ConnectEd 2019-20 // Issue III - Page 3

Shining a light on charter school myths With several options for education, Garland ISD wants to ensure that parents make informed choices. Charter schools often recruit families in Garland, Rowlett and Sachse. Their marketing even makes it seem like their campuses are part of our district. We know that GISD offers the best education in our tri-cities, so we want to shine a light on charter school myths. Harmony Public Schools, International Leadership of Texas and Garland Classical Academy are not GISD campuses. They are charter schools. See a list of our campuses at garlandisd.net/schools. Charter school programs such as dual language and STEM are not unique to their campuses. GISD offers those same opportunities and much more. While 86.2% of public school districts receive an A or B rating from the Texas Education Agency, 41.4% of charter schools receive a C or below. Check out all TEA ratings at TXschools.gov. Teachers in GISD are all state-certified and have an average of 11 years of experience. Teachers in charter schools do not have to be state-certified, and those in our area have an average of six or less years of experience. GISD serves the unique needs of all students. We do not turn anyone away. Charter schools require applications and recruit targeted students. According to popular review sites like Google, Great Schools and Niche, GISD boasts a better reputation than local charter schools. Despite serving more students, GISD class sizes are comparable and many times even smaller than those in charter schools. GISD’s school board is elected by Garland, Rowlett and Sachse citizens, making the district accountable and transparent to its tri-cities. Charter boards are appointed and not accountable to taxpayers. 2014 Bond Program to wrap up soon Garland ISD is pleased to announce that its taxpayer-approved 2014 Bond Program is at the finish line. Responsible for the district’s state-of-the-art Gilbreath-Reed Career & Technical Center and long-awaited natatorium, the $455.5 million program focused on security, facility and technological enhancements. “It is exciting to see all the improvements and benefits the 2014 Bond Program has provided to students, teachers, staff and the community,” said Director of Facilities Planning & Construction Javier Fernandez. “In 2019, we completed fine arts additions/ renovations at most middle and high schools. A majority of campus construction projects are now complete or are scheduled to be completed this month.” Bond dollars also funded secure campus entrances, 1:1 devices at secondary schools, computer replacements, security camera upgrades, 2019–20 // Issue III and lights and restroom additions at baseball and softball fields. Expected to open its doors in fall 2020, the highly anticipated natatorium is entering the last phase of construction. The aquatic center is about 70% complete, and the competition Myrtha pool is becoming a reality with the completion of its walls. “We thank the residents of Garland, Rowlett and Sachse for recognizing the needs of Garland ISD. Bond programs are critical and provide our district a means to offer innovative instruction and options for the students of today and of the future,” Fernandez stated. “As we look toward 2025 and 2030, we know the future is bright and full of advancements that will impact our students.” Keep up with natatorium construction and final bond projects at garlandisdbond.com. 2