2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)

Friday, November 30, 2007

FBN: Investigation Of FBISD Operations Reveals Nothing Criminal, DA Concludes

Investigation Of FBISD Operations Reveals Nothing Criminal, DA Concludes
by Bob Dunn, Nov 30, 2007, 11 38 AM

Nearly two years after receiving material from an investigation into business operations at Fort Bend Independent School District, county District Attorney John Healey’s office has concluded that probe revealed nothing criminal.

“My office feels that there are not provable criminal charges contained in Kelley’s report,” Healey said Thursday.

He referred to Houston attorney Lloyd Kelley, who was hired in September 2005 by the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees along with forensic auditing firm Mir Fox & Rodriguez, to investigate findings in an August 2005 audit report of the district’s risk management department.

“The ruling of no prosecutable events by John Healey, the Fort Bend district attorney, ends my concerns with the Lloyd Kelley report,” FBISD Board President Cynthia Knox said on Friday. “Now all parties can focus on their responsibilities and continue serving FBISD to the best of their abilities, and create the best educational opportunity for all children.”

See these links for the full background and story:


http://www.fortbendnow.com/article/507 (earlier investigative report based on the audit)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Delays In State Steroid Testing Program Impact UIL

From the Star-Telgram

UIL releases steroids testing details


There is still no timetable for the start of the state’s steroids testing program for high school athletes, but details about the program were released by the University Interscholastic League on Wednesday morning.

The program will require every student athlete and his or her parents or legal guardians to sign a consent form to be tested. Approximately 20,000-25,000 student athletes in grades 9-12 will be tested during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years.

Anyone testing positive for a banned substance for the first time or refusing to be tested will be suspended from competition for 30 days and must pass an exit test for banned substances before being reinstated.

A second positive test or refusal to be tested after a prior positive test would result in a suspension for one calendar year. A third positive test would cause the student athlete to lose eligibility for the remainder of his or her high school career. . .(full story linked below).


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FortBendNow Announces Expansion!--follow the link provided--

Follow this link to get the full story and to comment:


News Of Our Demise Was Greatly Exaggerated; FortBendNow To Expand
Nov 27, 2007, 02 42 PM

The discerning reader may have noticed that, despite my having used this space some five weeks ago to announce its imminent demise, FortBendNow somehow refuses to go away.

Fort Bend Politics

By Bob Dunn
I understand an explanation is in order. For the moment, the best one I can offer is this: The Hand of Providence apparently had other ideas.

While details still are being worked out, and that process for the moment prevents the sort of full disclosure to which you are accustomed and deserve, I can now say this:

FortBendNow is going to stay open for a long time to come. . .

Monday, November 26, 2007

EducationNews.org A Great Source For The Public-

If you are looking for additional links and good sources to educational issues and news on a regional and national scale we would like to suggest this site: http://www.educationnews.org/

Several current issues of interest may be worth looking at for comparisons here locally:

Language Immersion Prototype Stumbling

Many immigrants face problems, find feeling of belonging in gangs

Computers transform classrooms

Please take a few minutes to review this resource and bookmark it...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

FBISDWatch Wishes Everyone A Safe & Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Chronicle: Community Upset At Recent FBISD Board Vote To Reduce Public Input On Zoning!

Fort Bend ISD parents want greater role in rezoning
School board trims procedure, forms committee
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Some parents, community activists and a school board trustee are upset with a Fort Bend Independent School District decision to reduce the number of public meetings from three to one on annual plans to redraw attendance zones.

"It's extremely disappointing. They're taking away the taxpayers' right to participate in the process. That shows the district doesn't want to foster good will with the community," said Rosalia Guerrero, a member of the Concerned Citizens Group, a district watchdog organization formed in 2006 during rezoning that stirred strong public protest.

Stan Magee, the lone board trustee against the new policy proposed by the administration, also questioned the administration's practice of crafting a policy for the board to adopt.

Guerrero, a Sugar Land resident, said she was disappointed by the rest of the board.

"They were elected to represent the community and supposed to work for the community more and not less. But they were doing just the opposite," she said. . . (follow the link for more)



See additional comments from FBISD taxpayers discussing this in the community on different blogs:






FBW comment/opinion:

This decision by all but 1 of the BOT members would seem to defy the promises made for more open forums and public input during the recent bond campaign. Is this what our new superintendent and board has in store?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Appreciation Letter From GISDWatch Regarding Feldman SLAPP-suit--

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to give you an update of the eventful week I’ve had! After GISD got hammered on the fact that they couldn’t sue as a unit/governmental entity, Feldman comes out and says, Oh, no, we weren’t suing as a district; we’re suing as individuals! Using taxpayer’s money of course. Well I had been contacted by 2 firms and spoke to Anthony Griffin who is a civil rights attorney in town and is handling the plaintiffs on the DOJ we’re involved in with the district. But he wanted a $10K retainer should it go to court.

After Feldman pulled out the individual suits, Liberty Legal said they couldn’t help if suits were brought by individuals. But when I went to talk to Tony Buzbee, he had no problem defending me regardless of how they came at me and would do it pro bono. He felt the publicity alone would make up for monetary issues. He is the biggest, baddest attorney in Galveston County and possibly the state. Talk about politics makes strange bed fellows! But I knew if I was going to fight, I needed a big dog. He issued a wonderful letter to the district Thursday morning and it was in the paper Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, our superintendent issued a statement saying that she’d had enough of the attention being taken away from the children and she recommended to the board that the matter be dropped. (Isn’t she caring?) When I pressed the reporter if she’d spoken to any board members, she hadn’t – “Cleveland hadn’t spoken to any board members.” Well, please… so the reporter called the board president who didn’t know a thing but said the matter would need to go to the board. That’s correct of course! So the matter is not on the board agenda for Wednesday but I’m going to ensure that it is on the December Board meeting!! They are going to do this in public!!

I just want to thank everyone who helped encourage me, support me, educate me, speak out for me – it means a lot to me. It kept me strong throughout. And I believe that by working together, we’ve all achieved a great success that we can build upon! The school districts in Texas and the nation have been put on notice that we will not back down! I am compiling a list of the people who contacted me from other states with similar issues. We will go nationwide with this! It is a shame what these districts are doing and are not doing! But together in a united way, we will be a force to reckoned with!



FBISDWatch comment:

Lawyer David Feldman is one of FBISD's legal vendors...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Houston Chronicle Covers FBISD Vote To Decrease Public Zoning Forums--

November, 2007

Fort Bend ISD decreases public forums on zoning
Zen Zheng

Strong emotion may still be a vivid memory of many who went through the massive school attendance zone changes in 2006. Parents and teachers stood in long lines during those numerous community forums waiting for their turn to exercise their freedom of speech.

With a new round of rezoning on the horizon, district officials have decided to cut the number of community forums down to one.

School board last week approved a proposal made by the district administration to change the board policy that had previously required at least three community forums during attendance zone redrawing.

Superintendent Tim Jenney described the change as "streamlining the process."

Trustees voted 6-1 for the reduction in the number of public meetings. They also gave nods to a district plan to form a facility utilization committee made of district administrators and three principals from the elementary, middle and high school levels of campuses to be affected by rezoning. The committee is responsible for making recommendations for rezoning.

Stan Magee was the lone trustee who voted against the board policy change that included the creation of the committee.

Magee called the board policy change a move aimed at reducing public input to the minimum.

He was also upset with the fact that the facility use committee includes no community member. . . (follow the link below for the full story)


FB & Sugar Land Sun: FBISDWatch committee members harassed during recent campaigning activity

Missouri City residents Noel Pinnock and Kevin Tunstall have quite a bit in common.

They live in the same neighborhood. They both ran for public office - Pinnock for the Fort Bend Independent School District Board of Trustees, Tunstall for the Missouri City council. Both are known vocal critics of the recently passed FBISD bond proposal. And at the end of last month, they were both victims of ATM theft totaling close to $1,000 each. Both are convinced they were specifically targeted because of their political stance.

The thefts occurred in Austin, and according to Tunstall, all withdrawals happened within a 3-square-mile radius. The amounts were the same, although Pinnock lost less because he realized the thefts were occurring before Tunstall. According to authorities, the withdrawals were made using bank cards and PIN codes - bank cards the victims say never left their wallets.

"I find it more than strange, more of a strategic attempt, if you will," said Pinnock. "That's just my opinion. My speculation is someone has access to the bank database. Someone, or some people, or some group."

"If it just happened to one of us, I could chalk it up to coincidence," said Tunstall. "Once it happened to two, it smacks of collusion." . . .

Follow these threads for more:




Comment: Several other pro-bond accountability & improved representation (through SMD) committee members where also being harassed during this same 3 week campaign period. Hopefully Travis County authorities will get to the bottom of these criminal activities...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ABC13 Covers Growing Controversy At Sienna Crossing

Follow the link for the full story:


Stay tuned...we will update this at intervals.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FBN: BOT Member Calls For More Transparency, Not Less

From FBN --

Magee: FBISD Community Input On Attendance Zoning Loses Out
Nov, 2007

In an effort to “streamline” the process of deciding school attendance zones, the Fort Bend Independent School District Board voted Monday night to approve the administration’s new proposal, which effectively eliminates the revised Board Policy FC-R, which was amended two years ago to provide three community meetings with the school board.

The plan approved Monday night sets up a building utilization committee made up of nine administrators and NOT ONE PERSON FROM THE COMMUNITY, to meet together, decide what to propose to the board, and without even one parent from the affected zones, will then make a recommendation to the board.

After the committee makes the recommendation to the school board, the administration will then conduct ONLY ONE PUBLIC HEARING, to receive input from affected individuals.

Does this sound familiar to what was done three years ago and farther back? You bet it does....(see link below for more)

Follow this link for more: http://www.fortbendnow.com/opinion/3534/magee-fort-bend-isd-community-input-on-attendance-zoning-loses-out

FBISDWatch comment: Why would the upper administration team even suggest this to the BOT?

From The Fort Bend/Sugar Land Sun: Pinnock calls for input from the public on bond accountability!

In a recent front-page article in the Fort Bend Sun Noel Pinnock, considering a run for a Missouri City council seat in '08, was quoted by sources as stating " Over one third of the voters voted against the FBISD bond, which is an indication that there is some concern with the way FBISD handles their business with how it relates to previous bonds, that being said, it is incumbent upon the entire district to continue their involvement throughout the life cycle of the current bond to ensure they are held accountable to the taxpayers and, most importantly, our children."

Mr. Pinnock, earlier in the year, called for improved representation through the institution of single-member school districts, which he continues to support along with other community leaders and numerous elected officials. FBISDWatch has strongly endorsed this position too.

--Get the full story at: http://www.fortbendsouthwestsun.com

-- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/5296451.html (related chron piece)

Stay tuned as we follow these ongoing district issues impacting our classrooms and children!

Monday, November 12, 2007

From FBN: $20.5 Million In No-bid Contracts Being Reviewed By BOT

Fort Bend ISD Will Spend More than $20.5M With Non-bid Vendors
by Bob Dunn, Nov 12, 2007, 03 55 PM

Fort Bend Independent School District likely will spend more than $20.5 million with vendors whose goods and services won’t be subject to competitive bidding.

At the request of Fort Bend ISD board trustees, Chief Financial Officer Mike Seale and Director of Purchasing Tim Ford submitted a list of so-called non-bid vendors expected to contract with the district in the 2007-‘08 school year in contracts worth more than $25,000 apiece.

The list, expected to be reviewed during Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, includes 96 vendors with whom Fort Bend ISD anticipates spending $20,663,000. . .

Follow the link below for the full story:


FBISD Board Mtg. Tonight (At admin building)

All meetings are held in the FBISD Administration Building, 16431 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, at 7 p.m.

The Galveston Daily News Is Reporting A Victory For State Tax Watch Groups (GISDWatch SLAPP-suit Update)--

District may drop legal action

By Rhiannon Meyers
The Daily News
Published November, 2007

GALVESTON — It appeared late Friday that the district was backing down from its threat to sue a parent for defamation.

In a statement issued late Friday afternoon, Superintendent Lynne Cleveland recommended that the district drop all legal action against a Web site it has accused of defamation.

Cleveland said she’s recommending backing off the legal action because she did not want to pull the focus away from the education of children any longer.

“I think I’ve made it very, very clear the reason I’m here is for the students,” she said. “The students have already suffered enough because of other issues out there that don’t pertain to their education, and I’m not going to let that happen to them anymore.”

Tetley said though she’s glad Cleveland has “come to her senses,” the district’s abuse of power is not acceptable.

“They have tried to crush the voice of the parents of this district, and it is inexcusable and illustrates the lack of leadership at the top,” she wrote in a statement. “They have wasted tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money trying to silence honest concerns by the parents of the district. If we felt like the district truly listened to us, we would not have created this Web site.” . . .

FBISDWatch comment: David Feldman sent a demand letter threatening a SLAPP-suit about two weeks ago against GISDWatch (a taxpayer watch group). He also does work for HISD and FBISD. We congratulate GISDWatch for standing up to the bullying tactics that are so common and allowed in Texas courtrooms (but not in 24 other states with anti-SLAPP legislation on the books)...

Sunday, November 11, 2007


With only two recognized middle school campuses and one exemplary (Fort Settlement), all in Sugar Land, when will the FBISD school board begin to take seriously an emphasis on equity of resources in the district?

Get the 2007 campus accountability ratings at: http://www.fortbend.k12.tx.us/cmf/var/tidbits/Tidbits_parentlinks_20070808_1626.pdf

During the recent record bond election, central office district officials repeatedly emphasized the fact that bond monies would be targeted at numerous campuses throughout the district. This though seems to have contradicted the actual distribution of funding in the proposal with nearly two-thirds of the funding going to new schools, to the chagrin of older neighborhoods.

One area that would help alter this perception is the improvement of board representation across the district. During the recent election numerous representatives and community leaders endorsed the use of single-member districts for the increasing urbanization of FBISD. Currently, according to the recent bond rhetoric coming from the central office, the district is undergoing rapid growth and has become a minority - majority school district, which is not reflected through diversity on the Board of Trustees. As a matter of fact, the board has traditionally been controlled by one area of the community. If readers take a closer look at long-term spending over the last decade they would find the dollars following the board members home areas (mostly large Houston development projects). Is the current BOT or administration capable of addressing these needs as they change?

Stay tuned as we update these and other concerns impacting our schools. If you wish to get more involved then please contact us at fbisdwatch@yahoo.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

GISD SLAPP-suit Opposition Growing: See this KISDWatchDogs Letter To The GISD Board & Media!

October, 2007

Galveston Independent School District
P.O. Box 660
Galveston, TX 77553-0660

Attention: The GISD Board Of Trustees & GISD School Superintendent

RE: An Open Letter To The GISD Board Of Trustees & GISD School Superintendent

Dear GISD Board of Trustees & GISD School Superintendent:

Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Christopher E. Cottrell and I am the Co-Founder of a taxpayer watchdog group in Katy, Texas known as “The Katy Citizen Watchdog$”. Ms. Sandra J. Tetley, with GISD Watch, has been sharing with me some recent developments in your school district. Specifically, I am referring to the apparent threat of legal action against GISD Watch by your school district in what the district perceives as statements of a slanderous nature. As a fellow citizen watchdog I felt compelled to comment on the current flap.

I guess I should preface my remarks/opinions by saying that I am not a lawyer, nor do I profess to be an expert on anything, but I will say, as a fellow concerned taxpayer, that I am appalled that your school district considers anything on the GISD site as slander. I have looked at the site, and while I haven’t studied the site in detail, I personally do not see anything that could be considered slanderous. There is certainly a great deal of critical commentary on the site, but I do believe that commentary and slander are not one in the same. In addition, I saw district news and district facts but once again I am having trouble as a layperson understanding how any of that could be considered slanderous. What am I missing? The folks at GISD Watch want the same thing that the Katy Dogs want; that being a board, superintendent and school district that are both transparent and accountable to those of us that are paying the freight. Believe me, I didn’t come up with this theme; there were some very smart men several hundred years ago that believed so strongly in that concept that they fought a revolution over it.

Please try and not take this the wrong way when I say, is it possible that all of you should get a thicker skin? How is it that the word “dissent” has become a four-letter word? Why have some of us lost our natural distrust of government? When did school districts and elected official become exempt from public criticism? Are school districts and trustees always right in everything they do?

When did having a differing view warrant legal action? When did school board trustees and superintendents forget that they report to the voters? When did school districts decide that they have some divine right to rule an area as a fiefdom? Do you believe that tax dollars represent some kind of entitlement program? When did government become supreme in this nation? When did it become ok for government to believe that they don’t need to be accountable or transparent to taxpayers? What happened to taxation with representation? How did the term “grassroots activist” get twisted to mean “educational terrorist”?

Like it or not Texas has become “ground zero” of a taxpayer revolt that is catching on nationwide. The Watchdog movement in Texas has been leading this effort. Watchdogs have found the internet to be a very powerful tool for those of us that have become very, very concerned about the state of public education and the way in which our hard-earned tax dollars are being managed and spent by those school trustees and superintendents that have been entrusted with the oversight of those dollars. The Katy Dog web sites have received both statewide and national attention. I have personally spoken to folks in California, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and earlier this year I went to Boulder, Colorado where I addressed a new watchdog group and their board of trustees. I have also had the opportunity to visit with people in various districts in Houston. We are also very proud to say that the folks over at GISD Watch had been monitoring our site for some time before contacting us. We have also visited with concerned taxpayers in Columbus ISD and just last summer we helped the Cy-Fair Citizens kick-off their fight against taxpayer waste and abuse in their district. With the help of Americans For Prosperity in Austin, the Katy Watchdog$ organized the first-ever Texas Watchdog Summit this past April. This was the first meeting of citizen watchdog groups from around the state; a chance for all of us to figure out how we can become more powerful in Austin and how we can all help each other in our individual battles with our local school districts.

I dare say that the folks over at GISD Watch share many of the same beliefs and goals as we do. Those being:

· We are people who want the very best education for our children, but at the same time we don’t believe that you have to break the bank doing it.

· We believe in putting more money in the classroom and less into administration and “Taj Mahal” school construction projects. In other words, we believe that teachers should come FIRST, not administrators, superintendents, school trustees, building contractors or architects. After all it won’t be any of those individuals that secure our children’s college admissions. It will be the teachers that accomplish that task.

· We believe that an education will be the only thing we will ever give our kids that will ever be worth anything in their lives.

· We are concerned that that education is not the first priority of school districts.

Let me clue all of you into something; taxpayers in this state are angry and they are getting angrier every single day. Our ranks are growing daily as more and more taxpayers begin to come out of their apathetic stupor and begin to realize what is REALLY going on in their school districts. We are tired of wasteful, irresponsible and sometimes fraudulent school district spending. We are sick of “blank check” bond initiatives that only encourage wasteful, irresponsible and sometimes fraudulent school spending. We’re tired of school districts operating deficit budgets. But most of all we are really weary of school districts “passing the hat” before they have made absolutely sure that their own economic house is in order.

Folks, it’s really quite simple. We have got to begin changing our ways. All school districts need to realize that we cannot continue down the path that we have been on. We cannot continue spending money like it’s going out of style. We need to learn how to build smarter and cheaper. We need to understand that we can’t have it all and realize what is really important in providing a quality education and what is not important to that effort. Priorities need to be shifted so that education becomes the first and only priority.

Face it, test scores are down all over this state and nation. Public education in Texas and in the U.S. is in trouble and it has been in trouble for quite awhile. We all need to work together to try and find answers. Suing grassroots activists isn’t going to accomplish anything other than wasting additional tax dollars that could be spent more constructively on education.

I am urging you all to take the lead and immediately open a dialogue with GISD Watch. Listen to what their concerns are and try and set aside any personal bias and work with them in trying to find common ground on issues facing your district. Please, and I can’t emphasis this enough, don’t take the adversarial approach our Board took when we announced our formation in August of 2005. Sandra and her group are taxpayers just like all of you. What they want is hopefully you want; that being a quality education at a reasonable and fair price.


Christopher E. Cottrell
Co-Founder/Katy Citizen Watchdog$


P.S. I also want to let each of you know that my letter will be forwarded to the press and will be posted on the Katy Watchdog web sites and on the GISD Watch web site.

cc: GISD Watch
Members of the Press

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

FBN Reports: Record FBISD Bond Proposal Approved By Voters!

FBISD Bond Issue Wins With Ease
by FortBendNow Staff, Nov 06

Voters passed Fort Bend Independent School District’s $428 million bond referendum easily on Tuesday, with just over 65% favoring the measure...

...Final results from the Fort Bend County Election Administration show 10,587 people – 65.07% – voted in favor of the Fort Bend ISD bond measure, while 5,683 – or 34.93% – voted against it.

The school district has said money from the bonds would be used to build four elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school within the next three years or so, in addition to making more than $138 million in repairs, refurbishments and maintenance to existing campuses...

Follow the link for more: http://www.fortbendnow.com/news/3514/fort-bend-isd-bond-favored-2-1-in-early-voting#cpreview

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Update On GISDWatch Lawsuit By GISD lawyer David Feldman (Also handles FBISD & HISD cases): Is suing taxpayers the new norm in silencing opposition?

SEE this recent news release from our sister site in GISD on the recently threatened SLAPP-suit: http://news.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=ca5de54a31ed2eb0

"In a case that Galveston school district’s attorney argued is different, Port Arthur’s public school district in 2001 tried to sue a blogger for defamation. The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals tossed out the lawsuit based on black-letter law: New York Times v. Sullivan clearly prohibits such lawsuits.

“The question presented is whether a governmental unit may sue for defamation,” the opinion states. “The answer is no.” Daily News

SLAPP-suits are about silencing opponents and not about damages (Canen & Pring, 1996). --We will update these at intervals! We have notified the TexasWatch network and forwarded the case to the ACLU - Houston for advice. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 5, 2007

FBN Reports: Special Interest Very Much Involved With Pushing This Bond (According to FBN it could be a close race)-

Follow the title link for the full piece...http://www.fortbendnow.com/news/3507/heavily-supported-by-developers-fbisd-bond-vote-could-be-close?commented=0#txpCommentInputForm

Get out and vote!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Last Chance To Vote NO On RECORD FBISD Bond/Tax Increase Today (Tues.)!

See these releases as FBW has formally endorsed support for single-member school district representation & improved bond accountability thus opposing this controversial '07 RECORD bond proposal (SMD makes it harder for special interests to manipulate district seats giving more control to local voters and representation they can hold accountable to their area). With improved representation, that limits the special interest influence, a reasonable bond can be crafted with built in checks to assure it gets used as proposed (this can not happen, in our opinion, under the current process, policies and state law):










We will update this at intervals. Check the county election site at: http://www.co.fort-bend.tx.us/getSitePage.asp?sitePage=5660 for your polling station.

Feldman & Rogers Lawfirm In Houston Initiates Potential SLAPP-suit Against GISD Taxpayer (A GISDWatch Member)-

This just came in from a sister site GISDWatchDogs. Ms. Tetley, a taxpayer/voter, runs the website for the GISDWatch group and is being threatened by attorneys for the GISD school system with a classic SLAPP-suit to pressure her into removing numerous posts/opinions from the GISDWatch website.

Read this article for more: http://blogs.galvnews.com/story109087.html

See the site for yourself: http://gisdwatch.com/

"One legal expert said the district’s move to sue Tetley is rare and unlawful. Under the 1964 Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan, government entities cannot sue for libel — any court would toss out the “threatening” suit as being inconsistent with U.S. law, said Sandra Baron, executive director of New-York based Media Law Resource Center. She called the district’s potential lawsuit an intimidation tactic and a waste of taxpayer dollars."

We wish our sister site well and would be happy to testify, at no charge, in a SLAPP-suit on her behalf. Additionally we can recommend some wonderful anti-SLAPP lawyers if needed and would suggest contacting Houston media and the ACLU or Public Cause for more help.

Question: I wonder how much taxpayer money will go into this "frivolous" lawsuit?

Get more on this from KISDWatchDogs & the Houston Press at:


UPDATE: FBISDWatch has taken the liberty of contacting Houston media sources over this and fully supports and endorses the first amendment rights of all taxpayers/citizens! We will update this as it continues...

SLAPP-suit definition (currently legal in TX but outlawed in 24 other states and most legal experts claim these violate the constitution and are an abuse of process) -- see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

Feldman & Rogers, a large Houston law firm, have handled many cases over the years for Fort Bend ISD as well as many other large school district clients with several Texas offices.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

From FBN:Vocal FBISD Bond Critics Hit In Bank Scam They Say Was Meant To Send A Message

Follow the link below for more on this evolving story impacting FBISDWatch committee members...


-We will update this as the news warrants!

Chronicle Reports on FBISD Bond: Renovation cost concerns some critics

Follow this link for more:


OP/Ed a FBISDWatch Exclusive: Bond Promotion Presents Potential Conflicts For FBISD Superintendent!

This just into FBISDWatch:

Until last week it appeared the public relations efforts of the FBISD communication office (and their local affiliates) were keeping the bond promotions within the existing TEC (Texas Education Code) through standard mail-outs with information of what the bond proposal contained. Of course these communications do not mention that state law does not require the proposal, once approved by voters, to be followed. In our opinion a BOT policy could easily address this by requiring all changes to bonds go through public scrutiny via hearings or referendum. This currently is not the case as has been pointed out in recent news and media releases.

This lack of accountability and poor representation can lead to potential bond conflicts as may be the case with the recent signage showing up in east Fort Bend ISD areas. The signs state simply VOTE YES on the FBISD 2007 bond. Several sources looked into this for FBISDWatch, because this simple sign may be in violation of the Texas Education Code (TEC) if employees of the district are involved. FBISDWatch affiliates have traced the signage to a committee which includes members of the Fort Bend County Economic Development Council (GFBEDC) and the Fort Bend ISD Education Foundation (FBEF). These organizations have district vendor members, which may present a potential conflict in and of itself. The FBEF is housed in offices paid for by the school district.

The superintendent of FBISD, Dr. Jenney, has a membership on the GFBEDC. Further, one of the managers of the FBEF is a spouse of a FBISD board of trustee member. The committee with this membership promoting the 2007 FBISD record bond may appear to be a conflict of interest and could present a possible violation of the TEC laws prohibiting such activity.

We will update this story as more information comes in...