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)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

BOT Election Information--

May 10, 2008 Fort Bend ISD Election Information

The first day to file for the May 10 election is February 9 or next business day (Feb. 11), and the last day to file is Monday, March 10.

The deadline to register to vote in the May 10 election is April 10.

School Board Trustee Election May 10
Voters in Fort Bend ISD will go to the polls on May 10 to elect trustees in three positions. Early voting dates are April 28 through May 6.

Upcoming District Meetings--

Important Dates Approaching--

Feb. 9 - (or next business day Feb. 11) First Day to File for May 10 FBISD Trustee Election Details

Feb. 11 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Feb. 15 - Student Holiday/District Staff Development

Feb. 25 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Editorial: Why No Missouri City Officials At FBISD Zoning Meetings?

Editorial: Why No Missouri City Officials At FBISD Zoning Meetings?

At the recently packed FBISD zoning meetings, one group was obviously under-represented, or not in attendance at all, that left many in the audience asking why. The meetings over the last few weeks seemed to be targeting Missouri City communities. From Sienna Plantation, in the ETJ, to Quail Valley and parts of First Colony in the city, it became apparent that FBISD finds the east end of the district worthy of such attention. The issue was covered and appeared on Channel 2 news along with many recorded blog reports and comments from the taxpayers/residents of the city.

With all this attention being paid to the second largest city in the county many wanted to know why city officials, council members, were not at hand to comment or engage the FBISD, administrator only, zoning committee. HOA board members from the various neighborhoods were participating along with several potential current and former city council candidates, but not the seated mayor or council.

The FBISDWatch question to them is why? With a mayor and council so concerned about the property values in their town whenever the golf course is mentioned, over-looking something with a much more significant impact on families, homes and property values, where were they?

(c) calvin 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chronicle: Zoning Controversy Grows!

Residents oppose school zone proposal

New boundary would affect pupils from Oyster Creek
Houston Chronicle

Although dozens of Oyster Creek Plantation residents attended the Fort Bend school board meeting Monday night, only three were allowed to speak about a proposed change to their children's school attendance zone.

"I'm asking you not to look at our children as a line on a map," said Chad Dick, whose 5-year-old daughter would attend first grade at Lexington Creek Elementary School in 2009 under the existing attendance zone plan.

The large group of residents, including some without children attending Lexington Creek, wore green stickers to identify their community. Many signed up to speak during the public comment segment of the meeting, but board president Cynthia Knox limited the number of speakers to three under a policy that sets the limit on speakers on one topic.

Fresno resident Rodrigo Carreon, who was not part of the Oyster Creek Plantation group, also was not allowed to speak.

"You were elected to hear from the people," Carreon said to Knox. . .

FBN: Controversy At The BOT Over LCE Zoning--

Parents Challenge FBISD Trustees Over Proposed School Redistricting
by John Pape, Jan 28, 2008

The hottest issue during the Fort Bend ISD board meeting Monday night was the proposed rezoning of several elementary schools, though it was not on the trustees’ agenda.

A group of about 30 parents living in Missouri City’s Oyster Creek Plantation whose children currently attend Lexington Creek Elementary showed up to speak to the board about a proposal to rezone their area to Quail Valley Elementary. The objection voiced by most of the parents was safety since students rezoned to Quail Valley would have to cross busy FM 1092 to reach their new school.

Although 17 people had signed up to address the board about the proposed rezoning, Board President Cynthia Knox, citing board policy, limited the number to three. This provoked the first of a number of testy exchanges between Knox and members of the audience.

“Madame chair, that doesn’t seem fair,” Tobin Englet, one of the Lexington Creek parents, said when Knox announced that only three of the group would be allowed to speak.

“This is a business meeting held in public,” Knox responded. “Not a public meeting.”

Englet was not allowed to speak. When he asked what policy Knox was citing in limiting the number of speakers, Knox responded, “You’re not really allowed to address the board.” . . .

FBW Comment: I wonder what happened to the promises of more openness during the bond elections last November.

Monday, January 28, 2008

FB Chronicle blog: Fort Bend school rezoning tough sell again--

Fort Bend school rezoning tough sell again

This is how time flies -- so goes the cliche.

As the voices of protest from parents angry with Fort Bend school district's last round of attendance zone changes still ring at my ears, community opposition to rezoning has returned to two public meetings last week.

Hundreds of parents turned out at the meetings making the plea for the district not to move their kids and disrupt their academic and social lives.

This time, district officials want to reshuffle students of several campuses, which would affect numerous neighborhoods and apartment communities due to the planned opening of two new elementary schools and the new K-6 elementary grade setup.

Part of the rezoning would involve moving groups of students from Dulles Middle School to Missouri City Middle School and from Dulles High School to Marshall High. In addition, some students of Dulles, Jones and Quail Valley elementary schools would be shipped to a new school named Elementary No. 39.

No. 39, built a year ago, has been the temporary home for pupils of Quail Valley Elementary, which was torn down and being rebuilt to reopen in August. Quail Valley pupils - except for those to be rezoned to No. 39 - then will return to the rebuilt campus. . .

. . . Parent and district critic Noel Pinnock is among many who are upset with the district's rezoning. Pinnock, who lost his bid in the trustee's race to David Reitz in 2007, has been pushing for a single-member district school board. He attributed the board's support for unpopular rezoning plans to lack of effective representation of communities due to the board's current setup. . . (get the full story at http://blogs.chron.com/fortbend/archives/2008/01/fort_bend_schoo.html#comments)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chron: No Reward For FBISD Superintendent, Why???

No bonus for Fort Bend school distirct superintendent

Fort Bend school district's chief Tim Jenney has been approved for a 3.25 percent raise by the school board.

That's nothing earth-shattering. The rate of increase is the same as what other distirct employees received in July.

With the raise, the superintendent's salary has gone up to $247,800 from the previous $240,000, according to the district.

Jenney didn't get an incentive bonus, which in his original contract was tied to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills results, said Nancy Porter, a spokeswoman for the district.

Ten schools performed performed so poorly in the TAKS that the students have an option to transfer out, according to Texas Education Agency in December. . .(follow the link for the full story).


Friday, January 25, 2008

Chronicle Reports On FBISD Zoning Meeting (Lexington/Quail Valley)--

See: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/5484702.html

...Parent Noel Pinnock said the district should put more emphasis on improving the quality of local education and less on moving students.

"We need to unite the front of schools in Missouri City to make them all better," he said. "If the effect of superior teachers on every student isn't taken into account, there won't be a black flight or middle-class flight from Missouri City, but a family flight."

He also suggested that the way FBISD Board members are elected might serve to reduce accountability and responsiveness.

"Under the current system voters find it harder to work with officials they know personally, and who know the issues first-hand," he said...

Packed House At FBISD Lexington Zoning Meeting--

FBISDWatch was in attendance at the recent Missouri City/FBISD zoning meetings at Sienna Plantation and First Colony MC/Quail Valley. Our concern continues to be the lack of parent and community representation on the zoning committee headed by Lee Petros and other senior district officials only. Here is a report from FortBendNow.com:

Lexington Creek Elementary Parents Take Strong Stance Against FBISD Rezoning
by Jamie Mock, Jan 25, 2008, 12 06 AM

Lexington Creek Elementary parents showed up en masse Thursday night to a redistricting meeting held by the Fort Bend County Independent School District. Their message, and that of all the speakers, was similar: Don’t rezone.

The redistricting plan is a result of the opening of Elementary School #39, located near Lexington Boulevard and FM 1092, which has been a temporary home for Quail Valley Elementary as that campus was rebuilt. Both building will open for students in August, requiring the district to outline the attendance zone for #39.

The suggested zones, under fire at the meeting, would: Rezone students in Dove Country, Lexington Square and the Park at Fort Bend Apartments to Missouri City Middle School and Marshall High School from Dulles Middle and High Schools. Rezone Dulles Elementary students east of FM 1092, E.A. Jones Elementary students west of Staffordshire Road, Quail Valley Elementary students north of a line extending west from Court Road to FM 1092, to the yet-to-be-named Elementary #39. Rezone Lexington Creek students south of Cartwright road and the northern portion of the Palmer Elementary zone to Quail Valley Elementary. Rezone the area south and west of the intersection of 5th Street and FM 1092, currently zoned to Quail Valley Elementary, to Lexington Creek Elementary.

To adjust to the district’s new kindergarten through sixth grade program, the following changes have been suggested: The area east of FM 1092, currently zoned to Dulles Middle School, would be rezoned to Missouri City Middle School. The Dulles High School zone east of FM 1092 would be rezoned to Marshall High School.

The neighborhood of Oyster Creek Plantation, comprised of about 25 homes with elementary-aged children, was well represented, unanimous in their desire not to be moved from Lexington Creek Elementary. Among their concerns was the safety of crossing FM 1092, the fact that they bought homes in that area specifically for the schools, home value and the same issue that brought most of the other speakers to the meeting – quality of education.

Many parents suggested that Quail Valley Middle School, Missouri City Middle School and Marshall High School were unacceptable alternatives to the schools their children were currently zoned to. Comments included parents saying they would move, some saying they would put their children in private school, and one suggesting possible legal issues. Several parents suggested their neighborhoods were being rezoned to bring up test scores in low-performing schools.

Dawn Wilson, Oyster Creek Plantation resident and mother of a high school graduate, said the focus should be on improving individual schools.

“Perhaps a principal (of FBISD) not reported has something to do with the neighborhood draw to perhaps increase scores and things that are involved at the state of Texas level,” said Wilson. “I think Fort Bend has some excellent teachers and some wonderful things going on, so perhaps the change should be in faculty and some professional development…let’s fix the problems at the campus levels and we can all be in excellent schools instead of moving kids around and making us pay the price.” . . . (follow the link below for the full story)

See: http://www.fortbendnow.com/news/3764

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Contentious Zoning Meeting Tonight At Lexington Elem--

January 24, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.,

Elementary School #39

3440 Lexington Blvd., Missouri City, TX 77459

--Residents/taxpayers of FBISD will face a zoning committee made up of only top level administrators. This committee process had been criticized in local media for not having involvement by community stake-holders as previous zoning committees have done...

For background:


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chron report: Sienna Plantation Parents Speak Up On FBISD Zoning Plans

Sienna Plantation parents question rezoning plan for elementary schools
Concerns center on moving pupils, as well as safety

FB Chronicle

The Fort Bend Independent School District will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. today at Elementary School 39, 3440 Lexington Blvd., Missouri City. Plans to revise secondary attendance zones are to be discussed as the district aims to develop a feeder pattern that tracks pupils from the new elementary to the
same middle and high schools.

Fort Bend Independent School District trustees are expected to announce attendance rezoning plans for the Sienna Plantation area in east Fort Bend County on Feb. 25.

"Everyone agrees that a third elementary school is needed for this rapidly growing area," said Mary Ann Simpson, district spokeswoman, before a Tuesday public hearing. "We're doing what we can to achieve a balance in our rezoning plans."

But not everyone agrees on the best way to revise attendance zones. . .(follow the link below for the full story)


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fort Bend County Appraisal District Wants To Use School Tax Surplus For CAD Budget (Buildings)--

From the FB Chronicle Blog:

Not everyone happy with appraisal district's building proposal

Fort Bend County's Chief Appraiser Glen Whitehead is preparing a PowerPoint presentation to bring to the Fort Bend school board in hopes of persuading skeptical trustees that it's a wise move to use a $434,425 tax revenue surplus -- part of which came from the school districts' taxpayers -- for a new appraisal district building. . .

...The opposition by Rosenberg and the Stafford and Lamar school districts -- and whatever decision the Fort Bend school district gives -- won't have an impact on Whitehead's plan because the property law says the proposal needs only approval by three/quarters of the jurisdictions.

Lamar school trustees asked for a detailed facility plan and exactly how the money would be spent. Whitehead said he could not produce that because this is an early stage of planning.

Some Fort Bend trustees also frowned upon the plan and asked for an explanation of the surplus money and the plan.

School board president Cynthia Knox had this comment:

This would be like a gift to the appraisal district, and the school district doesn't give a gift.
Trustee Laurie Caldwell added:

Public education money should stay in public education.
Trustee Stan Magee cracked this joke:

Let's ask the appraisal district to not raise our appraisal for the next five years and then we may consider it.

See: http://blogs.chron.com/fortbend/archives/2008/01/not_everyone_is.html#comments

FBISDWatch comment:

Sure would be nice if they gave it back to the schools that need it or rebate it back to the tax paying public (probably not a consideration of Mr. Whitehead.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rezoning Problems For Current Lexington Elementary Families--

It has come to our attention that one brewing school zoning battle is going on at Lexington Elementary. A group of concerned parents are organizing to stop their Missouri City First Colony Community from losing access to their school. FBISDWatch wants to offer our support in this effort given the recent problems with the district zoning committee changes first reported in local media:



FBISDWatch comment:

Is it a fair process, via the current committee appointments, with no parents or other community stake-holders involved with the decision making. How many other schools/families will be impacted?

See the recent proposed zoning changes for Sienna Crossing and Elem School #39 (Lexington) at http://www.fortbend.k12.tx.us/about/zoning.cfm


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FortBendNow/InstantNewsNetwork Being Sued By Houston Community Newspapers (Parent Co. for FB Sun & Sugar Land Sun)

FB Sun Report:

Houston Community Newspapers filed a lawsuit Monday seeking damages and a temporary restraining order against the former owner of a newspaper group that he sold to HCN in 2006.

At a Monday hearing, a Harris County District Court Judge granted parts of a requested temporary restraining order and denied other parts. As a result of the judge's order, an additional hearing is scheduled to be held Friday, Jan. 25.

The lawsuit, filed against George Boehme, InstantNewsNetwork.com Inc. and FORTBENDNOW INC., claims Boehme has violated non-competition and non-solicitation provisions of a purchase agreement he signed with Houston Community Newspapers. . . (follow this link for the full story: http://www.hcnonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19197587&BRD=1574&PAG=461&dept_id=532245&rfi=6)

See related Chronicle blog on the media wars at: http://blogs.chron.com/fortbend/archives/2008/01/news_battle_in.html

We will update this piece as needed...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chron: "Fort Bend school board decides against contract 'set-asides"

Minority-owned firms will still be encouraged to bid
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

In picking more than a dozen architectural firms for the 2007 bond projects Monday night, Fort Bend school officials agreed with a school district attorney that minority-owned firms shouldn't be given preferential treatment over any other group.

Carolyn Hanahan, the district's attorney, told the school board that it would be unconstitutional for the district to show favoritism to minority-owned businesses.

Hanahan said she researched the U.S. Constitution and numerous court cases in which judges ruled against the practice of governmental entities awarding jobs to contractors based on their minority status.

"To implement a minority preference program is inappropriate and unconstitutional," she said. . . (follow the link for the entire story at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/5454658.html)

Problems At Marshall High School?

FBISDWatch has been contacted by several good sources regarding Marshall High School and it has been brought to our attention that many complaints (grievances) have been filed currently against the principal at that FBISD campus via instructional staff. Mr. Reynolds, new to the school, exited Aldine ISD recently and was hired and assigned to Marshall H.S.

We will update this news as it comes in (evolving story)...

Monday, January 14, 2008

FBN: FBISD Requesting More Funding For Financial Software Conversion

From FBN:

FBISD Wants More Money For Troublesome Financial Software Conversion
by Bob Dunn, Jan 14, 2008

The Fort Bend Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider spending another $150,000 for consultants to help with its star-crossed conversion to a PeopleSoft software system.

In material prepared for Monday night’s FBISD Board meeting, district administrators recommend designating $150,000 in the district’s unreserved fund balance to pay for “consulting assistance for refining additional PeopleSoft modules.” . . .

. . . FBISD Superintendent Timothy Jenney said in an October letter to district teachers that “monumental problems” with the PeopleSoft conversion were in part to blame for a series of paycheck and payroll errors that plagued the district last fall

He estimated in October that the full conversion to PeopleSoft will take another two years to complete.

The district likely had spent more than $5 million on that conversion by fall of 2007. FBISD trustees agreed in March 2006 to pay about $2.4 million for Oracle Corp.‘s PeopleSoft enterprise system software, and just over $2 million to eVerge Group of Dallas, to provide consulting on installation and implementation of the system. The district no longer is working with the Dallas consulting group.

“Since the date Everge exited the district, we have used consultants on an emergency basis only,” FBISD Chief Operating Officer Mike Seale said in material prepared for the board. “Unfortunately, that method of procurement is unnecessarily costly and inefficient.”

FBISD administrators have identified three placement firms to assist in finding consultants who can help complete the district’s PeopleSoft financial software conversion, Seale states in the board report. The administration is asking for $150,000 for those consultants.

For the full story follow this link:


Get These East Fort Bend County Candidate Reports, Just in...

Visit http://missouricitychatter.blogspot.com

& http://www.fortbendweb.com (for related information)

& http://www.fortbendnow.com for county news!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Zoning Workshop & Regular FBISD BOT Meeting Tonight--

The regular FBISD BOT meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14th with an earlier zoning workshop. All meetings are held in the FBISD Administration Building, 16431 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. See:

Jan. 14 - Board Zoning Workshop - 4:00 PM
Jan. 14 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Thursday, January 3, 2008

FB Star Covers FBISD Scheduling Controversy (Will Block Schedules Survive the Axe?)

"The superintendent said he is neither “favorable or unfavorable to either block or traditional scheduling. That’s not the issue. It’s common resources, equity and so on. If the recommendation were to go to block with all high schools, that requires significant lead time and training, so we needed to have that information as soon as possible so we could set up a training program and provide for the changes it would take to teach in that schedule.” FB Star

FBW comment:

Why would administration officials be using the equity issue to possibly remove block scheduling from an east FBISD high school? Isn't this the area they should be concerned with bringing these resources to? We will update this as information is made available.

For the full story, see:http://www.fortbendstar.com/121907/s_FBISD%20hears%20scheduling%20concerns.htm

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

MCC Supports Morrison, Carreon for Commissioner Pct. 1

See this site for more: http://missouricitychatter.blogspot.com/2007/12/richard-morrison-announced-for-pct-1.html