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Gloria Carrillo's Thoughts on Education as Presented to the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce for their
2017 Voters' Guide

What useful experience, knowledge and perspective do you bring to the GPISD School Board?

I have lived in Grand Prairie for over 40 years.  My three children are all graduates of South Grand Prairie High School.  All are college graduates as well with professional positions throughout the country.  My husband of over 50 years, Francisco, (who died in 2015) and my son are both military veterans of Desert Storm.  My family has been active members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Prairie for many years.  I currently serve on the Pastoral Advisory Council.

I believe my educational background will be beneficial in serving as a Grand Prairie ISD Trustee. After receiving my undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University (DBU) and graduating Magna Cum Laude, I then went on to achieve a Master of Business Administration degree from DBU.  My knowledge of Grand Prairie, my business experiences (I continue to work with a Dallas law firm specializing in personal injury) and my academic background will inform me as I make crucial decisions that will affect the future hopes and dreams of our Grand Prairie children and our entire community.  

My late husband and I were very honored and fortunate to travel to China, Brazil, Argentina, India, Mexico and many other countries throughout our lives.  I believe these experiences and travels have given me a well-rounded understanding, perspective and respect for the many cultures that also now live in Grand Prairie and other North Texas communities. At this point in my life’s journey, I am ready to serve our Grand Prairie community as a School Board Trustee. I am well prepared to serve all children and all families for the entire Grand Prairie Independent School District.

What do you consider the single most important issue facing the GPISD?

As with all ISDs in Texas, one of the most important issues facing GPISD is funding.  Grand Prairie and most Texas public schools have been faced with state budget cuts. In 2011, Texas legislators cut $5.4 Billion from public education funding – one of the largest budget cuts in our state’s history.

In spite of these enormous cuts, the Grand Prairie Independent School District has managed to be innovative and creative.  Even so, it’s important that school board leaders continue to be the voice for children and that we keep reminding state legislators that public school funding is mandated by our Texas Constitution:

“SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS.  A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
                                                                    Article 7. Sec. 1, Texas Constitution.

Another issue of great importance for our Grand Prairie schools is the ongoing competition our public schools face from Charter Schools. Recently, our three Westchester Homeowners’ Associations worked together to prevent a charter operator from building an elementary school in our neighborhood.   While charter schools are doing a good job in some areas, our HOAs believed our neighborhood was not the appropriate location for this proposed charter simply because we already have high performing GPISD public schools in our neighborhood. 

Vouchers. Unfortunately, our state leaders and our new federal Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, endorse vouchers.  Vouchers will use state tax dollars to help parents pay for private, religious or home school options.  I believe that tax dollars given to families (without any public accountability) is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, it now appears that Senate Bill 3 (the Voucher Bill) will not move forward during this Texas legislative session. 

A quality public school education is the gateway to opportunity and success for all students.  Grand Prairie students deserve the very best chance to live productive and successful lives.   Grand Prairie’s innovative Dubiski Career High School is doing an incredible job preparing our students for future employment.  For example, Dr. Christopher Richardson offers training for Dubiski students in his dental practice in our community.  It is exciting to see this kind of hands-on training as part of our GPISD programming.

What do you see as your role on the School Board?

My first priority as a trustee of the Grand Prairie ISD School Board is to do what is best for our students to achieve educational excellence.  When decisions about school programs are made we should seek collaboration with the Grand Prairie community at appropriate times as well.  As a school board trustee representing the entire district, I believe my focus as a GPISD School Board trustee should be on supporting our school district professionals accomplish what is best for our students. When students graduate, they should have been provided the best opportunities to succeed not only in college or in their chosen trade, but in life. 

As school board trustees, we are required to monitor district spending.  We must be mindful of our own accountability to the community we serve, and never forget we are servant leaders.  The Grand Prairie community is entrusting their children to our public schools and we must pay close attention to the ways we are spending tax dollars on their behalf.  The Grand Prairie ISD school budget for 2016-2017 is $322,729,113. We must always be prepared to ask appropriate questions and come to decisions for the good of our children and our community.  We must never lose sight of our fiduciary duty as trustees. 

I also believe we should embrace community involvement and full transparency in policy-making decisions.  As School Board trustees, we establish the vision for the school district and must represent the views and values of our Grand Prairie community.  By identifying our short-term and long-term priorities and studying relevant research and data we can make informed and educated decisions for the benefit of all our students.

Are there areas you believe the use of taxes are important to the GPISD and if so what are those areas?

Education is one of the largest expenditures in most state budgets.  Even so, per pupil spending in Texas is ranked 38th nationwide. (

Taxation is extremely important for our school districts to function successfully. The Grand Prairie Independent School District, like all public school districts in our nation, depends on state and local tax revenue.  When state legislators decrease public education funding, they potentially harm children for many years in the future. Local funding is also affected when this happens. Sadly, these financial losses cause our children to suffer the consequences.  

The majority of funding for the GPISD is for teacher and staff salaries and for instruction and instructional-related services.  Parents should question and expect answers from our School Board Trustees. These are a few examples of good questions: 

1) How much money does our district obtain from local sources? (Fundraising and Grants and can we do better?);

2) How much money does our district receive from local property taxes and how does this compare to other schools in the state; and,

3) What kind of investment does our Grand Prairie school district make with the available funds?

In addition to taxes, Texas has a state lottery that provides funding for our district and all districts in Texas.  Some may be surprised to learn that only a small portion of the overall lottery revenue goes to public schools. 

The State of Texas bases public school funding on the average daily attendance (ADA) for a child.  ADA was designed to provide an incentive for school districts to motivate students to attend school on a regular basis.  In recent years, our Grand Prairie ISD has been challenged to find ways to keep students in our schools because of the increasing competition from charter schools, private schools and homeschoolers. House Bill 1842 (passed in 2015’s 84th Texas Legislature) allows public schools to operate with more flexibility.  If I am elected to serve as a GPISD Trustee, I will strive to keep up with policy and the public policy decisions being made that affect our city and our schools.

As GPISD School Board Trustees, we must use funds generated from all sources effectively and efficiently for the overall continued success of the Grand Prairie Independent School District.   We are charged to be responsible with tax dollars.  This is a serious matter.  

Gloria Carrillo
2017 Candidate for GPISD School Board Trustee
District 3, At-Large







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