The Right View: The MISD Shakedown Part 1: The Communications Department

If voters don’t pass the requested tax increase, McKinney ISD representatives have threatened parents with looming cuts to Teachers and Educational Programs.

“You have two choices,” school board President Curtis Rippee said. “You can either cut 10 million out of the budget or you can raise the tax rate … and the board felt like cutting additional costs out of the district would start to impact significant programs.”

The district “lost $15 million over two years in the 2011 state cuts, which led to the elimination of 135 jobs” according to Edd Bigbee, the district’s chief financial officer. “Nobody in the district did this,” he added, “The state put us in this position.

If the tax increase is not approved, MISD may be forced to cut its budget by more than $10 million to reach a balanced budget.

Rippee told TSB that 2011’s cuts hit the district hard. “In 2011, we felt like we could cut all that we could cut,” he said. “You’ve got a choice. You either have to cut $10 million in cost or raise taxes. The board felt that cutting again would harm the quality of the education system in McKinney.”

Rippee said it’s now in the hands of the McKinney voters to determine the course of MISD’s future. “We don’t like it (raising taxes) but we feel that it’s the right answer,” he said. “The community now has to decide what they want to do.”

Give me a flipping break.

Reminds me of this classic 1973 cover of the National Lampoon.


Give us a Tax Increase or we will Kill your Child’s Education!


Let’s take a look at what McKinney ISD said, and the reality of the cuts in 2011.


May 8, 2011Counseling helps laid-off McKinney teachers

“The McKinney ISD recently handed out 134 pink slips to teachers and staff”

Teachers and employees targeted for layoffs start the two-day workshop by sharing their emotions. On day two, they receive coaching on job networking, resume-building and capitalizing on career strengths.


March 29, 2011 McKinney ISD May Have To Cut Alternative School

The McKinney Independent School District isn’t immune to the state’s budget deficit crisis.  $15 million will have to slashed from McKinney’s expected $170 million budget.

130 jobs could be cut.  District officials say no teachers will be laid off, but some position vacancies will not be filled, and at least 60 non-campus positions will be slashed.

60 at-risk students are part of the LINC program.  But officials say the $500,000 operation will be shut down, and students will receive similar services on their neighborhood middle and high school campuses.

McKinney Courier Gazette

February 23, 2011 Layoffs certain for McKinney ISD

The worst-case scenario would see MISD receive $36 million less form Austin, but district administrators are expecting a less substantial cut of about $15 million. They plan to fill that gap by dipping into the district’s fund balance and making $9.5 million in spending cuts.

The district has few options left to reduce its budget outside of layoffs. Board member Mark Rude said all non-personnel possibilities have been exhausted, and board president Lynn Sperry said the district has been making cuts for four or five years, cut that have already struck bone.

“We desperately need community members to get legislators to listen,” Sperry said, “because these are desperate times for school districts across the state.”

February 23, 2011 MISD approves layoffs: District prepared to dismiss 68 teachers, aides

“The McKinney ISD Board of Trustees approved a programmatic reduction in force (RIF) Tuesday for 133 district positions.

The layoffs include 68 teachers and educational aides, 43 administrative and professional support staff and 22 auxiliary positions. Total McKinney ISD staff will be reduced by about 5 percent.

“Cody Cunningham, McKinney ISD Chief Communications Officer, said cuts at central office will be given priority, and the district hopes a reorganization of staff in the head office can make up for any lost positions.”

McKinney’s Chief Communications Officer Cody Cunningham with Angie Bado of Town Square Buzz, discussing the heartbreak of cetral office lay-offs, while asking voters to approve a $191 million bond program.

Cunningham: “Dr. Kennedy, our board and administration were very adamant at starting (cuts) at central office and working our way down.  We want to protect the classroom, as much as possible.  When you look at the cuts, that are being made, there are three times as many at the central office and non instructional positions that are being effected, as opposed to teachers.

Bado: “So, you are relly tring to keep the kids first.”

Cunningham: “Absolutely.”

2011 Layoffs – The Real Impact on The Communications Department

Officially, the Communications department lost one person, the Office Manager.

2011: Office Manager, Video Producer, Communications Specialist, District Web Developer, the Receptionist for MISD and an Office Assistant.

2013: Office Manager, Video Producer, Communications Specialist, District Web Developer the Receptionist for MISD.

And, what was the net savings for the district?



Net “Cut”

TECHNICAL SPECIALIST – 226 $58,073 ($58,073)
SPECIALIST $50,181 Producer $52,288 $2,107
SPECIALIST $46,572 ($46,572)
Communications Coord $67,635 $67,635
WEB SRVCS SPECIALIST $56,864 $56,864
Total $320,635 Total $352,817 $32,182

An increase of $32,182. Huh?

While the Communications Department technically did lose personnel, the net increase was higher costs. During a time when the district is complaining about lack of funding and “we’ve make all the cuts possible”, the mouthpiece of the district is cutting personnel and then turning around and higher new personnel at higher salaries. The only cut this department made was to replace a person making $29,217 with someone making $12,098.

Source Data :  Communications Department Salaries        2011      2013

Aug 19 Update


Positions noted with red shading were eliminated.  New position have hire date noted in yellow highlight.

Links for Additional Research

Curtis Rath
The Right View

McKinney ISD maintains this page, that is details the district “Accountability and Assessment”.

The TEA (Texas Education Agency) maintain this site, for those interested in historical data about Texas school performance under the NCLB Act.

McKinney ISD Board of Trustees

Bobby Amick
Amy Dankel
Kathi Livezey
Wade Johnson
Maria McKinzie
Curtis Rippee
Lynn Sperry

MISD Profile and Statistics

McKinney ISD Financial Information

Academic Excellence Indicator System

Accountability Rating System for Texas Public Schools and Districts

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