Ann Sutherland has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Fort Worth school board: She don’t get no respect. Last year she was censured and had a tough time getting her issues on the board’s agenda. Her crusade against pay raises given to high-ranking district officials while teaching jobs were being cut and classroom sizes ballooned went nowhere.

Now she’s back on the warpath, with two new issues in her crosshairs –– the amount of money the district has in reserve and another round of central office and non-teacher raises.

In an exchange with deputy superintendent Hank Johnson last month, she criticized the projected $160 million reserve. The district’s goal is to reserve 12 to 20 percent of its funds, but the current figure is closer to 28 percent –– roughly $40 to $90 million that could have been spent on students.


She told Johnson she would like to see that money go to hiring teachers and slimming class sizes. He told her that because recent budgets had been increased by various windfall grants, a larger than usual safety net is needed in case the district gets less grant money next year.

And the district plans to pump another $3.6 million into the payroll for non-teachers, including what she dubbed a “huge” $1.3 million increase for coaches and other stipends. On her blog, Sutherland for Schools, she characterized the budget as stiffing teachers and librarians.

Sutherland asked that the surplus issue be placed on last night’s board agenda. To paraphrase her, she was stiffed. The issue was left off. To quote Dangerfield, “The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.”



Let Rove be Over

Full disclosure: Former George W. Bush puppeteer Karl Rove makes Static want to hurl. But then, Static dislikes anyone with a history of slinging unfounded innuendo about political adversaries. And now comes a New York PostPage Six” piece from May 12 that says Rove suggested to the attendees at a conference that Hillary Clinton might have suffered brain damage when she fell in December 2012.

“Thirty days in the hospital, and when she reappears she’s wearing glasses that are only for people with traumatic brain injury?” he was quoted as saying. “We need to know what’s up with that.”

What’s up with that is, Rove made it up. She was in the hospital for three days, not 30. She had a blood clot removed from behind an ear. She’s fine. It was pure Rove: Make an insinuation and — job done. When someone picks up on the rumor, he’ll say he only asked the question.

For Rove, smear tactics are a way of life. Remember the hint that John McCain might have fathered a black love child? Or when Rove suggested that a former friend and Republican consultant from Texas, John Weaver, might have made an inappropriate pass at a young man? How about his TV appearances before the 2004 election repeating that the Bush administration had nothing to do with Swift Boating John Kerry –– which, of course, helped keep the Swift Boat campaign alive. And Static will never forget Rove insinuating that Ann Richards was a lesbian.

Now there’s Clinton and brain damage. This from a man we watched melt down on television during the last presidential election when he refused to believe Barrack Obama was going to win Ohio. Maybe that meltdown caused brain damage of its own? Just sayin’ …



  1. I went to FWISD schools and the only teachers that ever complained about wages were the unionized teachers or the teachers who would try to unionize (really small amount), One of my English teachers would always go insane on this topic and would claim that she deserved a higher wage to be more productive, and most people just laughed at her. My English teacher would ignore the fact that she made twice as much money as the average person (30k she makes 60k), unions just want higher wages, back then it was for both higher wages and improved working conditions, but all FWISD schools have great working conditions especially for a city district. Promethian boards were placed in every classroom, my school was always adding new extensions to the main building and renovating, but you can never please a person who just wants a higher pay> productivity…

    • Teachers are not allowed to have unions in Texas. Teachers are professionals with college degrees who are paid lower wages and receive fewer benefits than others with degrees and similar years of experience. At teacher making $60,000 is someone who has been working at least 23 years as of the 2013-14 school year. Teachers who make it in the profession this long are not in it for the money, though they certainly deserve better.

  2. What is important is athletics, not academics. The money in reserve should be spent giving coaches bonuses and building bigger stadiums. Football! Yaaaaayyyyyyy! Come on! Whooooo-hoooo!

  3. Anon, I can’t tell if your being satirical or you have your head deep in your back pocket. If it was satire not bad if not then you must be one of the admin stooges that post things like that to blow smoke into readers back pockets.

  4. Football should be required for all boys in all public schools, period. Let’s get these kids out of the classrooms, into uniforms and out there on the field learning teamwork, discipline and physical fitness. We need to shift an even more major portion of the budget for public schools into mandatory football programs. We should be paying coaches the big bucks. They should be given bonuses for having winning teams. Star high school football players should be given new Camaros for their efforts. That’s what’s wrong with our public schools, we are turning out a bunch of Star Trek trigonometry nerds and wimps instead of turning out star athletes with competition in mind and a sense of determination. We need to change this if we are going to become a strong nation again. We also need to reinstate the draft.

  5. Amen brother! Preach on, you pompous arse.
    You must have played in the band and someone hurt your feelings and now you think that someone has stepped on your civil rights.
    I do agree that they should pay coaches more. The small amount we do receive amounts to about an extra 2.00 dollars a day When was the last time you saw a coach leave before 5 and how many teachers work through most of the holidays?

  6. Reinstate the military draft now and let’s get these punks off of the street and into USMC boot camp where they belong! No college deferments and no excuses, either. After completion of high school or on your 18th birthday you will report for basic training and that’s all there is to it. All of these undisciplined, law breaking, sociopathic youths wearing their pants below their crotches with no respect for authority or their elders need to spend some time in the care of USMC drill instructors.