications sent to the Fourriers from central office administrators and the board president since August 2021.

    As stated in an Aug. 19, 2022, public forum response, on rare occasions, the district has decided to cease communication with individuals due to repeated emails about the same topic or requests for answers to the same questions. Our first priority is ensuring that our students are safe, learning and thriving, and that our teachers and staff have the support they need to take care of our students. While responding to and communicating with stakeholders is very important, the district cannot continuously divert resources to respond to repetitive questions from a sole person.

  6. Prior to the start of the public forum period, Wylie ISD Board President Stacie Smith stated, “Additionally, per Board Policy BBBD (LEGAL), District resources should not be used for political advertising. This includes during the public forum portion of a school board meeting. Please refrain from any statement that either supports or opposes a candidate or measure.”

    Wylie ISD is disappointed that Mrs. Jessica Fourrier chose to utilize school district and taxpayer resources for political advertising.

  7. The district is not spreading misinformation to the public about taxes. Wylie ISD set a tax rate that is $0.0619 lower than last year’s rate.

Jill Palmer (10/24/22)

"Good evening. First, I want to begin by saying thank you to Heather Leggett and Mitch Herzog, because I know, I understand this is a thankless position. And I know it's hard to be under a microscope constantly, especially when your integrity and character are always in question. I think we all can say we're having issues understanding and, you know, navigating when your integrity and character is being questioned.

So let's talk about that real quick. There was a blanket statement that has been made that there are no bad books in this district. Why then do I have 226 books listed in this document of books are currently in Wylie High or East. Out of those 226, 35 of those were at Cooper, and out of those 226, six have actually been removed.

Which is kind of odd because I know there's a system in place. According to EF local that a parent should be able to submit a form, apparently, in order to get a book removed. Well I know none of the concerned parents have done that. But now, from March 22 to now, six books have been removed, which is great. It's a great step in the right direction. But the fact is, six books actually have been removed, yet my integrity and my character and being called a book burner. Why the secrecy of all this?

Let me just list out the books… “The Bluest Eye,” “Traffic,” “Tricks,” “Lawn Boy,” and the latest, “Me Earl and the Dying Girl” and “L8R, G8R.” These were in our schools, we have the receipts. We have the screenshots of them in our schools. And now as of today, at 5:15 when I checked, they are not there. So six have been removed by this administration. So you're basically proving our point. We came to you as a community with a valid concern. You did not acknowledge it, you actually pushed us aside, and you did it on your own. That's not standing with integrity or transparency or communicating with this district. The books were removed, we have the receipts, so just own it. That's all we want. Just say, ‘my bad, we were wrong and we did it.’ You're basically making our point valid. So in order for you to answer the question on the public forum site, did you or did you not remove the six books and I will list them again: “The Bluest Eye,” “Traffic,” “Tricks,” “Lawn Boy,” “Me Earl and the Dying Girl” and “L8R, G8R.”

And please be honest, don't manipulate your answer based on whatever training you were given by our taxpayers to pay for the Marguiles Group and answer in truth and honesty and with integrity." - Jill Palmer

Wylie ISD and the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees have never issued a statement that said, “there are no bad books in this district.” Nor has the district referred to Mrs. Jill Palmer as a “book burner.”

Books are not “secretly” removed from library shelves. Throughout the course of each school year, Wylie ISD librarians spend time “weeding” books that do not meet collection standards. This is standard library practice. Books are weeded every year for a variety of reasons, including lack of student interest or poor circulation (never checked out), damaged condition, outdated material, and/or to create physical space for newly acquired books. The primary reason for books being “weeded” in our district is due to a lack of student interest/poor circulation.

From Aug. 1, 2021 to Oct. 26, 2022, Wylie ISD librarians weeded more than 15,000 books from our high school and junior high libraries. Many of the books referenced by Mrs. Palmer were weeded.

As stated in the Jan. 24, 2022, public forum response to Mrs. Jessica Fourrier, “The Bluest Eye” was brought to the district’s attention in Fall 2021 and was reviewed and removed at that time.

Michael Schwerin (10/24/22)

"Thank you. I would also like to start by thanking Heather and Mitch and all the rest of you all for your support and for your tireless work. As others have said that is, it’s a thankless job. And as we continue to learn over the last several months, that it is truly challenging when your character and your integrity is constantly attacked. So I want to thank you all for your service, especially Heather and Mitch, since y'all are retiring this year. So thank you.

I do also want to talk a little bit about facts, though, since that sounds to be really something that's important in our community right now, which I think it is. It really is important. I think one of the things that's important to be a factual thing to talk about is that no one, I don't think there's a single teacher, a single person that's spoken at a board meeting last two years, objects to the greatness of Wylie ISD. We all moved here for that reason, most of us if we weren't born here and raised here, we'd moved here for that reason. It is a destination district. And no one denies that our teachers are some of the best teachers in the state, and administrators are the best administrators in the state. I think we've all agreed upon that. I think we can all also agree that when you are great, you should also be focusing on what you can do to become better. And you should always be focusing on what you can do to be better. You always have that grit to improve yourself and always look about the people coming up behind you, the districts coming up behind us that are trying to get better than we are. And so I think on that mindset, we need to look at the facts of what's happened over the last two years. And looking at what has happened whether it was two years ago with the start of the diversity and inclusion program.

It was started in a lot of hindsight or a lot of hidden areas that we didn't know when we hired a consultant, as was mentioned earlier, that we didn't know about, that was fairly radical. And even when we came out, and when parents came out and spoke in April of that year, it took six more months before you all decide to put it on an agenda to have that conversation. But there was no discussion about it. It was just a simple report, and no actual questions about what we should do and should we actually have this in our district. And now it's kind of slowly disappeared and gone by the wayside with no D&I director or not really much movement since the pillar meetings last year. So I think it's at least we're grateful that we've put that forward. And we as parents have helped improve our district in that way.

Another thing that’s been raised up is the books. And I do hope as Jill and others have said that I guess I pray for you all to be careful and be mindful because you're probably going to call book burners, book Nazis, as we have, as we bought up and discuss this because you all have removed six books from the library. There are almost 200 more that you need to remove. So let's keep on going. And I think the last thing, again, is taxes. You can reduce taxes. Yes, it's gonna be hard, yes it’s going to be complicated, but you can and you choose not to. Thank you." - Michael Schwerin

District Improvement

Mr. Schwerin is right. We are a destination district, and we are proud of the work we’ve done, however, it’s important that we continue to look for ways to improve and not remain complacent. Every day, our district works toward being the best district we can be. We are always asking, “how can we communicate better and partner better with our families and community?” “How can we improve our processes and procedures?” “How can we learn from our mistakes and experiences?” “How can we learn from other districts?” District and campus leaders meet nearly every day to discuss and create plans for these very issues.

Will we always get it right? No, but that won’t stop us from trying.

Our students are remarkable young people who attend our schools to receive an exceptional education. But school is about much more than academic achievement and the classroom walls. It’s about the relationships that students build with their teachers and with each other. It’s about the friendships formed on the playground and the experiences that transcend the classroom, whether it’s marching in the band, playing on the football field, or pursuing a passion in floral design or video production. It’s about the excitement on students’ faces during the Bulldog Boogie or Wrangler Roundup and the pride felt when yelling “AHMO” or “DUBEAST.” School is about the basics—reading, writing, math, science, and history—but it’s also about every student feeling a sense of belonging when they walk through our doors. In Wylie ISD, school is about the Wylie Way.

Our teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, nurses, administrators, and other support staff put in hundreds of hours to ensure the needs of each child are met. Our facilities, student nutrition, and transportation departments work hard to ensure students are in safe buildings, fed nutritious meals, and transported safely to and from school and activities. Our central office works to keep the district running and take care of the things teachers shouldn’t worry about, like payroll and maintaining records.

We serve more than 18,500 unique students, employ 2,500 staff members who are experts in their fields and answer to more than 70,000 community members and taxpayers. There will always be differences in opinion, but these differences help us grow.

As a public entity, our community must ask questions, get involved, and hold us accountable. However, we will not allow what this district has accomplished to be diminished by assumptions or presumptions that we’re not striving to improve or be better.

Not everyone will agree with all the decisions we make, but rest assured, anything we do is with students at the forefront—they are our future. We will continue to follow policy and procedures, adhere to the law, remain good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and work hard to be the best school district we can be. We are proud of Wylie ISD, and we hope our community is too.

D&I Program

The D&I program has not gone away. The D&I director title was updated to employee relations to better reflect the day-to-day duties of Mr. Reggie Bibb. D&I still falls under the employee relations umbrella, as does transportation, substitutes, investigations, Title IX, and more.

As we shared in the Sept. 19, 2022, public forum response to Mrs. Jill Palmer, Mr. Bibb communicated to Mrs. Palmer in August that the district was working on an update to share with pillar committee members at the end of the fall semester.

Books

As shared in other Oct. 24, 2022, public forum responses, the district did not “secretly” remove books.

Taxes

For the 2022-23 school year, Wylie ISD set a tax rate that is $0.0619 lower than last year’s rate.

Dawn Shallow (09/19/22)

“Tonight I'd like to talk about numbers. The first number is the number four. That number four is the number of years that you've served on the school board. This is also the number of years since you held your hand and took your oath of office. I want to talk about budget numbers. When you took your office four years ago, the Wylie budget was $172,563,585. You increased the budget in 2019 $20 million. You increased the budget in 2020 $5.4 million. Reasonable. You increased the budget in 2021 $16.7 million, and you increased the budget in 2022 $16.7 million. That is an addition to the $190 million bond package.

Today, four years later, our budget is $231,480,148. In the last four years since you've been in office, the budget has increased $58,916,563. That's a budget increase over four years of 34.14%. Let's talk about student enrollment numbers. These are based on the number you provided to the TEA. Four years ago, when you took office, we had 16,459 students enrolled. In 2019, that increased 703. In 2020 that increased 258, and in 2021, that increase 735. And in 2022, increased 581. So today, after four years in office, we now have 18,736 students enrolled. In four years, that's an increase of 2277 students or an increase of 13.31%.

So let's review those numbers again, Wylie ISD budget increased 34.14% in four years, student enrollment increased 13.83% in four years. Here's another number point .0000001, as in one cent, think in terms of cents, that's exactly the number you kept the budget under so that you didn't have to call for a public election. You increase our budget $16.7 million. If you had raised it one more cent, we the public would have got to vote on that. But the final two numbers I have are 35 and 50. 35 represents the number of days until early election on October 24. And 50 represents the number of days until the election on November 8. Thank you.” -Dawn Shallow

Wylie ISD’s budget growth is in line with the rapid increase in student enrollment the district has experienced the past several years. Additional students mean additional personnel, specifically teachers – the district strives for smaller class sizes and the state prohibits class sizes that exceed 22 students at the elementary level without state-granted permission. Personnel costs make up the vast majority of the district’s budget at approximately 84%. Other overall rising costs also contribute to the budget’s growth.

Since 2018-19, Wylie ISD has increased personnel allotment by:

  • 166 teachers
  • 75 instructional paraprofessionals (these staff members support students and teachers in the classroom)
  • 7 clerical paraprofessionals
  • 43 auxiliary positions (transportation, student nutrition, maintenance)
  • 5 campus administrators
  • 12 campus professionals (counselors, nurses, librarians)
  • 15 district administrators (e.g. payroll director, purchasing director, student services director)
  • 33 district professionals (the vast majority are learning or special education specialists who spend most of their time on campuses)

How was a dollar spent in Wylie ISD in 2021-22?

  • $0.55 - teachers, school staff and instructional supplies
  • $0.18 - debt payment
  • $0.08 - building operations
  • $0.06 - district
  • $0.04 - transportation
  • $0.03 - student nutrition
  • $0.02 - safety
  • $0.02 - curriculum and training
  • $0.02 - extracurricular activities

The district and school board remain committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and ensuring students receive the best educational experience possible.

Michael Schwerin (09/19/22)

“Thank you. I come tonight as I do on most nights speaking as a parent, as a parent of a special needs child. And in the mindset of asking you why you're not continuing to support the special ed department. Having talked with many parents, paraprofessionals, and teachers in the special ed department over the last several months, I've actually learned that there are deficiencies in this department. While at the board meeting last month, you decided to spend lots of time asking absurd questions about paper clips and markers and whether or not we have enough money to buy paper clips and markers. And not actually talking about things that matter like the special ed department and ensuring that our special needs students are cared for and honored.

I also come speaking as parents that are too afraid to come and talk and speak here tonight. Out of fear and intimidation by the school board and by this district. They don't want to be singled out online by a dubious page that's set up for people that are speaking here this evening. They're too worried about maybe misspeaking, as I did one night several months ago and accidentally said billions instead of millions, and then was called a liar. You know, you're too worried about that and making yourselves look good, rather than actually focusing on actually doing good things and want to actually try to be the best district in the state and be the first one to reach the no new revenue rate, instead of just saying, ‘no one else is doing it, so why should we?’ And I think it's really important to make sure that we're not being singled out. And not singling out and attacking parents, just because they may misspeak or they may disagree with you. I'm also speaking for all the teachers and paraprofessionals, and the staff in the community that I've run into over the coming cut last several months that feel they can't say what they want to say, for fear of losing their job or their position. That's a scary place to be in. As a nonprofit executive who has managed a team, I would never want any one of my team members to feel scared to say something because they might lose their job. And that should be a shame on all of you for allowing that kind of fear and intimidation to be out there and to be here. You shouldn't be maybe more focusing on making yourselves look good and actually focus on why that's happening, why so many teachers are leaving this district the last couple of years, the numbers have skyrocketed. I'm not going to give the exact number because I might misquote myself and then I'll probably be called a liar tomorrow. And I'm also speaking for all the children in the district. All those that come from families who are struggling to make ends meet, the families I meet on a daily basis who are struggling to decide whether they put food on their table or pay their tax bill or pay their rent or pay for utilities. Those are the people that are hit the hardest by your choices in spending and choosing to overspend. They're the ones that have to make those tough decisions and have to look at moving out of the district because they can't afford it as even some actual staff members of Wylie ISD have told us that they had to move out.” -Michael Schwerin

Our district pours as many resources as possible into special education and is always looking for ways to improve. Special education services range from students needing specific instructional accommodations to behavioral programs.

Last school year, our district received more than $15.2 million in state funding for special education. The state requires that districts spend 55% of that funding toward special education (approximately $8.3 million). Our district spent more than $18.1 million specifically toward special education in 2021-22 – more than $9.7 million over the requirement. We are very committed to ensuring that our students who require special education services receive the care and support they need. Whether it’s adding more special education learning specialists, behavioral therapists or partnering with other entities to better provide for our students with extreme behavioral needs, we will do whatever it takes for our students.

We created this public forum page in November 2021 after requests from community members. At the Jan. 24, 2022 board meeting, Ms. Michelle Gilliam asked in public forum, “Will you please post the answers to these on the school board page?” Her other questions and our responses may also be found on this page.

The district would not call or refer to a stakeholder as a liar – we clarified to the public that the district has millions in debt, not billions. The district wants all of its stakeholders to be equipped with accurate information and will correct misinformation, especially when the misinformation is said in a public forum and could be perceived as a fact. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email Dr. Vinson sent Mr. Schwerin on March 16, 2022, about our debt and the billions' comment. Additionally, the district’s official response may be located on this page under, “Michael Schwerin (02/28/2022).”

The number of teachers leaving Wylie ISD has not skyrocketed. Every year teachers leave the district for various reasons such as health, new opportunities, moving, etc. There are some cases in which staff may leave due to being dissatisfied, which is why our district places an emphasis on retention efforts, but this is a reality every organization faces. Our retention rate for teachers is between 85-90%, something we are very proud of.

Kevin Brooks (09/19/22)

“Madam President, members of the board. My reason for being here tonight is simple. The system is broken. It is broken and it lies in a state of disrepair and has been for quite some time. The reason it is in disrepair is because you have abdicated your responsibility to be the watchman on the wall. Your responsibility to be the wall that protects our most precious commodity, our children. You have failed. You have failed our children. You have failed our schools. You have failed our educators and you have failed our community. You are not accessible to the electorate. You do not return phone calls. You do not return emails. Yet you raise taxes every year, even this year, to the point to where it would not have to trigger an election, just short to where we the people would have to vote on the increase. People are leaving Wylie ISD for cheaper and sometimes greener pastures and that should not be. You are the masters of misinformation when you continually and repeatedly state Wylie ISD is subject to recapture also known as Robin Hood when we are not. You treat the electorate with what can best be described as disdain and as a nuisance if we are not in agreement with your plans and policies. The electorate sets the vision for the district and votes in the board that supports the direction they want for the district. The board takes that vision to the superintendent for implementation within predetermined parameters and budgeting. The relationship between the electorate, faculty, staff and administration, and the board should be one of an alliance and not an adversarial one, one where the faculty and staff and electorate are silenced and held hostage by the administration and the board. One where they're having to teach political correctness of what we see in societal decline on display 24/7 on television, and the web with no say in the matter. Both current and former educators have zero confidence in the board. We the people assure them that that will change. Being labeled as fascist, book burners, book banners and red shirts we proudly wear we the people. Whereas on your shirt, you state only your names, playing to see your primary focus looks back at you from the mirror, but it's all about the kids. In closing, you're all a disappointment, but that can be fixed, that needs to change, and that will change, if you vote. Thank you.” -Kevin Brooks

According to our records, Mr. Kevin Brooks has never reached out to the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees President Mrs. Stacie Smith or Dr. David Vinson. The only current trustee Mr. Brooks has reached out to about a concern is Mr. Bill Howard. Mr. Howard pointed him to the campus principal and Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Mr. Scott Winn. On a public website, Mr. Brooks stated, “After talking with Coach Howard I wrote a letter and sent it to Coach, Scott Winn and Beth Craighead. They were all awesome!”

Screen capture of Mr. Brooks comments on a public website


The board and district administrators respond to emails, return phone calls and meet with stakeholders. We typically try to respond to emails or return calls within 24-48 hours. If a parent or community member has reached out to the district and not received a response, we request that they send a follow-up email. Additionally, while board members welcome emails from all stakeholders, oftentimes, questions or concerns are ones that can only be addressed by district staff. To ensure questions or concerns that are outside the board’s purview are addressed, board members will acknowledge the communication and then direct the superintendent to respond.

In rare occasions, the district has decided to cease communication with individuals due to repeated emails about the same topic or requests for answers to the same questions. Our first priority is ensuring that our students are safe, learning and thriving, and that our teachers and staff have the support they need to take care of our students. While responding to and communicating with stakeholders is very important, the district cannot continuously divert resources to respond to repetitive questions from a sole person.

Mr. Brooks is correct, our school district is not subject to recapture.

Randi Jackson (09/19/22)

“Good evening, I want to start off once again by saying a continued and genuine thank you for maintaining the parent's right to choose when it comes to medical freedom. And I want to just how we got here. There's a lot going on right now. And to those just now getting involved, it may come as a shock that there are those in our community that are unsatisfied with representation as parents, teachers, or taxpaying citizens. Now, we ended up hearing from a lot of different causes that piqued our interest over the years. For me personally, it was the struggle my special needs child went through and the regression both academically and socially from the mask mandates, which I know initially was not a district mandate, but others have similar stories, but with different issues that are close to their hearts. And notably, what has been very interesting and frustrating is that the more and more parents and citizens have been getting involved, seemed like the first knee-jerk reaction was to circle the wagons and limit our speaking time from five minutes to three minutes. Because either there wasn't a lot that you were hearing that you were liking, or simply following the lead of similar districts that were hearing from their constituency and weren't liking it. So, you know, that tendency to follow what others are doing is not from what I understand, leading as in the Wylie Way. Now, when we did start getting involved, we had gotten, you know, the idea and the impression that haven't gotten so not used to such a diverse community of involvement, the Board of Trustees and administration got used to doing their own thing and didn't seem too keen on being questioned. Being under tougher scrutiny seemingly led to what appears on the outside to be defensive behavior and dismissive attitudes towards those of us who refuse to stop pushing for transparency in our district. So that commonly perceived attitude is what has brought us to where we are today. It won't be easy going forward because the way things have been is no longer acceptable. It means that Wylie ISD needs to step up and it's going to take change. It's going to take determination, and it's really going to take courageous leadership. Thank you for your time.” - Randi Jackson

The Board of Trustees and administration welcome questions and feedback from the community, no matter if it’s a concern, complaint, or compliment. We are disappointed to hear that Mrs. Randi Jackson believes the district is not transparent or that we are dismissive toward stakeholders.

Mrs. Jackson does not have children who attend Wylie ISD schools, but as a community member, her involvement and opinion matter to us. Dr. Vinson met with Mrs. Jackson for an in-person meeting on Nov. 10, 2021, for approximately one hour to discuss questions and concerns. Dr. Vinson requested her questions in advance of the meeting so he could adequately prepare and ensure he addressed her concerns. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email communication between Dr. Vinson and Mrs. Jackson regarding the Nov. 10, 2021 meeting.

Mrs. Jackson also reached out to Mr. Matt Atkins on Nov. 12, 2021, to schedule a meeting. Mr. Atkins, who served as Board President at the time, replied the same day and offered dates and times to meet with her. Mrs. Jackson did not schedule a meeting with Mr. Atkins. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email communication from Mr. Atkins to Mrs. Jackson about meeting.

Additionally, current Board President Mrs. Stacie Smith reached out to Mrs. Jackson following the August 2021 board meeting, and the district also communicated to Mrs. Jackson about the virtual learning option and other matters. For transparency purposes, we are providing those email communications.

Jill Palmer (09/19/22)

“Good evening. I want to begin by saying thank you, President Smith, from the last board meeting, I think it was really great to pull a consent agenda item forward after you saw or you heard public comments. I think it's really great to have real-time engagement, which is very important. It kind of builds on the transparency. With that being said, I'm going to piggyback on what I spoke about last month, I kind of explained about two items that the community that was involved and was part of the solution came together with the D&I pillars to figure out some action points that we want to see for 22-23. I did reach out asking for those TNA to figure out what's going on. Still don't have them. And we're like, what month two and that started the school year? We have no TNA on those initiatives. But I'm starting to connect the dots because it seems from multiple insiders in this district have basically confirmed that the D&I program no longer exists. Whether that's true or not, I do not know. But that's the communication that's coming from inside your district. So if that's the case, what were we doing last year? What was the point of those pillar meetings? If you want to shy from controversy and not speak out, and actually implement the communication of what that program means going forward? Like, what are we doing? So I'm gonna leave you with a question and two follow-ups. One, does the D&I program exist? Yes or no? Follow-up two. If it doesn't, where did that funding go? Where did it get reallocated? And three, if it got rebranded, got put under a different umbrella… is it Title IX? Because according to state legislature, once a designator of the Title IX coordinator title is designated, the district must notify applicants for admission and employment, students, parents and legal guardians, employees, and professional organizations holding professional agreements with this district of the name of the said coordinator. We haven't received any confirmation of what that means for Wylie ISD. So for those of you watching online who see just a red shirter, who are not listening to the question I'm asking that brought on a culture war in this community, does the D&I program actually exist? I'll leave it to you to answer.” - Jill Palmer

The D&I program exists. It has not been rebranded nor is it considered Title IX. The Title IX coordinator role is separate from D&I. The Director of Employee Relations role encompasses multiple areas including D&I, Title IX, transportation, investigations, and more.

Mr. Reggie Bibb, Director of Employee Relations, has communicated with Mrs. Jill Palmer several times regarding the D&I program and most recently on Aug. 23, 2022. In that communication, Mr. Bibb shared with Mrs. Palmer that the district is working on an update.

Last school year, the D&I pillar groups focused on creating an outline of ideas and action items for the Human Resources department and district to focus on. The final meeting of the school year was in May 2022. The district has implemented some ideas brought forth by the committee at the employee level. Mr. Bibb shared this information with Mrs. Palmer. The district plans to share an update with committee members at the end of the Fall 2022 semester. We believe it takes at least a semester to determine if efforts are successful or not. Some of these include our “Why Wylie” video series and leadership focus groups.

Regarding Title IX and federal and state law, Wylie ISD updated its website to reflect the new Title IX coordinator, information about the new Title IX coordinator was in the August 2022 board meeting packet that is available to the public, the Title IX coordinator is listed in the employee handbook, and public notice of non-discrimination was published in the July 27 issue of the Wylie News. The district has fully and adequately fulfilled its legal requirements for communicating the Title IX coordinator. Mrs. Palmer stated, “We haven't received any confirmation of what that means for Wylie ISD.” It means that Mr. Bibb is the Title IX coordinator and should an individual need to file a Title IX complaint, they will contact Mr. Bibb or the Human Resources department as noted on the district’s website.

Jarrett Erwin (08/15/22)

“According to the Texas Comptroller's Office, the combined school tax rate for those residing in Wylie ISD is in the top 5% of tax rates out of over the 1550 public schools in Texas. I was unable to attend the recent budget workshop meeting on May 16 but watched the recorded posting online and was very disappointed. I want to encourage every Wylie ISD taxpayer to watch this recording to form your own opinion. It was disappointing that several elected trustees seemingly showed how little they actually know about the budget and the tax rate. The school board themselves is not actually saving the taxpayers 6 cents, just 2 months ago the school board committed to an 18% increase which was later adjusted to an 11% increase only because property values were about half a billion less than anticipated. Please stop portraying that you cut the tax rate to save us money.”

“Additionally, Wylie ISD is not one of the 150+ schools in Texas that are subject to recapture which means we do not send our local tax dollars to the state to fund other schools. As stated in the budget workshop by the presenter, Wylie ISD is headed in that direction but would require a vote by the taxpayers to be implemented.”

“There are millions of dollars of our tax money that our elected trustees are responsible for and it seems some of our trustees don’t know the basics of our taxes and where our money is even spent. I recognize that this is a complex issue but how is that possible? I believe it's possible because our trustees aren’t involved in the process of setting the budget and tax rates which is a primary purpose of the job they were elected to do. I’m disappointed in the deception of the administration with a perceived goal of confusing the trustees and the public. Again, I encourage everyone to watch the May 16 board workshop recording. This is our local government. Where is the accountability for this wasteful spending? There doesn’t seem to be any. Wylie ISD taxpayers and voters want more and we deserve more, we want fiscal sanity restored within Wylie ISD and make no mistake this can be done without cutting teacher pay.” - Jarrett Erwin

Wylie ISD is heading into 2022-23 with a lower tax rate for the fourth consecutive year and a balanced budget, while still providing employees a raise and accommodating for the expected student population growth. It’s also important to note that 84 percent of the district’s budget is for payroll expenses, with 60 percent going directly toward those in the classroom.

Map showing 3 year enrollment change between 2019 and 2022 where Wylie ISD ranked 27 in highest percentage but 9th in numeric growth.

Wylie ISD school board members are very involved in the budget process and understand the complexities of school finance. Trustees are also longtime homeowners in the district and are committed to being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars. Wylie ISD and several other Collin County school districts have higher tax rates than other districts across the state due largely to rapid student population growth. Collin County districts such as Prosper, Community, Princeton, Anna, and Royse City set higher tax rates than Wylie ISD in 2021. For the full list from the Texas Comptroller’s Officer of the 1,015 school districts, please visit the comptroller's websiteNote: 1,550 are listed due to school districts spanning multiple counties.

Wylie ISD and other Collin County school districts are growing at a rapid pace while other districts are maturing and losing enrollment.

Trustees and the district are proud to offer an exemplary educational experience to students while remaining good stewards of taxpayer dollars. In fact, in the 2022 Texas Education Agency accountability ratings, Wylie ISD and each of its 20 campuses received an ‘A’ rating – Wylie ISD is the only school district in Texas with more than 10,000 students to have the district and all campuses earn an ‘A.’

Additionally, preliminary reports show that Wylie ISD will receive an ‘A’ in TEA’s 2021-22 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) ratings. What are FIRST ratings? From TEA: “The state's school financial accountability rating system ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve these practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.”

Recapture

Regarding recapture, Wylie ISD is not yet subject to recapture or what the public may know better as “Robin Hood.” What is recapture?

“Chapter 41, Education Code, was repealed. House Bill 3 amended the Education Code to transfer certain sections from Chapter 41 to Chapter 49, and revised formulas used to determine excess local revenue under the FSP by adding Subchapter F, Chapter 48, Education Code, Section 48.257, Local Revenue in Excess of Entitlement. This section of the Texas Education Code (TEC) makes provisions for certain school districts to share their local tax revenue with other school districts. These provisions are sometimes referred to as ‘share the wealth’ or ‘Robin Hood’ plan because recaptured funds are redistributed by the school finance system to assist with the financing of public education for all school districts.”

Wylie ISD anticipates being named a recapture district in the years to come. Mr. Jarrett Erwin is correct. A vote by taxpayers is required to decide how recapture fees are paid. However, should the vote not pass, the State of Texas would detach properties from the school district, reducing property values to ensure the district would not be subject to recapture. The detached properties would be reassigned to another school district and those property owners would be taxed at that district’s rate. Additionally, students living in those areas would go to school in the new district. Under current law, these properties would be permanently detached. The biggest concern of losing such properties would be a possible increase on the interest and sinking tax rate.

Kevin Brooks (08/15/22)

“Like many parents, I absolutely fell in love with Wylie ISD. My wife and son came from Brazil and I knew Dallas ISD was not for me and I moved immediately to Richardson ISD, followed quickly by a move to Wylie ISD. Also, like many parents, I left the politics and the admin stuff to the professionals. We entrusted people like you to do the right thing and what is best for our kids. That has turned out to be one of the worst decisions I have ever made. My 12-year-old daughter has been harassed about the colors she wears and being told that she must be LGBTQ. She was so upset about it, she came to me and I asked what she should do and asked me what she should do. I told her not to worry and daddy would take care of it. And I proceeded to make another mistake by trusting a school counselor to handle it by speaking to my daughter. He called me and tried to explain to me that we need to be accepting of all kids’ choices and I cut him off and I stated, ‘what you need to do is be the adult. You need to tell that young lady that’s giving my daughter a hard time that those meetings start at 3:31 because my daughter leaves at 3:30. And that the LGBTQ stuff is for after school, not during school.’ Well, nothing has changed. In fact, I began to look into it as I discovered even more discrepancies and feelings and the goings on in and around Wylie ISD. I do not have time to address them all here, but I will address a few. There is a principal that said it takes a village to raise a child. No sir. Stay out of my kids’ lives and focus on educating children. Please leave your social commentary and your social media accounts and me and my 12-year-old alone. I did not ask you to indoctrinate my kids to become social justice warriors. You were hired to teach. So teach. Reading, writing, arithmetic, science and civics.

There are sexual activities in the bathrooms, according to people that I’ve spoken to. Drug use, girls sitting ‘cooch to cooch’ in the hallways. Teachers I have spoken to that state they do not have the support of the administration and know these things, but say nothing because of fear of their jobs.” - Kevin Brooks

Bullying and harassment are not accepted or tolerated in Wylie ISD. Students are encouraged to tell a parent, staff member, or trusted adult if they’re having an issue, and if students witness such acts, they are also encouraged to report them. More information, including the district’s bullying incident form, can be found on the district's bullying information page.

Wylie ISD believes the education of students is a partnership and shared responsibility between schools and parents, and the district respects a parent’s right to make decisions about their child. Students spend a significant amount of time in school, and we are committed to teaching them and ensuring they are safe and secure while in our care. Wylie ISD serves all students.

Every school year, students and parents sign the Student Code of Conduct which explicitly outlines the district’s expectations for student behavior. There can be serious consequences for failure to abide by the code of conduct. The following is the acknowledgment form students and parents sign:

I have read, understand, and agree to abide by Wylie ISD's Student Code of Conduct for the [school year]. I understand that [student name] will be held accountable for the behavior expectations and disciplinary consequences outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. I understand that the Student Code of Conduct governs all behavior at school, at school-sponsored and school-related activities, during online or other remote instruction, during school-related travel, or while traveling in a vehicle owned or operated by the District. I also understand the Student Code of Conduct governs some designated behaviors occurring within 300 feet of school property, some designated behaviors occurring off-campus, including certain electronic communications and postings, and any school-related misconduct regardless of time or location. I understand that a referral for criminal prosecution is possible for certain violations of law.

Campus staff diligently monitor hallways and bathrooms. However, like the thousands of school districts across the country, Wylie ISD is not immune to students making poor choices on campus, and we need our families’ help to maintain a positive learning environment. We can’t do this alone, so partnering with our families to ensure an educational environment that’s conducive for all students is crucial. If families know about specific, concerning incidents, we ask them to notify their principal so they can be investigated. The district also encourages parents to have conversations with their children about making good choices while at school. 

Mitch Fourrier (08/15/22)

“I sent all of you, plus several on my left and my right an email on January 28. Twelve of you total about Granbury ISD removing 125 books for review. I sent you a color-coded book list explaining GISD’s reason for review of the removal of the books. I received, out of the 12 that I emailed, I received one reply that was from Ms. Spicer that said you guys were looking into it. After several months with no response about the book list, after one of these meetings I spoke to Mr. Day, and kind of made him aware of it. He said he’d look into it. Again, I got no response. This issue has been brought up numerous times in these meetings to you just like I’m standing now by concerned parents, again no response.

About a week ago I searched the online library for both high schools and found that almost 100 inappropriate books were still there. One book from the GISD list was removed, but the rest weren't. Some books not on the GISD list were found in the LGBTQ section of the online library. On top of that, new books are still being added. Two of which I saw “She Gets the Girl” by Alyson Derrick and Rachael Lippincott and “All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir. So some questions, what did you find while you were looking into it? Why haven’t you been transparent with what you have or haven’t found? Why is there an LGBTQ section of the library?

You should be neutral, not pushing an agenda. I asked you in the initial email and I'll ask you again. I asked you what the Wylie Way meant to you. Because that’s a phrase that you all put out there. Is this the Wylie Way? I expect more from all of you.” - Mitch Fourrier

For transparency purposes, we are providing the email communication between district administration and Mr. Mitch Fourrier regarding library books.

Regarding Granbury ISD, the district reviewed 131 books and returned 116 books to library shelves. Of the 15 books not returned to shelves, only 3 of the books were removed for sexually explicit content or illustrations (not including five previously removed books). The remaining 11 were either lost and not in school libraries, incorrectly listed and not in school libraries, and/or duplicate titles on the original review list.

Our district cannot remove and deny students access to books simply because an individual disagrees with the ideas the materials may contain. However, Wylie ISD will always review books brought to its attention and determine their educational suitability. If an individual chooses to challenge an instructional resource, they are encouraged to follow Board Policy EF (LOCAL), which outlines the process for the reconsideration of instructional resources.

Our students’ parents also have the option to review books and let their student’s campus know if they believe there is material not suitable for their student, so the campus can ensure those books are not checked out by that student. The district also provides parents the ability to view books their student has checked out from the library via the Wylie ISD mobile app.

In Wylie ISD, books are only categorized by fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. in libraries. Books may be more specifically categorized or tagged within the third-party online catalog.

Jeffrey Keech (08/15/22)

“School enrollment was 13,360 kids in 2012 that increased to 18,650 in 2022, that’s an increase enrollment increase of 5,200 students or 39 percent. The Wylie ISD budget increased from $117 million in 2012 to $231 million in 2022. That’s an increase of $113 million or 96 percent. So in summary, in the past 10 years, student enrollment has increased by 39 percent and the school budget has increased by 96 percent, more than double. Of course, when discussing budgets over multiple years you have to consider inflation rates, so according to the inflation rate, taken directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, for those years I mentioned, it [inflation] ranged from .8 percent in 2014 to 7 percent in 2021. So the cumulative inflation rate for those years was 23 percent plus the 2022 rate. So I don’t because we don’t have the finished rates for 2022 I’m just gonna focus on the years from 2012-2021. Student enrollment in those years increased by 35 percent. The budget increased by 82 percent. So if this school district was limiting the budget increases to the rate of inflation plus student population growth which is a very fair way to do budgeting. The cumulative budget increase from 2012-2021 would have been 35 percent growth plus 23 percent inflation rate or 58 percent. That equates to a budget of $186 million for the 2021-22 school year. In actuality, the budget went up 82 percent to $214 million. So the difference between a 58 percent increase and an 82 percent increase is $28 million. According to the US Census Bureau, there were 15,730 households in Wylie in 2020 an increase of 530 from the year before, so if you extrapolate that to 2021 that’s roughly an estimated 16,260 households in Wylie in 2021. What that means is that from 2012-2021, the school budget grew to be above the enrollment plus inflation rate by $1,755 per household. Meaning every household in Wylie that pays taxes is paying an additional $1,755 because the budget has been out of control for that entire period of time.” - Jeffrey Keech

One of the board’s top priorities is to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees and district administration develop its annual budget to ensure it meets the needs of all of our students. Each budget cycle is unique and presents its own set of challenges but the end goal is to be conservative and ensure our staff has all the tools necessary to provide our students with the very best education. The board is proud of the educational experience Wylie ISD provides given the resources that the state funding formulas dictate.

As stated in Board Policy CE (LOCAL), budget planning shall be an integral part of overall program planning so that the budget effectively reflects the District’s programs and activities and provides the resources to implement them. In the budget planning process, general educational goals, specific program goals, and alternatives for achieving program goals shall be considered, as well as input from the District- and campus-level planning and decision-making committees. Budget planning and evaluation are continuous processes and shall be a part of each month’s activities.

The above analysis by Mr. Jeffrey Keech does not take into account funded and unfunded mandates, the cost to upgrade facilities, new programs provided to students and benefits to staff. All things not accounted for in the inflation rate.

Michael Schwerin (08/15/22)

“Now I understand the proper roles of a board of directors, which is similar to a board of trustees and staff or administration. In these instances, the board, you all seven elected officials are the ones that set policy. And the staff is there to implement that policy. You all also give the budget guidance and the staff implements the budget and creates the budget based on that guidance. Of course, this is all involving staff in staff involvement in those processes but you seven are the ones that make those decisions and I still can’t understand why the seven of you have decided to abdicate that decision and give it all to the staff administration.

In fact, when I asked at the beginning of the year, calendar year, I reached out to each of you about setting the no new revenue rate, effective tax rate. I received things like, ‘money is given to the state and it’s not, it’s not all returned.’ Which wasn’t true. It’s really confusing. We need to rely on our staff. If, and then there was also the implication that it was because staff, because property values were rising, was why our taxes were going up, which again was not true. After being told multiple times that it was really confusing and really difficult, I went to work studying. I learned. I listened. I talked to others. Things that I wish that you all would of done. Cause I noticed there were no questions from you all about reducing spending from you, since January when the budget process started. No discussion about are these costs accurate and should they be done when we’re looking at the economic situation that we’re in when people are seeing their rents doubled because of inflation, because of the property taxes that you all are presenting to them. Why not? Why are you, instead of doing that, you’re complaining and calling us, calling those who are asking questions terrorists or red shirts instead of actually doing your job and doing your hard work?” - Michael Schwerin

The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees provides budget guidance and governs and oversees the management of the district. District staff ensures the board’s goals, vision, and policies are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Wylie ISD’s overall tax rate has gone down each year since 2018-19. Property values have rapidly increased in that same time frame. With skyrocketing property values, even with a lower tax rate, it is likely that property owners will still pay more in taxes. For transparency purposes, we are providing the email communication between Mr. Schwerin and board members.

Tax Rate Information

The district has not referred to any stakeholders as “terrorists.” As always, the district welcomes input from stakeholders and communicates daily with parents and community members.

It is also important to remember that board members are district residents who pay taxes too. The recent ‘A’ state accountability and financial integrity ratings for the district are an indication that the board and staff are spending taxpayer dollars wisely, with a return on that important investment in better education for our children.

Aleksandra Rolfson (08/15/22)

“One of the items on the agenda is interlocal cooperation agreement for governmental services for the I guess overtime pay for our SROs, I have no problem with that, that Wylie ISD is going to be sharing overtime pay with the city of Wylie. However I do have a problem that if you look at the whole document which is supposed to be filed with the county, I assuming is supposed to be filed with the county, and the bottom is for a person to sign it, and it has the city manager and the city manager is listed as Chris Holstead. He hasn’t been our city manager for a while. So don’t tell me you gonna be voting a-p with the city manager that’s now no longer there because this document isn’t getting amended.  Another thing on the agenda is item H request to change regular school board meeting dates. Your subject line has October, November, December, January and February due to the student holidays. If you go and look through the agenda packet, November is left out, so you have conflicting information. You have in the subject line October, November, December, January and February and more detail, but November is not there. So is this how our administration is writing this, I mean come on.. if nothing else you’re educators all of you. You can at least get the months straight and in one paragraph or four lines. I would appreciate it if you look through this consent agenda and make sure we don’t file wrong documents with the county and open ourselves to a lawsuit.” - Aleksandra Rolfson

As the document states, the Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between Wylie ISD and the City of Wylie. This document is not filed with the county. This particular MOU is a living document and was initially created while Mr. Holstead served as city manager. Nonetheless, the City of Wylie is updating the document to reflect the current city manager.

Regarding the school board dates, the meeting information packet released to the public was updated sometime between its release and the board meeting to fix the error. From time to time, information packets are updated before meetings to rectify errors or include additional details.

Jill Palmer (08/15/22)

“This proud, red shirter’s question for you to add to the website so you can answer. What is your plan for executing the two most important action points from our DE&I meeting [creating training for district administrators on being consistent on how we address and execute and follow up on discipline issues so that we have consistency across the district. Creating a plan for how we can communicate our discipline reporting policies and procedures and what the process looks like from reporting to investigations to the follow-up with affected students, staff and families], that should of already been put into place, and it’s day three of the new school year and nothing has been done. That is the only answer I'm going to accept on its website.” - Jill Palmer

Last school year, following the referenced D&I meeting, the Student Services department was notified of the concerns discussed in that meeting. This past spring, Student Services held discipline training with campus administrators, conducted discipline training with other staff over the summer, and held additional training during back-to-school professional development. Additionally, campus administrators were recently reminded to ensure that they communicate information about disciplinary matters in a timely and effective manner with impacted students, their families, and staff. We are committed to addressing and communicating disciplinary issues in a consistent manner.

District and campus administrators will continue to regularly meet to review procedures and processes to ensure students and staff remain in the best possible position to succeed.

Randi Jackson (08/15/22)

"According to the Wylie ISD organizational structure, the top of the chart says students, parents and community members of Wylie, then the board of trustees, and then the superintendent of schools. In reality, it seems to operate in the exact opposite fashion. From what I personally have witnessed the superintendent provides the vision and the board rubberstamps the agenda with only cursory questions that are superficial and refuse to openly discuss options in a manner that includes and informs the public. Over one hundred unanimous votes in a row. On everything from tax rates and budgets to controversial programs and supplies. While the majority of consent items are standard like employee contracts and reports, that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be open and transparent discussion of the necessity for each item. From the perspective of parents and the community of Wylie, our concerns and inquiries are little more than an irritating inconvenience to the real top of the chart. And the board of trustees seems to feel stuck in the middle. What we need is courageous leadership, what we need is a board of trustees that understands that they're elected by the community of Wylie to set the vision for the district. And that it is the duty of the superintendent and their administration to bring that vision to fruition. When I started attending these board meetings, I had the highest hopes of the leadership of the board would shine through. And instead, I have felt like an unwanted intruder of the status quo. The way things are, the way things have been, we go by the policy with a refusal and actually an ardent disinterest in changing that policy, that you have the power to change, isn’t good enough as an answer anymore. Following policy isn’t good enough, following what other districts do isn’t good enough, following the primrose path toward the corruption of our education system isn’t good enough." - Randi Jackson

The Wylie ISD community elects the Board of Trustees. The board provides budget guidance and governs and oversees the management of the district. District staff ensures the board’s goals, vision, and policies are carried out efficiently and effectively. To learn more about the Wylie ISD school board and its role, please visit the school board faq page.

Pre 2023 FAQs

The questions and answers below are provided for archival purposes. The information may contain broken links to information on our old website. Please contact us if you need help finding the referenced resources on our new site.

MICHAEL SCHWERIN (6/20/22)

“I’d like to start by correcting a few comments I heard tonight. This budget isn’t frugal nor is it saving six cents on the tax dollar. It actually still is 21 cents more than the no-new-revenue rate, which means every single one of us as taxpayers are still paying more money to Wylie ISD in the new budget than we were this year currently.”

Mr. Schwerin's comments continued, "“It would have been nice if you would have considered all of us and considered the benefit to all of us taxpayers within Wylie ISD, which includes renters because they do pay property taxes through their form of rent. Save us money by allowing us to have a no-new-revenue rate which would have set us on a much better fiscally responsible place for us as an organization.”

The Texas Comptroller website explains the “No-New-Revenue Tax Rate as follows:

The no-new-revenue tax rate enables the public to evaluate the relationship between taxes for the prior year and for the current year, based on a tax rate that would produce the same amount of taxes if applied to the same properties taxed in both years. Although the actual calculation is more complicated, a taxing unit's no-new-revenue tax rate generally equal to the last year's taxes divided by the current taxable value of properties that were also on the tax roll last year.The resulting tax rate, used for comparison only, shows the relation between the last year's revenue and the current year's values.

Texas school districts are required to submit their certified values to the Texas Education Agency for them to calculate and approve their Maximum Compressed Rate (MCR). Wylie ISD adopts the tax rate allowed by law to fund district operations.

The district spent the spring developing the 2022-23 budget and evaluated all areas of the budget. Eighty-four percent of the district’s budget goes toward payroll expenses, and the vast majority of the increase to this upcoming year’s budget covers the 3 percent raise for staff, additional pay increases for auxiliary staff, and market adjustments for other hard-to-fill professional positions.

The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees is committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and ensuring the district remains in a healthy financial position for years to come.


“When we ask to meet with you and you’re not able to speak to us or refuse to speak to us, then it makes it very difficult for us to express our concerns. You shouldn’t be afraid of us, we are here to be willing and helpful, and I really just wish you would look at that and look at considering lowering that rate down to the no-new-revenue rate to help us all out here in Wylie ISD.”

Board members and district administration have responded to emails sent by Mr. Schwerin, and Mr. Schwerin has communicated with a board member via phone call. District leadership also met with Mr. Schwerin for an in-person meeting last summer. Board members welcome emails from all stakeholders and respond accordingly. For matters outside the board’s purview, trustees will direct the superintendent to respond.

Information regarding the no-new-revenue rate can be found in the question above.


“You’ve said that you’ve asked specific questions and concerns about things, and I will ask for a PIR on that because I’ve been told that before because there are certain things when people aren’t asking questions, board members aren’t asking questions, it’s because they’re talking to administrators and assistant superintendents individually. Of course, when I ask for public information requests on those emails, there were none for the months that I asked for.”

During several board meetings and workshops this spring, board members have asked questions about the budget. Board members also receive a weekly informational newsletter from the superintendent and short memos when the need arises. These keep board members informed about district matters. Additionally, the superintendent meets weekly with the board president. Board members ask questions and provide feedback via email or phone call with the superintendent or, when necessary, the appropriate administrator.


“I do think it’s telling that we need to have more consideration, more conversations about that and making sure that is the first step [about campuses involving law enforcement]. Because even though that’s said, even having talked to other parents in the district, I’ve been told that multiple times from other parents that had the same exact situation where principals or assistant principals are unwilling to call the police or not willing to call the police and do their own investigations rather than involving the police department or SRO, which is concerning because it doesn’t take care of the threat.”

Campus administrators are required to notify the police of any incident that has the possibility of being a criminal offense. School investigations are never to impede police investigations, and law enforcement determines how criminal investigations will proceed.

So that there is no cross-over in duties, it should be noted that pursuant to state law, an SRO may not be involved in routine student discipline or school administrative tasks. Thus, in the event criminal behavior is not indicated, law enforcement should not be involved.

During a recent summer training, district and law enforcement reminded campus administrators of this requirement. We value our relationship with our local police departments and rely on their expertise when possible. If a parent is concerned about a specific incident, they are encouraged to notify their local police department or Wylie ISD’s Director of Safety & Security.


DAWN SHALLOW (6/20/22)

“How do you justify Wylie ISD having 2300 employees plus, and yet only 50 percent of those employees are teachers? It’s all about the education right? But the other 50 percent is administrative and support staff.”

Every employee in Wylie ISD plays a crucial and essential role in our district and the education we provide our students. Many roles support teachers so they can focus on what’s most important – the students in their classrooms. The district objects to any insinuation that administrators and support staff do not contribute to the educational experiences students receive in Wylie ISD.

For transparency purposes, the employee breakdown (as of 6/23/22) is as follows:

  • 1196 teachers
  • 56 campus administrators
  • 39 district administrators
  • 77 professional campus support (counselors, nurses, librarians)
  • 305 instructional paraprofessionals
  • 132.5 clerical paraprofessionals
  • 34 other paraprofessionals (campus technicians)
  • 133 district professionals (83 are special education specialists; 28 are learning specialists who spend the majority of time on campuses)
  • 527 auxiliary staff (maintenance, student nutrition, transportation)

“What specific cuts have you asked the various departments to make? Did you ask them to cut 10 percent off each department or did you even ask at all?”

Wylie ISD is identified as a fast-growth district. A budget goal is to ensure we staff for that growth. It is standard for districts with increasing enrollment to add personnel and other costs to meet the needs of students. Each budget cycle, we evaluate the entire budget to make sure we are meeting the needs of our students and staff.


“How do you justify spending $25,000 to send all 7 of us, Dr. Vinson. Dr. Spicer to San Diego for five days, staying in a $300-a-night hotel rooms with all expenses paid. Did you cut that from the budget for next year?”

The district budgets for school board training. It is determined at a later date what training board members will attend. The board attended this training from Friday, April 1 through Monday, April 4, and the board stayed in a district-paid hotel for three nights.


“How do you justify paying our superintendent of only 20 schools the same salary as the Chicago superintendent who has 600 plus schools?”

The Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer (Superintendent) has a $340,000 base salary. Wylie ISD’s superintendent has a $272,850 base salary comparable to other superintendents in Region 10 and North Texas.


“How do you justify cutting the budget when it comes to our children’s safety and security?”

The district did not cut the safety and security budget.


“How do you justify an operating budget that spends thousands a month on staff breakfast, lunch, and eating out locally in Wylie?”

Maintaining staff morale is an objective for leaders in our district. Careful consideration is given to each purchase and expenditure made in Wylie ISD.


ALEKSANDRA ROLFSON (6/20/22)

“Speaking of the bank statements, I don’t think it’s right to send redacted copies when unredacted copy was asked for. Secondly, the ISD charged the person $18 for unredacting something they redacted the first time with a bunch of sticky notes.”

Ms. Rolfson was not the requestor of the referenced public information request. The district redacted the statements because the requestor did not request that information – the district fulfilled the request as it was written. For transparency purposes, below is the original request from Ms. Dawn Shallow. Additionally, Texas Government Code Sec. 552.261 allows government entities to charge requestors.

Please send me information on the following:

  • All names of WISD employees who attended the NSBA conference.
  • All hotel information of each person who attended the NSBA conference. I.e. the invoices, reimbursement statements and/or credit card statements. I want to see individual and totals spent on each person’s 5 day stay in San Diego.
  • Expense statements/reimbursements for the last 6 months for:
    • David Vinson
    • Kim Spicer
    • Casey Whittle
    • Scott Winn
    • John Roderick
    • April Cunningham
    • Jessica Branch
    • Reggie Bibbs

Thank you,
Dawn Shallow


“Student transportation proposed budget is .73% less than last year. How is that going to work if the fuel is rising and fleet is rising? Did you ask that question?”

As discussed in previous board meetings and workshops, the capital expenditure for new buses was removed from this upcoming year’s budget. Yes, fuel costs are rising but not purchasing new buses offsets those costs.


“Where is the 3 percent cut in security coming from?”

The district did not cut the safety and security budget.


“Dr. Vinson said there’s not going to be any new programs proposed. I listened to all the workshops today. I had 10 hours at work to listen to all that. There’s not going to be any new programs coming up as adopted under the new budget. One of the things you can cut is the D&I program. I don’t even know why it’s there. That’s $168K a year there. Last year out of $168K, I got the expense report, over $2,000 spent on T-shirts and $200 in sunglasses. I am asking the board for the second time to reevaluate the D&I program because it was misrepresented in numbers when it was said that 10 percent of students feel like they don’t belong, only three of them don’t belong.”

At this time, there are not any new programs under consideration. However, Dr. Vinson did not state that there would be no new programs proposed. Additionally, the majority of the D&I budget is for personnel. The individual in charge of D&I serves in the Human Resources department and fulfills numerous human resources-related duties such as employee relations, investigations, and more. The T-shirt and sunglasses were purchased for a unity event.

The district has corresponded with Ms. Rolfson several times since September 2021 regarding the D&I program and the student connectedness survey results. Wylie ISD does not have plans to eliminate the D&I program.


JEFFREY KEECH (6/20/22)

“The board voted to spend a million or so dollars on Chromebooks for first through third graders. The vote was 7-0 in favor, and I don’t recall anyone questioning the current or future costs or the validity or need for first graders to have their own Chromebooks in school.”

The district did not purchase Chromebooks for first through third graders. The district purchased Chromebooks for third- and fourth-grade classrooms to ensure students are prepared for online state testing. This information was covered during the presentation to the board, and board members received information regarding the Chromebooks in their weekly informational newsletter.


“From July 2021 to April 2022, the school district spent $6,300 on room charges for what I think was 28 nights at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock. Now I know that’s only $6,300 out of an ISD budget of $200-something million, but still, it’s a waterpark. After all the remote learning for the past years that have gone on in schools across America, was it necessary to go there? Could stuff have been learned remotely?”

The Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Round Rock hosted several education-based conferences this past year, including the Texas Assessment Conference and the Texas School Public Relations Association Conference. Employees attended these conferences for professional development. While in the past conferences have been offered remotely, many reputable professional development conferences are now in-person events only.


JEFFREY KEECH (5/16/2022)

“...So in summary, there were 25 teachers in the school and nine full-time staff members that were not dedicated classroom teachers, so 74% of the school was a dedicated classroom teacher [regarding Mr. Keech’s former middle school, grades 3-8]. I went online and I looked up Groves staffing for comparison. There are six kindergarten teachers, six first-grade teachers, six second [grade teachers], six third [grade teachers], and seven fourth-grade teachers. There’s also four front office staff–the principal, the assistant principal, the secretary, and a registrar – there’s two staff members listed as therapists, there’s 11 staff members on the special ed team, there are two staff members listed as ELL aides, four staff members listed as Dual Language teachers, two staff members listed as music/PE teachers, one library specialist, one nurse, one counselor, one Title 1 facilities teacher. Also, there are eight staff members listed as some other type of aide. So in summary, at Groves, there are 31 dedicated classroom teachers and 37 support staff. So that means 45% of the school staff is a dedicated classroom teacher... Schools exist to educate students. That’s all. This drop I mentioned from 74% of the school staff when I went to school to 45% of the school staff now comprising dedicated classroom teachers as opposed to some other form of administrator… it is a sign of growing school bureaucracies and honestly, out-of-control budgets.”

Every member of the Groves Elementary staff plays a valuable role in the education of children, as does every member of the Wylie ISD family. The district takes exception to any suggestion that aides, therapists and other positions do not contribute to a student’s education. Many support staff are in the classroom, right alongside our teachers, each and every day.

The dynamics of school operations today have changed. We recognize staffing numbers have changed as years have progressed, as have the needs of students and families, as well as the laws associated with school districts. Wylie ISD exists to educate and serve every student who resides in our district and wants to attend our schools.

The percentages provided by Mr. Keech are not accurate. From the Texas Education Agency’s 2020-21 Texas Academic Performance Report for Groves Elementary:

  • 66.1% teachers
  • 23.5% educational aides
  • 5.6% professional support
  • 4.7% school leadership

We are proud that a majority of our dollars are directed toward the classroom and the support of learning and teaching.


MICHAEL SCHWERIN (5/16/2022)

“For the last year plus, we haven’t been considered as partners. In fact, we have been considered as enemies. And that shouldn’t be what it is. We are all here together, and we have one thing, like the gentleman said at the presentation, that we are here to ensure the future of our children and the future of our community and entrusting our taxpayer dollars. We want to work with you and we want to work together, but when you call us enemies and terrorists and support groups that call us terrorists, then it’s not a productive relationship and we can’t work together.”

Wylie ISD has not referred to nor considered any of our stakeholders “enemies” or “terrorists.” The district welcomes input from stakeholders and communicates daily with parents and community members. Administration and trustees have also corresponded with Mr. Schwerin several times over the past year via email, phone, and an in-person meeting.

Our parents are our partners. Parents entrust us with their most precious gift—their children—and we greatly value and appreciate their support and assistance as we strive to provide our students with the best educational experience possible. Strong schools and strong communities go hand-in-hand, and our success is due to the partnership and shared values with our stakeholders.


“There was one thing that became glaring that I noticed at the meeting. That we are not subject to recapture, so we do not have funds that are going to the state, so we actually could look at doing the no-new-revenue rate. I appreciate that you did lower the rate, you’re looking at lowering the rate but not going down to a no-new-revenue rate is a concern, and it can be done. That’s what we do as administrators, as people who run budgets, is looking at what we can do to lower the rate, lower the expenses that we do. Especially when you look at the previous meeting and propose $10 million in new expenditures but refuse to look at where we can offset that with cuts.”

District administration has spent the spring developing a budget for 2022-23, finding ways to reduce expenditures while still accommodating for expected growth and without negatively impacting students or programs. We are proud to offer exceptional academics and robust programs and experiences that secure Wylie ISD’s place as a premier school district. Through conservative budgeting, the district strives to propose a budget and a tax rate that meets the needs of our students and community. Due to the projected growth of property values, early estimates for the 2022-23 tax rate indicate a possible reduction of $0.0619.


“We brought several issues forward this year, and nothing has been done. Have you looked at the books that were read during the February board meeting? No.”

The book read at the January 2022 board meeting, The Bluest Eyes, was removed from Wylie ISD shelves in Fall 2021. The district will always look into issues brought to its attention.


DAWN SHALLOW (05/16/2022)

“We’ve heard a lot tonight about community revenue, talking about how much you can bring into the school. Well, let’s talk about how much you can cut from the school. How much can you cut from expenditures? How much can you cut from going to a conference and spending $18,000? Well, let me tell you, the corporate world doesn’t send seven people to a conference. They send one or two and they have that person go and bring the information back. That’s economical. But no, we send all seven. We send the whole department."

The district’s number one goal is to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees is forward-thinking, looking ahead to the future and ensuring the decisions made today are sustainable and benefit the students of Wylie ISD. It’s also important to note that 84% of the district’s operating budget goes toward payroll expenses with nearly 60% spent directly on teachers in the classroom.

Long-term financial stability is among the board’s top priorities, and every budget cycle, the district looks at where it can save tax dollars, such as renegotiating insurance rates or energy contracts.

Regarding the NSBA conference: Trustees attended the NSBA conference to receive continuing education credits. The State of Texas requires school board members to receive annual training hours from authorized providers, and continuing education requirements are established through various statutes:

Each trustee obtained continuing education hours at the conference and fulfilled their annual requirement.


MICHAEL SCHWERIN (03/21/2022)

“We continue to increase the taxes and increase our tax rate bills. Not lowering it to match the inflationary rate of our property values. In fact, while we were sitting here, I did a quick calculation. Our 2018-2019 school year budget was $171M and this year, the current budget is $214M. That’s an increase of $43M, about a 25 percent growth. Our attendance rate during that same time went from 16,527 to 18,336 this year. That’s an increase of 1800 students, which is about a 10.9 percent growth. So we’re increasing students by 10 percent, but yet we’re increasing our budget by 25 percent. That isn’t what I call frugal."

Unfortunately, taxpayers are paying more in taxes due to increasing property values. However, Wylie ISD has lowered the M&O and overall tax rate each year since 2018-19.

  • In 2018-19, the M&O rate was $1.17; for 2021-22, it is $0.9898.
  • In 2018-19, the overall tax rate was $1.64; for 2021-22, it is $1.4598.

Yes, the district’s budget has increased, mostly accounting for the rapid growth in student enrollment and ensuring adequate staffing. It is important to note that increasing enrollment also means growth in other areas, such as special education and English language learners. Growth in these populations often requires additional staff and resources to ensure student needs are met. Staff salaries have also increased since 2018-19, as has the cost of benefits. In recent years, the Texas Legislature has passed numerous bills that have directly impacted public school district operations, such as expanded safety and security requirements. The school board and district are committed to ensuring students receive the best educational experience possible while also taking a conservative approach to spending.


“I appreciate your questions and your concerns during the budget presentation and budget workshop, but I thought it was quite interesting to see that one focus was left out during the budget workshop questions. Not a one time was there ever a consideration for the taxpayers, for myself as a taxpayer, for every other taxpayer in this organization.”

As homeowners and taxpayers themselves, the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees absolutely considers taxpayers when adopting the district’s budget and tax rate. Trustees remain committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. They take their fiduciary responsibility very seriously. This includes asking questions and staying informed throughout the budget process, as they recognize the long-term impact their decisions may have on the school district and its future.

The district will host another budget workshop on Monday, May 16, presented by Dr. Mike Moses and David Thompson. The workshop will focus on funding and taxes, including House Bill 3, tax rates and compression, new legislation, and more.


JESSICA FOURRIER (03/21/2022)

“I’ve reached out to all of you on multiple occasions, I helped vote for some of you to get y’all into the seats that you are in, and yet, I can’t even get responses from you. You blame it on, ‘well everybody can’t talk to each other at the same time because there are all these rules.’ Even if I email one of you, you don’t email me back, or it’s some generic, ‘thanks for your email, we’ll get back to you soon,’ But you don’t.”

Trustees welcome emails from the public; however, some questions or concerns are best suited for the district to answer. Trustees will share these questions or concerns with the superintendent, who will either respond or direct the appropriate staff member to respond. The school board and district strive to provide community members with factual information from those who know how best to answer the questions or address concerns.

District administration has responded to several emails from Mrs. Jessica Fourrier, addressing questions and concerns.


“If you think that’s not happening, look back at the emails I’ve sent or my husband has sent, or the other parents that are concerned have sent, and it’s very easy to see that there are no responses. If I’m getting a response from the lawyer, don’t even bother because he doesn’t know what’s going on and his responses are stupid.”

District administration has responded to several emails from Mrs. Jessica Fourrier and her husband, addressing questions and concerns. Questions in her two most recent emails were addressed by legal counsel, as district administration had already several times answered those questions to the best of their ability.


“I’ve gone to a pillar [D&I] meeting. I missed the last one, I wanted to go to that too. I don’t really see what the Diversity & Inclusion program… I still don’t get what we’re trying to do with that. It seems like a waste of money. And if we’re trying to cut money, then that should be cut out. Just forget about it because it’s not doing anything.”

Wylie ISD restructured the D&I program at the end of the 2020-21 school year. This school year, the district began holding monthly meetings with the D&I Stakeholder Group members and other interested community members. Through these small group collaborations, the district receives feedback on many topics, including how Wylie ISD can continue to improve organizational practices. The program's overall goals are to ensure students feel a sense of belonging in our schools and equip staff with how to best serve and meet the needs of the growing school community. Hearing the voices and perspectives from parents and the community this school year is the first step.


“Then why can’t you be more like the [local] superintendent who has gone against the liberal parents, the ones that want lesbian and crazy books in the library, sexual books? They cut it out, got rid of them.”

If an individual chooses to challenge an instructional resource, they are encouraged to follow Board Policy EF (LOCAL), which outlines the process for the reconsideration of instructional resources. It’s important to note, the district cannot remove and deny students access to books simply because an individual disagrees with the ideas the materials may contain. However, Wylie ISD will continue to review books brought to its attention and determine their educational suitability.


JILL PALMER (02/28/2022)

“...In reading through the policy, it seems that the superintendent actually reports to the Board of Trustees. Yet the current behaviors and authoritative attitude from the said superintendent, it seems the Board of Trustees reports into you [the superintendent].”

Texas public school superintendents report directly to the Board of Trustees. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees oversees the management of the district, and Dr. Vinson ensures the board’s goals, vision, and policies are carried out.


MICHAEL SCHWERIN (02/28/2022)

“As you’re going through the budgeting cycle this year, looking at the effective tax rate, the M&O rate, and looking at how we can do that [adopt an effective tax rate]...the City of Wylie did it with their funds [without affecting their services]. They’ve actually had an effective tax rate for many years, and it’s been successful. And I would encourage you to do that. And maybe then we can look at tackling the over $446 billion this school district has in debt, and that was as of 2019."

This comment stated that the district has $446 billion in bond debt. Following the voter-approved bond passed in 2019 to deal with the district’s fast growth, the total debt to date is actually $435 million.

Please know that the Wylie ISD Board of Trustees is committed to paying down our debt as quickly as possible through conservative financial management.

The district will hold budget workshops from now until the budget is adopted in June 2022. Additionally, once certified values are received from the Collin County Appraisal District, the district will move forward with adopting a tax rate in August 2022. More information can be found on wylieisd.net/schoolboard.

Community members may also find an overview of school finance here and here, and more information here.

Important information from the Texas Comptroller’s office regarding the no-new-revenue tax rate (formerly known as the effective tax rate): The no-new-revenue tax rate enables the public to evaluate the relationship between taxes for the prior year and for the current year, based on a tax rate that would produce the same amount of taxes applied to the same properties taxed in both years. Although the actual calculation is more complicated, a taxing unit's no-new-revenue tax rate generally equal to the last year's taxes divided by the current taxable value of properties that were also on the tax roll last year. The resulting tax rate, used for comparison only, shows the relation between the last year's revenue and the current year's values.


RANDI JACKSON (02/28/2022)

“Only local sources were used for the payment on the debt this year of just over $37 million. I don’t know any particular laws or regulations regarding what sources of funding are available or can be used to pay down debt but very interested to learn if anybody wants to reach out to me about that.”

Local Source/Funding:One portion of a school district’s tax rate is its Interest & Sinking (I&S) rate, which is dedicated to debt service. A vast majority of debt payments will be made using I&S funds.

State Source/Funding: The facilities funding component of the state’s Foundation School Program (FSP) provides two opportunities for state assistance for a district’s debt service – the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA) and the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA). The facilities funding component calculation is tied to a district’s I&S rate. Districts must apply for the IFA. The TEA determines any EDA funding provided to districts.

Learn More: Wylie ISD is proud to offer CLAAS (Creating Leaders and Advocates for Schools). This year-long program has been offered each school year since 2011-12. The program’s primary focus is to teach parents and community members about the structure and operations of Wylie ISD, including school finance. Applications open the summer before each school year. More information can be found here.


“I did notice we paid over $5 million down on the debt this year than last year but was there any increase in the total debt from last year? If so, how much? I know it’s highly unlikely, growing at the rate that we are, that we can be debt-free. But I think I can speak for all of us that we want our district to be financially responsible and less debt is better. So, is there a way to manage the growth without perpetually increasing the debt?”

Yes, the district used additional funds generated from property taxes in 2021-22 to execute a cash defeasance of outstanding debt. No, there was no increase in the total debt from last year. School districts can only accrue debt through voter-approved bonds. Wylie ISD has not issued new debt since the last bond referendum passed in 2019. Fast-growth school districts, such as Wylie ISD, often take on additional debt through voter-approved bond referendums to have the funds available to renovate facilities or build new schools. The district and school board are committed to fiscal responsibility and prudently managing outstanding debt. The school board also remains committed to paying down this debt as quickly as possible through conservative and intentional approaches as to not pass the debt burden along to future generations.


“Of the $170 million in the general fund, the local sources of revenue accounted for only 47.3 percent of the funding, which means the combined state and federal sources of revenue account for 52.7 percent of the funding. Only 1 percent of that is from federal sources, most is from the state. I’m not here to say that there is anything wrong with this breakdown, I am however wanting to shed some light for those in attendance or listening on live-stream that this might be a reason it feels like we are sometimes shouting into a void. It makes a bit more sense why being in compliance with the TEKS is more important than addressing our concerns in a prompt and meaningful manner. It begins to make sense why meeting state testing benchmarks is proclaimed from the highest rooftops, and yet when it comes to subversive CRT, bullying, drugs and sex on campus, employees not following IEPs, and inappropriate books on library shelves, these things are swept under the rug, kept quiet or not addressed publicly for everybody to know.”

All Texas public school districts follow the same state funding formulas. Funding is based on various factors within each individual district, such as enrollment, student characteristics, property values, etc. All Texas school districts are required to follow the curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The SBOE is comprised of 15 members who are elected by voters.

Any violations of the law or district policy are taken very seriously and are addressed accordingly. In accordance with privacy laws, personnel and student matters will not be discussed publicly. Additionally, if parents and students have concerns or are aware of specific incidents on campus, they are encouraged to notify their campus administrator.


“When a $1M for third-grade Chromebooks, after a brief presentation and a few half-hearted questions, gets pushed through, the state testing does seem to be more important. What about 504 or other special-needs children that test better on paper? Infrastructure development so that we can handle more bandwidth and increase the devices for students is all well and good but what effect on the internet service provider bill will there be, if any, for the additional bandwidth requirement for all these new devices? What about the long-term viability of the devices themselves? What is the expected lifespan of these devices? What about repairs or will there be cases to prevent damage? Will we need to hire additional IT personnel to manage and set up the maintenance of these devices? Or will this be something that the teachers and campus faculty will be expected to take on? If new hires are needed, how many and what are the resources that will be for that?”

The Chromebooks were purchased due to the state moving toward online testing for STAAR. These devices will assist students in preparing for that type of testing method and will be the device they test on. It is also important to note that the state requires students to test simultaneously, so an option such as rotating students through computer labs would not be possible.

Students who need accommodations due to disabilities or other extenuating circumstances will receive the necessary accommodations.

The school district has a contract with an internet service provider and the infrastructure in place to adequately support bandwidth needs. The district addressed future infrastructure needs in its 2013-2016 technology plan.

As shared in the January board presentation, these new devices will be absorbed into the four-year continuous refresh cycle.

Chromebook FAQs, including repair information, can be found here.

Additional IT personnel are not needed for these Chromebooks, and teachers and non-technology staff will not maintain these devices.


JARRETT ERWIN (01/24/2022)

“Why does this continue to happen [have meetings ‘behind closed doors and away from public meetings’]?”

The board does not hold private meetings behind closed doors, except for closed sessions, where legally-allowed topics such as personnel matters, real estate, consultation with legal counsel take place and no action or vote is taken. The district takes any accusation that it is violating Texas law very seriously and unequivocally denies this allegation.


“Why does the school board refuse to put important items that affect all of us on the agenda and discuss them in an open, honest, and transparent manner?”

Every month, numerous items are placed on the agenda. The board and district make concerted efforts to ensure important matters are discussed at regularly scheduled meetings.


“Why are all concerns directed to individual, one-on-one meetings? Is it so the answers can be tailored to the person asking the questions?”

One-on-one meetings allow each individual’s questions and perspectives to be heard.


“Why will the answers to our questions not be discussed openly?”

This Q&A page was created following the November 2021 board meeting to address questions raised during public forum. All stakeholders have access to this webpage.


JENNIFER BRADLEY (01/24/2022)

“Here we are nine months later and still asking 'what has been accomplished with D&I?' You are fixated on D&I working while you are closing a blind eye to everything else around you that is happening. What has D&I accomplished? Well, let me tell you what it has accomplished. Students are vaping illegal substances in the bathrooms. Students are having sex in the bathroom stalls. Students are getting into more fights. Students are reading books about oral sex and molestation. Students are doing whatever TikTok tells them to do without repercussions or remorse. You can continue to choose to ignore facts, but it doesn’t mean they won’t still exist! Let’s redirect the $200K being wasted on D&I and put that back into teaching our kids to respect one another, quit the bullying, and quit the fighting. Let's teach our kids about peer pressure and how to say “NO”. Let’s remove the sexually explicit books from the high school libraries – the ones that have been on the American Library Association’s top ten lists for most challenged books, such as Kite Runner and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. Let’s teach our kids the long-term effects of vaping and what it will do to their lungs, overall health, and how it affects those they use it around. Let’s get home economics back into the school and teach our kids how to survive in the real world. Let’s teach our kids how to manage their finances, how to get help for grants to further their education instead of getting into student debt. Let’s focus on core subjects and not programs focused on feelings. Our children should not be focused on safety when using the school bathroom. It is sad when innocent students are being punished by the reckless behavior of others. Maybe we can take some of the unused (or perhaps, misused) D&I money that is not being used and hire monitors for the bathrooms?”

There is zero evidence the district’s D&I program has led to vaping, sex, reading books about sex, fights, and/or poor digital citizenship. The program does not involve students.

VAPING: Unfortunately, vaping is a reality schools and districts face today. Our district does its best to combat it, and there are serious consequences for students caught vaping. Junior high and high school families received vaping information and resources via their campus newsletter earlier this school year. The information provided shared the adverse effects of vaping and encouraged parents to have conversations with their children about the dangers of vaping.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY: District administrators looked into Ms. Jennifer Bradley’s claims about sexual activity taking place in school bathrooms. The Student Services department visited with principals, and there have been zero submitted reports of sex on campus. If families know about a specific incident, we ask them to notify their campus principal so the claim may be investigated.

BOOKS: The district is reviewing books brought to its attention. Parents are encouraged to follow Board Policy EF(LOCAL), which outlines the process for the reconsideration of instructional resources. They may also request that their child not check out certain books. A unique feature our district offers that many parents utilize and appreciate – parents have the ability to see any book their child checks out from the library via the Wylie ISD mobile app. Library Media Services FAQ.

COURSES & CURRICULUM: Wylie ISD is proud to offer a robust course offering for high school students. Courses related to personal finance and home economics include, but are not limited to, Personal Financial Literacy, Money Matters, Accounting, Human Development, and Culinary Arts. The full course guide may be found here.


“Why have 17 teachers left the district? Is it because administration doesn’t hold teachers accountable (for example the teachers that push their personal political agendas onto our children while the district looks the other way? Remember the national controversy when one of our very own teachers at Cooper compared the police to the KKK – the administration condoned it by doing nothing…remember when a McMillan junior high teacher signed a pledge to sneak CRT into her classroom? Is it because there is no leadership from administration to ensure problem students are removed? We have a school system that pushes to accept everything, provides safe spaces and makes excuses and condones bad behavior. Is it because these teachers wanted to protect the students that wanted to learn?”

The district cannot share specific information about resignations. Every year employees resign for a multitude of reasons. Some reasons given this school year include moving, a new opportunity, family matters, and health issues. The district has not received any resignations due to the reasons listed by Ms. Jennifer Bradley.


“When will the school board start attending the D&I pillar meetings and holding the administration accountable about putting these meetings online?”

A board member attended the most recent pillar meeting in December. Meeting dates, agendas, and notes have been posted on the D&I webpage for several months.


MICHELLE GILLIAM (01/24/2022)

“Will you please post the answers to these on the school board page?”

This Q&A page was created following the November 2021 board meeting to address questions raised during public forum. All stakeholders have access to this webpage.


“When are you going to put monitors in the bathrooms at schools so children can once again not feel awkward walking in on someone vaping marijuana or having sex in the stalls?”

Campus staff routinely monitor bathrooms. If your child is experiencing issues, please report these incidents to the campus principal as soon as possible.


“How will April Cunningham, Director of Communications, improve communication to the parents and taxpayers?”

The district regularly communicates via campus and community newsletters, social media, the website, and family email updates. If you have suggestions for improving communication to families, please let us know.


“When will the school board vote to update policies that allow pornographic material? Where has the decency gone? Are you even aware of the sexually explicit books in our high school libraries?”

The district does not have nor is aware of any policy that allows pornographic material. The district continues to review books that have been brought to its attention.


“When will an anti-bullying campaign become high priority again?”

The district does not tolerate bullying and takes it very seriously. Anti-bullying is a priority. The district has a webpage dedicated to anti-bullying and secondary campuses show students anti-bullying videos. It is also part of our Unity Day curriculum.


“When will the superintendent start meeting with groups of parents instead of individuals?”

Dr. Vinson will continue to meet individually with parents and community members to hear any concerns they may have and to ensure their perspective is considered.


“When are you going to scrap this whole D&I program? When will it be openly discussed? Why are you, the school board, allowing this political program to be pushed out by the Superintendent? The community does NOT want a program that characterizes students by their race. Where is the transparency?”

A D&I program update was provided at the Aug. 16, 2021 Board Meeting. The district does not have an update to provide at this time. The program does not involve students, and the district does not have plans to remove the program.


“When will our time for public speaking return to 5 minutes?”

In accordance with board policy and this board’s operating procedures, public forum is three minutes.


“When will important topics like these and others we have brought up be added to the agenda so the board can openly discuss?”

Items will be added to the agenda when deemed necessary.


“When will the board start sharing their personal opinions instead of remaining silent?”

Board members often share their thoughts and opinions on different matters. However, school boards are nonpartisan and trustees will not engage in political matters. Instead, trustees remain focused on the education and well-being of students. Further, the board’s policy has been to direct inquiries to those who can best provide a factual answer.


“Do you support the Texas Association of School Boards?”

Every school board in Texas is a member of TASB, and all 1,024 school boards in Texas have been active members for more than 30 continuous years.


“When is the district going to address having 200-300 high school students being stuck in the cafeteria during class time teaching themselves with one teacher because they have no classroom teachers or subs?”

This issue was addressed. Due to staff shortages in January, Wylie High School moved a couple of classes to the cafeteria where they were monitored by a few staff members. Campus administrators let district administration know about the issue, and the district sent additional staff to assist with the staff shortage. This is no longer an issue.


ALEKSANDRA ROLFSON (01/24/2022)

“How is Wylie ISD measuring D&I’s effectiveness if there are no follow-up surveys?”

At this time, the district is focused on gathering and listening to the feedback provided by parents and community members at the stakeholder group meetings that are being held throughout this school year.


“When was the last time you held Mr. Vinson and Wylie ISD accountable? Example: I am president of the Riverchase gated HOA here in Wylie. On November 2, the transportation coordinator reached out to us asking for more remotes to get in our gates. Here we are January 24, bus drivers still don’t have remotes. Do any of you know anything about that? I highly doubt it.”

This question is in reference to the district purchasing remote openers for a gated community within the Wylie ISD. These remotes allow district buses to enter the neighborhood. After following proper district purchasing procedures, the payment for the remotes was processed and mailed to Spectrum Management (the Riverchase HOA management company) on January 13, 2022. The district followed up on Jan. 19, and Spectrum Management said they would mail the remotes. The district received the remotes on Jan. 31. For transparency purposes, the following email was sent to the Riverchase HOA on Jan. 26:

Riverchase HOA Board of Directors,
Good afternoon! We hope you are having a great week. We are reaching out today to provide the Riverchase HOA Board of Directors with information regarding bus service to the Riverchase gated community.

On Nov. 2, 2021, Wylie ISD contacted the Riverchase HOA about replacement gate openers for bus drivers, as we are down to one working remote. The Riverchase HOA president responded and asked how many remotes the district needs and if we could pay for the associated costs for the remotes.

Historically, the Riverchase HOA has provided the district with remote gate openers free of charge as a courtesy to best serve the children and families of the neighborhood. Our district is more than happy to pay for the costs associated with the remote gate openers. However, as a public school district, we must follow the procurement laws in place to protect the district and its taxpayers. Unfortunately, that process can be a bit time-consuming, and we acknowledge it takes longer than we’d like sometimes.

Our purchasing department set up Spectrum Management as a vendor on Jan. 6. Payment for the five remotes—$275—was processed and mailed to Spectrum on Jan. 13. The district followed up with Spectrum on Jan. 19, and Spectrum said they would mail the remotes.

On Jan. 24, the Riverchase HOA president spoke at the regularly-scheduled Wylie ISD Board of Trustees meeting and stated the following, “I am president of the Riverchase gated HOA here in Wylie. On Nov. 2, the transportation coordinator reached out to us asking for more remotes to get in our gates. Here we are January 24, bus drivers still don’t have remotes.”

We want to assure the Riverchase Board of Directors and our Riverchase families that the district has been working diligently to get these remotes ordered and in the hands of our bus drivers as soon as possible. As of today, Jan. 26, we have not received the remotes but are hopeful we will receive them soon.

We want to apologize for any inconvenience or disruption in bus service this may have caused our Riverchase families. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your understanding and for your support of Wylie ISD.

JESSICA FOURRIER (01/24/2022)

“I initially learned about two of them [books] and sent them to you, the board and Dr. Vinson, an email asking that they be removed from the libraries. In typical Wylie ISD Board fashion, I only got a response from your attorney which was more pomp than anything. I was told I must submit a form for each book I wanted removed from each school. I was also told repeatedly that the district will no longer address this matter with you. So here I am addressing it with you tonight. The first book I wanted removed was ‘The Bluest Eyes.’ Is this the Wylie Way? The second book is titled Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. Why should I or any other parent have to submit a form to remove books like these? How do these books get into our schools in the first place? Is this the Wylie Way?”

Ms. Jessica Fourrier sent the district an email on Jan. 6, 2022, regarding these two novels. The Bluest Eyes was brought to the district’s attention in Fall 2021. The novel was reviewed and removed from library shelves in Fall 2021.

Wylie ISD is committed to providing a wide range of instructional resources that enhance the student learning experience. The selection of instructional materials, such as library books, is governed by Board policy, and campus librarians are responsible for selecting and removing books based on that policy, state standards for school libraries, recommendations from professional organizations, and more. While our school librarians routinely review books and remove those that no longer meet collection standards, staff does not know each book's content due to the vast array of literature (200K+ books). The district provides an online catalog of each school’s library books, and parents can review the available content. Additionally, parents can let their child’s campus know if they believe there is material that is not appropriate for their child and prevent their child from checking out specific titles.

It’s important to note, the district cannot remove and deny students access to books simply because an individual disagrees with the ideas the materials may contain. However, the district will continue to review books brought to its attention and determine their educational suitability. More information about library books and selection can be found in our Library Media Services FAQ section.


“Parents also should be notified when their kids are checking out books and what books they are checking out in the Wylie ISD libraries.”

Parents have the ability to see any book their child checks out from the library via the Wylie ISD mobile app. This is a feature that many district parents utilize.


RANDI JACKSON (11/15/2021)

“What, if any action, is the district independently taking on this [regarding possible inappropriate books in the library]?”

Campus staff will review books brought to our attention to see if they meet district guidelines. Each parent has the opportunity to review available books and let their campus know if they believe there is material that is not appropriate for their child. If a parent chooses to challenge an instructional resource, they are encouraged to follow Board Policy EF (LOCAL), which outlines the process for the reconsideration of instructional resources. More information about library books and selection can be found in our Library Media Services FAQ section.


“There are some potential violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act. For example, consultation with legal counsel. Unless in a closed session, you are directly speaking about a current or pending litigation or settlement, that is not allowed to be listed on the executive session exemptions for the executive session. It goes the same for all the other exemptions.”

Just as it recognizes the need for open meetings, the Texas legislature also has long recognized that civic bodies must be able to consult with their legal counsel to fulfill their responsibilities. Many issues faced by elected officials have potential legal consequences and privileged communications between attorneys and their clients (including elected boards and city councils) is a long-standing and well-established legal principle that complies with Texas Government §551.071(2) as well as the requirements of Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas. Posting all issues that could result in an executive session on the agenda addresses the fact that the board may need to ask for legal advice on any issue listed in the statutes at any time during the board meeting.

The law balances the need for public bodies to consult privately with legal counsel and the public’s right to know by requiring that any action on issues discussed in executive session be posted on the agenda and voted on in public. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees is in full compliance with Texas Government Code §551.101 and other statutes relating to open meetings.


“I had no idea [that the Chew & Chats program falls under D&I]. That kind of information would help to build that bridge and bridge that divide and get that healing that the Board is feeling they want from the public.”

We are both proud and hopeful of what this means to law enforcement and the kids we serve. This program has been publicly discussed in detail on multiple occasions as part of the Diversity & Inclusion initiative.

D&I Board Presentation: November 2020

Mr. Reggie Bibb provided a D&I update at the November 16, 2020 Board meeting, where he highlighted the Chew & Chats program. In the Board meeting video, Mr. Bibb discusses this from 38:21-39:24.

D&I Meeting: April 2021

WPD Asst. Chief Tommy Walters speaks from 7:53-22:00. The presentation has been available on the D&I web page since the spring. In fact, 134 community members/parents provided feedback following the presentation. Here is a direct link to that April meeting: https://www.wylieisd.net/Page/16269

D&I Board Presentation: August 2021

Mr. Casey Whittle presented a D&I update at the August 16, 2021 Board meeting and highlighted connections with the Wylie PD as a success from the 2020-21 school year.

The Chew & Chats have been mentioned several times as part of the D&I program, and our campuses would share information regarding the program on social media as well.


MICHAEL SCHWERIN (11/15/2021)

“There are no agenda packets that we get to see unless we actually ask for it.”

The district has been reviewing how best to make agenda packets accessible to the general public and will begin providing these packets online in January.


“You’re not sending out information [regarding D&I stakeholder group meetings] and purposely keeping the parents and the community out of it by the way it’s been set up.”

Our goal is to provide clear and transparent information to all stakeholders. The issue in question is based on a May 2021 survey to parents asking for them to indicate their interest in participating in the D&I stakeholder group. Because more than 110 parents expressed interest, we invited all to participate in the group but reformatted our meetings to make them valuable and manageable to ensure all voices are heard.

During this process, a few additional parents and community members expressed interest in participating. While it took some time, we changed our entire committee membership process and included everyone who showed interest.

D&I stakeholder group communication, including agendas and meeting notes, can be found on the D&I webpage. Reminder emails are also sent prior to meetings. Any parent or community member who wants to participate in our stakeholder group is welcome. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP in advance to the D&I Director, Reggie Bibb.


“We’ve heard multiple times that Wylie ISD has not or never will do anything dealing with CRT, but yet we saw a picture of you all kneeling during a graduation ceremony and kneeling with the injustices, which again is part of CRT.”

The district stands by that CRT has not, is not, and will not be taught, practiced, or discussed in Wylie ISD. In regards to Wylie High School’s 2020 Graduation, everyone in attendance was asked to join with their thoughts and prayers for “those who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus and for our fellow Americans who have lost their lives to civil injustice.” The graduation reference sheet, which the principal shared with families days in advance, included the following bolded bullet point, “we will have a short ceremony to show unity with our students.” The 2020 graduation moment had nothing to do with CRT. You can view the graduation ceremony here. This was an all-encompassing moment, with students, families, staff, and law enforcement.


“The cartoon assignment that was sent out home last year, who the personnel that was responsible for it, is still employed and working and teaching in the district and has made further comment about continuing to teach CRT language.”

We cannot comment on personnel matters. However, our teachers are restricted to teaching the TEKS and following Wylie ISD scope and sequence standards. We have no indication that our teachers are doing anything but teaching the TEKS and scope and sequence. These standards are clear, and have been and will be communicated frequently to staff. If you have a specific concern or question regarding how and why curriculum is being delivered, please reach out to the campus principal as soon as possible.


“There are at least three books that we found in the libraries that I know of that have very inappropriate behavior, inappropriate themes for children.”

Each parent has the opportunity to review available books and let their campus know if they believe there is material that is not appropriate for their child. If a parent chooses to challenge an instructional resource, they are encouraged to follow Board Policy EF (LOCAL), which outlines the process for the reconsideration of instructional resources. More information about library books and selection can be found in our Library Media Services FAQ section.