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, January 25, 2008

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


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

What was great to see last night at the session was so many actively involved community members letting the district know how this proposal may impact their children.

Anonymous said...

Why is the district only looking at our schools for this plan?

fbisdwatch said...

See these recent related pieces from blogs and local media:







Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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fbisdwatch said...

related fbn comments on this piece:

1 Muckraker - Jan 25, 07:50 AM
It was very gratifying to see a packed house at both zoning meeting in Missouri City. One of the questions people at the Lexington session were asking is why is the zoning focus seem to be only on MC schools? I heard one former candidate bring up the issue of single member districts again to the crowd. Often we forget that the macro design impacts concerns like these. It was especially important for the parents being moved from Dulles to Marshall zoning to speak up and they did.

A good turnout, but will they listen? Another closed committee (made up of only top level school administrators with no parents or other community stake-holders can be problematic)...

2 Rodrigo Carreon - Jan 25, 09:39 AM
FBISD BOT form committees to over-ride TAXPAYER and students by excluding
parents from FBISD ineffective committees.

3 Attendee - Jan 25, 10:17 AM
Oyster Creek Plantation put themselves on the map last night. Residents of this small and great nieghborhood spoke LOUDLY about their concerns. Specifically around Kids Safety and Guiding principle #2 which states:
· To consider student’s proximity to a campus- being mindful of traffic patterns, safety concerns, and transportation costs.
A recent Missouri City Police Dept reports 34 Accidents at this intersection. Missouri City’s traffic management plans to expand Murphy to 6 lanes and in 2025 Murphy with have 8 lanes. The message is clear -look at Guiding Principle #2. It is Ultimatley about KIDS SAFETY! (Traffic, Safety, Transportation cost , proximity). Keep Oyster Creek Plantation zoned to LCE and keep Oyster Creek Plantation Residents out of the Quail Valley system. Let them attend schools that are West of Murphy.
Finally. A resident asked the board members to get more granular and understand the details. That was well recieved and sources say a Board Member /s may drive thru Oyster Creek this weekend.

4 Muckraker - Jan 25, 06:22 PM
“Missouri City’s traffic management plans to expand Murphy to 6 lanes and in 2025 Murphy with have 8 lanes. “

This is key attendee. I wouldn’t want my kids crossing that road now. Please remember only one board member voted to keep parents and other community members on the zoning committee recently, that is now made up only of senior level administrative officials. IMO, not an open process like before (see Magee vote in the minutes).

5 quick question - Jan 25, 06:46 PM
Anyone know how many board members attended the Lexington Creek zoning meeting? Was. Dr. Jenney there? There were only two board members (and no Dr. Jenney) at the meeting earlier in the week at Sienna. Last year Jenney attended every zoning meeting and there were many more of them.

6 Muckraker - Jan 25, 06:55 PM
I think that the rule changed after the board vote. Apparently they don’t have as many required. I only saw one board member circulating the room.

7 Cheryl Hill - Jan 25, 10:19 PM
Parents know that
2 + 2 = 4; yet they are being asked to believe that 2 + 2 = 5.
How disrespectful is that?

Years ago when my youngest child was in elementary school, the children from Pecan Grove had to be bussed to Lakeview Elementary; although Lakeview was an old school and certainly not in a “quote” necessarily prestigious area of Sugar Land at that point, and there were a variety of hues and socioeconomic levels, but he parents of Pecan Grove liked Lakeview at the time because excellence prevailed with quality education being enacted by excellent teachers. My daughter was a 4th grader by the time Pecan Elementary was built. The parents were happy up until that point.

The difference in the situation at hand is that parents are being expected to be okay with the fact that their children are presently attending/zoned to a higher TEA rated school than the one that they are being rezoned to and all things are not equal in that 2 + 2 = 4.

What’s up with that????

Upon further reflection, I must admit that every time the Pecan Grove children were rezoned, it was always to the newest, greatest school like when my oldest child went to Clements, but then by the time my younger son was of high school age, he went to Kempner as a brand new school because that was where the Pecan Grove children had been rezoned to and then by the time my youngest was of high school age, she went to Austin as a brand new school because again, that is where the Pecan Grove children had been rezoned to go; so, alas, maybe 2 +2 = 4 the farther west in Fort Bend County where one might reside.

8 K D Tunstall - Jan 25, 11:10 PM
I can not help but be impressed by the firm showing of the community of Oyster Creek Plantation.

I wish to express my doubt to a positive outcome towards a thier desired resolution regarding this matter.

I expressed my concerns regarding the “dual language” program instituted this year. This is a pilot program where a multi-year commitment was required by the parents of which I and my wife freely gave. It appears that the ISD’s commitment was unrequited.

Although I share the safety concerns of the OCP residents, I am also aware that the QVE teachers are top notch. The PTO is very active and truly performs the necessary support for the kids.

I feel that due to the proximity of the election cycle, we may be falling victim to politics. It is a shame that they would use our children as tools in this battle.

The pilot dual language program is backed up by much research. European children, on average, learn three languages. We…....well we learn one. The key is to teach the very young multiple language skills.

Many Quail Vally families proffered their children to this program making multi-year commitments. The commitment included interaction with not only the children of the class, but the families as well. As a result, the parents have been forced to “brush up” on their Spanish. Now, with the elimination of the Hispanic population out of QVE, the program will become untenable. It no longer serves a purpose.

Let us be clear here. In a global market, with a marked portion of commerce being conducted by Hispanics, hiring preferences will go to those who are bilingual. Like it or not, those are the facts. Dramatically reducing the diversity of QVE is not the answer. Splitting up communities is not the answer. Bussing kids for two miles when they could walk across a street is not the answer. But…..this is Fort Bend County politics we are dealing with. When will Boss Hogg step out from behind the curtain?

Now…one QV resident who sat behind me opined “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” I can only respond by asking, is her child in the dual language program? The answer is no. Will her child be separated from her friends? Obviously not. Could she too be a tool for the establishment in this political battle? I would suggest that this is indeed the case. I am sure that Nero had fans. History tells us that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I find it quite disquieting that our elected officials were wining and dining down the street at a private party while the parents of this community were defending their lifestyles. I wonder who picked up that tab? Truly, Nero….our city council…was fiddling while Missouri City was in turmoil. Now….THAT is leadership in my book [/snark]

9 BigMaN - Jan 25, 11:20 PM
I am deeply concerned that the political machine entrenched within FBISD are seemingly more concerned about outward appearences rather than quality education. The amount of time and effort put forth to get this off the ground is staggering. One might suggest that it is a political maneuver to keep certain key players in the game. Outside of the financial burden it puts undo stress on the children. All of the points stated above are 100% valid. But, you can remove the issues of safety and bussing in students from elsewhere and what is left is unhappy, unmotivated children. There are, of course exceptions to that rule, but in the end you will not notice an increase in test scores. You will as parents recognize that your children are the same calibur of student they were before they moved to a different school. The higher test scores are to establish for the politicians that building a new school and rezoning are justified because they have rezoned to moved the highest test scores into specific schools. I find this morally repugnant and it does NOT take into consideration the best interest of the child.

10 Jimmy Kilpatrick - Jan 26, 02:22 AM
Cheryl Hill

There has been and continues to be a downward spiral of public education since your kids attended.

The current curriculum is more concerned with teaching children “how” to learn instead of teaching “what” to learn. Consequently students are rewarded with good grades if they get the “process” right even though the answer is wrong! Anyone want to fly on an airplane with a pilot who knows “HOW” to calculate altitude but doesn’t quite get the right answer?

11 Muckraker - Jan 26, 09:23 AM

What concerns me is that the district isn’t looking at the big picture on this and works very hard to satisfy a few of the big masterplanned communities (developers) rather than address the entire districts growth needs.

12 Rick L - Jan 26, 11:55 AM
A similar attempt was made years ago to move some LCE across 1092 to QVE. We went before the board and expressed the same concern regarding crossing 1092. Fortunately, we stayed at LCE, and I got a follow up call from a board member acknowledging the 1092 issue was a deal killer.

Let’s hope logic prevails again.

Also, a general comment/question…

While I know there are a variety of factors that impact where and how many schools are built, it sure seems FBISD is painting itself into a corner. ex…11 HS designed for 2500 kids? Take it from someone that grew up in SBISD, neighborhoods grey and enrollments will drop. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but it would seem more effecient to build or expand our HS campuses to handle 3500-4000 students. This would be more managable and could more easily absorb the growth bubble long term than building more $150 million monuments to education.

In this case we are talking an elementry school built upstream of the growth, right?

Between the developers and the politicians, it looks like educational gerrymandering.

Don’t mean to hijack this thread, but I am curious what some of you insiders may know.

13 L J - Jan 26, 12:14 PM
You go attendee! Cheryl, you are right, the west side seems to always win out. FYI to all who face a transfer from Dulles to MC middle or Marshall HS. Both are rated unacceptable, under FEDERAL law, you can transfer your child out to the school of your choice, and the district must provide transportation if the school is identified as a peg campus.

Anonymous said...

think what worries me is the fact that the chronicle reported on the board vote that limited the make-up of this "zoning committee" to upper-level district administrators, without including at large community members like parents, businesses and other stake holders. Mr. Petros, who has been involved with the large development companies through the district's land purchases, lives in Quail Valley. How can he sincerely present a unbiased front while leading these session? One board member attended that actually voted for this committee set-up that limits parent/taxpayer involvement on it.

Is this about realestate or our children? Food for thought.

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Anonymous said...

After finding out this weekend that Mr Petros,lives in Quail Valley,and has alot to do w/the developement for FBISD and Quail Valley,this fight is TOTALLY political.They do not care about our children and their education and their safety.If Mr Petros, the board and Mayor Bob Allen,knew all the actual facts of risking our childrens lives across a BUSY and to get BUSIER State HWY we would not be going through these politics.But since they have insulted our intelligence and are trying to cheat our children.This is unacceptable!! Why don’t you Mr. Petros,Dr Jenny and zoning members POUND the pavement and really find out the REAL facts b/c OBVIOUSLY you have none.

Anonymous said...

isn't the mayor's name Allen?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Allen Owen, but i bet he doesn't know where Oyster Creek Plantation is either.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Board meeting Monday the 28th at the Ft Bend ISD Admin. building off of Lexington BLVD at 7:00 PM.

former Plantation Trails resident said...

As newlyweds we built a home in the Plantation Trails at First Colony subdivision in 2002. It's across the creek from Oyster Creek Plantation. It was a perfect home in a perfect location close to everything. The schools were okay. Fast-forward 5 years. We now had a little one who will enter kindergarten in a few years. We had a great preschool down the street he was already in. Unfortunately, during this time Quail Valley and its schools appeared to have deteriorated in rankings. We PLEADED with FBISD to rezone Plantation Trails to Lexington Creek Elem and Dulles Middle, just like everyone else west of FM 1092. Why was Plantation Trails an exception to the rule, having to cross FM 1092 to go to QV schools? After we could see rezoning wouldn't happen, we put our dream home up for sale, uprooted the family, took on a bigger mortgage in a better school zone, and now don't have all that shopping/retail nearby like we used to because this bad economy has stalled everything new planned. I cry all the time about it. But, at least my son is zoned to good schools now. This is the kind of thing that happens to families when FBISD has to be ridiculous like this about zoning.