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, February 10, 2009

During Budget Crisis, Record Bond Debt, Tough Economic Times, Higher Property Taxes, The School District Proposes New "Taj Mahal" Global Center!


“it’s too early to know what the price tag will be.” Jenney (FBISD Superintendent)

Fort Bend ISD Administration Proposes ‘Global Science Center’ In Bid To Boost Science Scores
February 10th, 2009 | by Bob Dunn, FORTBENDNOW.com

Administrators topped off plans to boost student science scores at Fort Bend Independent School District with a proposal for a major science facility including a planetarium, “Sci-Max” theater, interactive labs and a giant globe rotating in the lobby.

The plans were unveiled for the FBISD board of trustees Monday night during a presentation that ended with a video by Houston’s PBK Architects showing a 3-D rendering of the “Global Center for Science and Technology” while rock music blared in the board room.

Presented by FBISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. John Frossard, Chief Accountability Officer Olwen Herron and Secondary Science Coordinator Melissa Stadfeld, proposal offered the science center as a method of “bridging the divide between theory and practice.”

Accompanying construction of the facility would be a “standards-based” science program for elementary and middle school students whose components would dovetail with interactive labs that could be used throughout the school year on a classroom by classroom basis. . . (get the full story at http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/10/35567/comment-page-1#comment-1234)

FBW Comment/Questions:

If the district can get 90-95% of this building funded with outside sources then FBW could support such a project, but until funding is decided, too many questions are left unanswered like how many teachers could be hired or classrooms built or training for instructors financed. If the district is going to initiate a new bond/debt effort for this or raise taxes again then it will be strongly opposed!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe with the budget crisis that they are actually considering this project with an endless price tag.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Related comments from area blogs:

Kampf says:
February 10th, 2009 at 8:16 am (#)

“It could be anywhere from funding it all” from FBISD money, “to not funding any of it at all,” Jenney said.

As wonderful as this sounds don’t you think you should have some idea how to fund it first before making the decision to move ahead on it?

Also, I would like to know how the center is going to offer something new to the area? Don’t we have several of these centers in the Houston location?

How many school and classrooms could we fund for the cost of this building next to the administration office or how many teachers could we better train or pay?

Are the vendors and contractors that desperate for building projects that they need to push this one in a district with its first ever budget deficit?

Do we build a Math Global Center next and then a Reading Global Center after?

Maybe we can build one for each curriculum area surrounding the admin building?

OR perhaps we could use the money on our campuses and in our classrooms to reduce class sizes and improve campus environment?

Amazing how these Taj Mahal building projects always get pushed when our districts are in financial trouble (property taxes raised again in ‘08).

I would hazard to propose that if the district can not get 90-95% of this funded by external sources that they LEAVE the bond money alone for construction of classrooms and campuses FIRST. TELL the board to stop selling these vendor and contributor projects. The WOW factor on these sales pitches is a bit much during these economic times.

twilight says:
February 10th, 2009 at 9:55 am (#)

Never in my 20 years in Fort Bend County have I seen a board so anxious to spend our tax dollars…..aren’t they running a deficit budget? weren’t they just bemoaning the fact that money they don’t have any money?

What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

More:

Kampf says:
February 10th, 2009 at 10:02 am (#)

I’m sure they will assign the appropriate “insiders” and yes people to the exploratory committee.

Yes, twilight, that was what happened at the last school board show, but this weeks was a new episode with our money. I wonder how much they paid regular vendor PBK for this elaborate presentation on how to spend our taxes and bond debt?

Kampf says:
February 10th, 2009 at 10:04 am (#)

One more question/suggestion. Can’t they implement the curriculum revisions for far less expenditure without the ADDITIONAL building? How many schools and classroom funding is this thing going to suck up?

Law_Dawg says:
February 10th, 2009 at 12:14 pm (#)

They can spend all this money on things they dont need, but they cant buy the police department the equipment they need to effectively conduct their jobs. Just like the money they want to spend on the program for parents to check grades online. It is going to cost the district about 100,000 dollars to put this program in effect. With all the money the district keeps spending on programs it doesnt realy need, they could have hired 3 police officers and bought 3 fully equiped police cars.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

More:

viewpoint says:
February 10th, 2009 at 12:57 pm (#)

If we public taxpayers wonder or have ideas how, when or where our tax dollars spending should take place, by FBISD BOT? Please step forward an lets attend these public board meeting schedules to get our english word out, tobe heard by FBISD BOT.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

More:

Kampf says:
February 10th, 2009 at 2:52 pm (#)

Good point VP, we all need to get more involved, but with rules changes at the commissioners court and BOT in ‘07 will everyone be allowed to speak? It seems it is set-up to protect the vendors, not the taxpayers.

aos4567 says:
February 10th, 2009 at 7:14 pm (#)

I think every science teacher ought to have one or two of these.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe PBK and affiliates heard about the 100+ million dollar surplus fund (fund balance) saved from past bond-debt sales?

Anonymous said...

A little off topic but still related due to a question regarding transparency. So I ask a burning question, why has FBISD hired another one of Feldman & Rogers Lawyers for an inside position? Isn't it enough to have re-hired Feldman & Rogers as the district's attorneys as well as to have hired one of its attorneys as its inside staff attorney?

Now, yet another, as Human Resource Compliance Coordinator so says her business card. But her business card makes no mention of the fact that she is also an attorney. Personally, I like to always be in knowledge of the fact that I am speaking to and/or being questioned by an attorney in any and all circumstances so as to give me the opportunity to have my own attorney present to make certain that my legal rights are protected and not violated. Is it just me or is it something not quite right about this lack of transparency?

FBISDWatch said...

Thank you for sharing that anonymous. Many of us are very much concerned with these vendor relationships and how cozy they are. Ck out the recent post on the vendor PBK and the reports of the FBI investigation into a San Antonio district and PBK.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.