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)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some GSTC Surveys Released To Watch Members (Also letters to the editor of the FB Star)-

After fighting for over a month for release of documents through the Texas Attorney Generals office, the district finally released the online surveys they claimed showed a high level of support for the Global Science & Technology Center ("Global Taj Mahal"). After an independent review of these surveys it is obvious that most of those turning in one of these biased forms (with no place for negative comments) OPPOSED the GSTC funding and continuation of the project in this year of a major district budget crisis.

NEW: Complete Online Survey Results (54 with serious questions and against with 41 in favor and 3 neutral statements). Many of the "in favor" appeared in sequence and seemed to be responding to negative comments. How would they have access to these concerns without backside access to the survey???: http://www.newterritorysentinel.com/FBISD_Questionnaire_and_Answers_for_Global_Science_Center.pdf

UPDATE FB INDEPENDENT 5-28: http://fbindependent.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=Default&mad=&sdetail=1569&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=2531&hn=fbindependent&he=.com

Question to our superintendent: Why would the feasibility committee and the senior level admins at workshops and board meetings portray these results as overwhelming support for the project?

FB Star ran these "letters to the editor" this week on the opposition to the GSTC:

Teacher speaks out about
proposed Global Science Center

Dear Bev,

I enjoy reading the Star, to help keep me current on local Ft. Bend happenings, but I must admit, one of the first things I read is your column. I like the way you scorch people on Bev’s Burner.

I am a former teacher & current tax-payer in FBISD. We own a home and live in this district, but in my opinion, we need this new $26 Mil. Science Center, about as much as I need another navel.

I would be very interested on your ‘take’ about the rush to build a 26 million dollar science center for FBISD. AND the fact that there will be NO tax increase. This must be some kind of magic, no? Who ARE these “public-private partnerships” through which the purported financing will occur, and what do THEY have to gain?

Also I would be very interested in finding out EXACTLY how the FBISD faculty voted when this “study” was done. The report states that,...”the proposed science and tech center got high marks from the local business community and from FBISD teachers.” There is also a somewhat contradictory statement in the article which says...”A bond election isn’t a consideration since ‘the clear message the feasibility committee heard repeatedly is the public has no current appetite to fund this initiative’ with more taxes.”

It seems to me, that the most enthusiastic endorsement to build, comes from the CEO of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners. If THEY think this is such a grand idea, I propose they build it, privatize it, and then rent out the facilities to FBISD on an ‘as needed’ basis.

Thanks for lending me an ear, keep up the pit-bull journalism.


Name withheld by request

Teacher says no to Tech Center,
spend the money on campuses in need

Dear Beverly,

I always read your column first and look forward to it. I’d like you to look into the science center issue. I am a teacher who has been in FBISD for 26 years and am retiring this year (after 41 years). I, along with most teachers I know (and I know a lot of them), do not support the center. We think the money should be spent on the campuses, not on ongoing transportation and maintenance no matter who pays to build it.

I am currently more interested in a quote from David Wallace’s report that I read in The “Star” today that says there is enough bond money from previous issues to fund the center in its entirety. If that’s true why don’t they use the money to replace the AC systems in older schools instead of telling us we have to wait 1 or 2 more years? I have been at ----- Elementary for 23 years and the AC system is in bad shape. Many mornings we don’t have air and they have to jump start it or some such thing.

You probably shouldn’t use my name or my school’s name because I don’t want the school to have to wait 5 more years in retaliation and my principal doesn’t know I’m writing this.

Name withheld by request



Anonymous said...

No big surprise except if you were one of the members on the special committee trying to please the superintendent and the vendor for this project.

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Anonymous said...

What was it that one of the local newspaper publishers called the district's director of communications, the "hired liar" I believe. This is consistent organizational behavior.

Anonymous said...

After reading almost all of the comments, it seems clear that most still are not in favor or have serious questions regarding this project. I also say quite a few with very good suggestions and even people who wanted to volunteer for the committee. Too bad the district decided not to open this up to the public and instead opted to stage a very controlled public show.

I found the comment regarding the use of more and better equipped campus labs the most positive and certainly one that would benefit all campuses. Too bad they don't seem to be listening.

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Anonymous said...

Why isn't the district partnering with the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences instead of building this taxpayer fiasco?

Anonymous said...

If our district were truly concerned about science, students, and stewardship of our tax dollars, they would happily partner with the NMNS and the Telfair Museum. The fact that the board is hell-bent on this 50 to 100 million-dollar, untested and unrealistic misuse of money for a quasi-museum is a crime.

Anonymous said...

I found some of those responses very good ideas for addressing the real problem of low student performance in the sciences. Too bad they ignore them.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that the "Feasibility Committee" and the developer would have the gaul to say that the Global Science Center had overwhelming community support, now that the questionaires are out in the open. As a Fort Bend citizen taxpayer, I am also not in favor of this proposal that seems will benefit architects and a construction company. In these tough economic times, with the probability of the tax base decreasing resulting in shrinking school taxes, we should make sure there is enough money to pay our teachers. If cutback need to be made, we should not sacrifice our teachers at the cost of this pie in the sky venture. Besides, we will have a museum in Telfair at no cost to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. I would like to see more resources centered on our classrooms.

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dirt_movers said...

The HMNS-Telfair branch should be the focus of a private-public partnership, not a new capital outlay.