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Community leaders learn how NEISD spends every dollar

It was a packed house in the Tex Hill Middle School library as dozens of community members joined together to learn how North East ISD spends *every dollar. 

They are all part of Leadership North East (LNE), a nine-month class provided by NEISD that educates the community about the ins and outs of the District.

Volunteer Resource Manager, Brooke Pate, said LNE members are a specially selected group of diverse leaders nominated to become ambassadors for the District.

“They come and they find out about new programs in North East that they never knew existed,” she explained.

Pate said the LNE members enjoy attending and learning.

“A lot of the feedback we get is, wow we are such good stewards of our taxpayers’ money. That’s what we try to strive to do; we want people to come and learn about that and how we spend our money. The District wants to be as transparent as possible,” Pate said.

Mother of three Cynthia Hernandez is a community member with a passion for education who is in LNE.

Hernandez works full time in business development but says it was important for her to attend.

“It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the school district and everything that’s going on in the District from a day in the life of a student to our security program to how we spend money to accountability,” she said.

“We’re hoping that by educating our community members, our PTA members, that they will in turn go out and educate other people in the community,” Pate added.

 In the latest lesson, LNE members joined in for an activity to try to guess how NEISD distributes every dollar received from its taxpayers. 

Many people were surprised to learn that funding school breakfasts and lunches for more than the 64,000 students in the District costs only six cents of every dollar.

Many were also amazed to learn that funding transportation for 300 school buses costs only three cents of every dollar.

“I thought transportation was more than what it actually is and that was fascinating to me. I come from a transportation background and actually worked for VIA Transit Authority and have a finance background so it was really exciting for me today to find all of my passions into one meeting,” Hernandez said.

“Three cents of every dollar goes towards Central Office staff- so that’s payroll, that’s health insurance. So, providing all of our teachers with all of the benefits that they get,” Pate said.

Hernandez also enjoyed learning about how much of every dollar went towards teachers.

“The fact that we spend about 54% of the money on teachers was fascinating to me as well,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said it’s just another reason why she loves being an advocate for North East ISD.

“I actually come from a Catholic school background and so actually putting my children into public school was a big decision for me but I have been nothing but pleased. I love the schools, the administration, the diversity; it has just been a wonderful experience for all of my children. they’ve had a great education,” she said.

Click here to see the video produced by NEISD Media Production to learn more about how the dollar is spent:

Discover the NEISD way, where our educators collaborate with our community to keep them informed on the issues that matter to them.

Ashley Speller