A comedic FBvian sends along word that initially had me worried:
Just wanted to let you know about something weird I received from DISD (I know, hard to believe). We got a priority mail envelope that cost $4.05 that contained two packets, one in English and one in Spanish, explaining DISD’s No Child Left Behind Program. Now, my son has not received anything below a B in any class. So they sent it to all 1,200 students at Long. And probably every student in DISD. That might be a ton of wasted money.
Here’s what DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander tells me: the letters were sent to parents of students from 16 DISD schools that are underperforming as a whole, according to “NCLB” standards in reading and math — even if a kid in particular at that school is doing just fine. The letter informs parents that if they qualify for discounted or free lunch, they also qualify for free tutoring. And they can put their kid in a different school, if they so choose. Federal law requires that DISD send these letters. And right now, the TEA is being very careful about monitoring the district’s efforts, because Texas is one of six states right now being audited by the feds to make sure we’re doing things right. I could be wrong, but I think I’m breaking news here with that tidbit.
Okay, finally, where does the money come from? The mailer to the parents of those 16 schools costs about $100,000. Those of us who just got our appraisals are all going, “WTF, mate? Why’d you use priority mail?” Well, the money for the mailer came from the federal government, not out of DISD’s operating budget. So we, the taxpayers, still footed the bill, but we had some help from the rest of this great nation.
Update: as the mailer went to specific homes, it didn’t quality for the bulk rate. Priority was actually the least-expensive option.