Frisco schools go unstaffed while Superintendent pulls in $293,000 Frisco's deal to land the Dallas Cowboys was $115 million in city and school district tax revenue.

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Jun 13, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

Frisco is the latest Dallas-area boomtown – now well over 150,000 in population and home to the $1 billion STAR complex, the multi-use training facility of the Dallas Cowboys. You’d think that would translate into a lot of tax dollars for the local schools – but Frisco officials gave away the store to get the Cowboys in Frisco, so the Cowboys have a free ride.

Fields at the Star complex

To raise money, the Frisco ISD tried to increase the property tax rate by 13 cents – but voters said no way.

Meanwhile, a new superintendent has been hired.

Dr. Mike Waldrip will be paid a base salary – before perks – of $293,000. Frisco ISD is in trouble.

The cash-strapped district is going to leave four brand new schools just built – unstaffed for the next school year to save money. The board is considering charging student athletes up to $200 to play.

Frisco is in need of a new school board.

This is what happens when a city has delusions of grandeur. 

Another view of the Star (DFW/NBC)

Frisco is the new darling of the DFW Metroplex – everybody knows that. When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. It seems every area city except Dallas has a shot – and Frisco is no exception.

When the Cowboys went shopping for a training facility site, Frisco was on the list of suitors.

Arlington and Irving were also in the running, but Frisco was determined to win the day. They did. As Robert Cadwallader reported in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Frisco “went early and big” to land the $1 billion project.

The deal was $115 million in city and school district tax revenue and the chance to anchor a 91-acre mixed-use development that would include a 16-story Omni Hotel, a Baylor Scott & White Health sports medicine center and 2.7 million square feet of commercial and office space.

So Frisco won the Cowboys and the legendary growth continued.

Mike Waldrip (Dallas Morning News)

But with growth comes a need for new schools. Frisco ISD has just built four new ones – a high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools. All four will go unused during the 2017-2018 school year. Unlike the Dallas Cowboys, Frisco is cash-strapped.

Pay to play.

The ISD Board is set to vote on the new budget on June 19th. One item under consideration is to charge student athletes to play.

One proposal calls for middle school athletes to pay $100 and high schoolers would pat $200. Other programs – like dance teams and high school musicals would be cut up to 25 percent.

The new Super, Mike Waldrip, is making his second stop in Frisco. After 12 years is Frisco, he moved to another part of the Metroplex to become Super of the Coppell ISD. Frisco lured him back with a salary of $293,000 – sure to be enhanced with the usual perks like pay for unused sick days, travel allowances, car allowances, free insurance, you-name-it. It’s hard to really know what a school superintendent actually makes.

Waldrip is happy to be back:

“Although I’m leaving a great school district, it’s an honor to be back in Frisco.”

An honor, do doubt, and profitable. We don’t know who negotiated his deal, but it’s a good bet that the Texas Association of School Boards was involved. It usually is.

To summarize:

• Frisco gave away the store to get the Cowboys.
• Maxed-out Frisco taxpayers are tired of paying more taxes.
• Frisco schools are cash-strapped.
• Four brand new schools are going to sit empty for a year.
• Student athletes may have to pay to play.
• Other school activities will be cut back on funding.
• The new Superintendent will be paid enough to live like a king.

This is the state of public schools all over Texas – not just in Frisco.

But don’t shed any years for the poor School Board. There is always a back-up plan.

As a rich suburb, the already-high average taxable value of a home is going up – way up – from $347,932 last year to this year’s assessed value of $381,046. That will bring in a lot of extra money. It will also disguise bad management on the part of Cowboy-obsessed city officials and the Frisco ISD School Board.

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