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)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FBN: More Problems With Payroll Software: Incompetent Software Design or Continued District Leadership Problems?

This segment was taken from an ongoing apparent problem with the payroll software the district is using:

"This is the second year in a row the district has struggled to implement board-approved pay changes at the beginning of a new school year. Last year, the district experienced what Superintendent Timothy Jenney called “monumental problems” with paychecks that did not reflect new pay schedules because of problems with the district’s PeopleSoft human resources/payroll software. Not only did employees not receive the pay raises, some found their pay docked when the system failed to properly credit them when leave was used. " FBN

Question: How much of our tax dollars is the district willing to throw at this issue before they seek another software provider with adequate support?

This is from the article in FBN titled "Some FBISD Employees May Not See Salary Changes For Several Months" by John Pape located at http://fortbendnow.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&article-Some-FBISD-Employees-May-Not-See-Salary-Changes-For-Several-Months%20=&id=277113-Some-FBISD-Employees-May-Not-See-Salary-Changes-For-Several-Months&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&

Monday, September 29, 2008

Important Dates Coming Up!

Important Dates Coming Up!

Oct. 2 - Parent Conferences - Elementary Early Dismissal

Oct. 6 - Band Night

Oct. 13 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Oct. 14 - College Night - Marshall HS, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Oct. 16 - College Night - Wheeler Field House, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Oct. 24 - FBISD Community Conference

Oct. 27 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FBN: McAuliffe Middle School May Be Closed Rest Of Semester

McAuliffe Middle School May Be Closed Rest Of Semester
by John Pape, FBN

Fort Bend ISD’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Missouri City may be closed through the remainder of the semester after sustaining severe roof damage from Hurricane Ike.

The district has confirmed that students from McAuliffe will be temporarily assigned to Willowridge High School.

“McAuliffe Middle School was heavily damaged during the hurricane, losing a large portion of its roof. The students from McAuliffe will be temporarily, maybe for the remainder of the semester, housed at Willowridge High School,” Fort Bend ISD Communications Director Mary Ann Simpson said in a statement yesterday. “This information was shared with many parents and community members over the weekend via a minister’s network and through key parent communicators. We are finalizing the logistical details today for a smooth transition, and a parent letter and phone call out will notify parents and students of the specifics.”

Simpson added the district is working to get students back to their regular campus as soon as repairs can be completed. Get the full story below:


Monday, September 22, 2008

FBN: FBISD Update On School Closures-

Fort Bend ISD Students At 4 Schools Without Power Won't Have Classes Today
by Bob Dunn, FBN

All but four Fort Bend Independent School District campuses - Willowridge High, Quail Valley and McAuliffe middle schools and Ridgegate Elementary - now have power and will resume classes this morning.

In a statement Sunday evening, Fort Bend ISD officials said all campuses except the four listed above will open for classes at their normal time. Several of the district's school buildings lost power after Hurricane Ike hit the area Sept. 13. . .

Get the full story at http://www.fortbendnow.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&id=237296-Fort-Bend-ISD-Students-At-Schools-Without-Power-Won-t-Have-Classes-Today&widget=push&article-Fort-Bend-ISD-Students-At-Schools-Without-Power-Won-t-Have-Classes-Today%20=&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&

Sunday, September 21, 2008

ALL FBISD Schools Open Monday Except The Following (Until Power Is Restored)

Campuses with NO POWER are: Arizona Fleming, Briargate, Dulles, E.A. Jones, Lantern Lane, Lexington Creek, and Ridgegate Elementary; also Sugar Land Middle, Quail Valley Middle, Missouri City Middle, Christa McAuliffe Middle, First Colony Middle, and Dulles Middle; also Dulles High, Hightower High, Progressive High, and Willowridge High Schools.

Important Dates Coming Up!

Sept. 22 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM
Sept. 26 - Holiday - County Fair Day
Oct. 2 - Parent Conferences - Elementary Early Dismissal
Oct. 6 - Band Night
Oct. 13 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM
Oct. 24 - FBISD Community Conference
Oct. 27 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Comment: Most of the schools are in the east end of the county and Missouri City.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

School District Update On Ike-

FBISD Announcements about School Closings and District Operations- Updated on Tues., Sept. 16, 2:15 p.m.

Please be advised of the following important announcements concerning our Fort Bend ISD schools and district operations:

All FBISD schools are closed until Monday, Sept. 22, due to Hurricane Recovery. All district activities are canceled until Monday, Sept. 22.

All administrative offices are closed on Tuesday, Sept. 16; Wednesday, Sept. 17; and Thursday, Sept. 18.

All Fort Bend ISD staff members should report to work on Friday, Sept. 19.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Follow updates on school closures and Hurricane Ike-

Follow updates on school closures and Hurricane Ike-


***FBISD schools will be closed Tuesday & Weds due to the Hurricane damage.

Important Dates Coming Up!

Sept. 22 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM
Sept. 26 - Holiday - County Fair Day
Oct. 2 - Parent Conferences - Elementary Early Dismissal
Oct. 6 - Band Night
Oct. 13 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM
Oct. 24 - FBISD Community Conference
Oct. 27 - Regular School Board Meeting - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

FB Sun/FB Independent: No CAD CAPs,…Why Mr. Howard?

Guest column as it appeared in the Fort Bend Sun & Fort Bend Independent following the FBISD budget hearings and vote:

No CAD CAPs,…Why Mr. Howard?


I’d like to start off with a quote from a local media source using the Tax Foundation & US Census bureaus government finance division data:

"According to the latest study by the Tax Foundation (2006-07), Fort Bend County property taxes are higher than any other Texas county, and sixth-highest in the nation in terms of taxes as a percent of the median home value. Only 5 upstate counties in New York have a higher amount." FBN

-This is in reference to the “fund balance” (school surplus) we often hear so much about and the recent tax increase just voted in…

Consider this, the district, according to several media sources, through open records requests, is keeping nearly a 100 million dollar fund balance (surplus). Almost 20 million over state suggested guidelines in their accounts. Additionally, the district included, in November of last year, a record bond/debt to target growth related areas. Why, with all this money, can they not balance the budget without a tax increase this year? The district should be able to give the teachers & employees a raise while balancing the budget and drawing down the size of the fund balance (district surplus) within state guides. We should also be seeing a concerted effort by other local entities and our legislature to support appraisal caps, as is a recent proposal by Dan Patrick (R). Ask Bob Hebert (R), our chief county judge, some local mayors, like Allen Owen (R) and our state rep., Charlie Howard (R), why our county and some of its city officials are behind the hiring of lobbyist we pay our taxes to in order to defeat bills like representative Patricks? Just this year alone our county had another record number of CAD valuation protests filed.

Is Planning & Urbanization Good?

Further, who is conspicuously not at the table during all this? Over the past few years we have seen the school district charged full market value on land for the big master-planned communities who need district schools in their communities to sell homes/land. Why are these large companies not at the table kicking in the school land at cost, saving taxpayers/voters tens of millions of dollars? Why are some of these same development companies allowed to proliferate high density multi-family housing (apartments) in our school districts knowing full well it creates over-crowded conditions with less produced taxes per student head. This is the same crowd that pushed through the record bond debt for the district last year spending large amounts advertising for it with the slogan, “we like higher property valuations” (which is code for higher tax appraisals). Shouldn't they be at the tax table giving back to the community, rather than just taking? Sugar Land city council is engaged in an apartment dispute with a company right now that could further harm the district as we urbanize at the direction of these special interests.

All parties need to be at the table kicking in before taxes are increased! I would also like to strongly encourage all taxing entities to hold these PUBLIC tax hearings at times convenient for the commuting workers and families of our community.



Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

FBN: Bhuchar Issues Statement On FBISD Budget, Howard Criticism

In a statement issued late Friday afternoon, Fort Bend ISD Board President Sonal Bhuchar said “the record must be set straight” over the district’s recent decision to raise the district’s debt service tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year.

During a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate, State Rep. Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land) criticized trustees for raising the tax rate when other public entities were either lowering or maintaining existing rates.

Howard’s remarks brought strong rebukes from trustees Steve Smelley and Bob Broxson. Smelley said he was “humiliated” by Howard’s statement, while Broxson suggested Howard did not support public education.

In a later statement to FortBendNow, Howard said he had not intended to insult trustees, but his goal in representing constituents was to see their property tax burden lowered. Howard also said he was addressing the board as a resident and taxpayer, and not in his role as a state representative.

In her statement, Bhuchar cited Howard’s remarks. She defended the board’s decision to raise the debt service tax rate, saying that voters approved the increase as a part of last year’s bond referendum. ...(get the full story at FBN)

FBW comment:
This is the same RECORD bond election that Howard and his edc PAC helped push. He then comes back to the district and complains when they have to increase taxes to begin to pay off this debt...