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)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

FB Star OP/ED: Reader’s take on Global Science Center

Reader’s take on Global Science Center

Source: http://www.fortbendstar.com/Columns/letters.htm

I would like to interject some opinion regarding the “Global” Science Center:

The concept of this project is misguided and appears to be on the verge of a terrible misuse of public funds, something that every taxpayer in Fort Bend County should take note of.

1. 70% of the teachers said that they do not feel they have enough knowledge to teach science. It would seem that the best solution would be to train the teachers better, or hire Science teachers.

2. Teachers say that they do not have enough time in a day to teach the subject sufficiently. But if students would have to be bussed from their campus to the “Global” Science Center (GSC), that would result in wasted time.

3. Students will attend this GSC only 3 or 4 times per year. How much impact can such few visits really have?

4. The GSC will only service grade 2 - 8. It would seem appropriate to spend significant funds on high-intellectual Masters and Doctorate Degree level work, not grade school level.

5. “State-of-the-Art,” “World Class” - sounds great, but what does it really mean? And, as we all can summise, “State-of-the-Art,” “World Class” is not, can not, and will not be low cost. How much will it cost? We will find out after this is so hyped up it will sound like “the greatest investment” no matter what the cost is.

6. Transportation personnel have indicated that the cost of operating the fleet of bus vehicles is very expensive. In fact, they want to spend a large sum of money to monitor the use of each vehicle. Well, that cost is going to get even higher if they are busing children to and from the GSC.

7. Student population is declining. A large investment would be made to service a shrinking number of students, increasing the cost per student.

8. “We have had talks with private businesses and institutions that have expressed interest in the possibilities of forming collaborative partnerships to help fund the Center. If we could move in that direction, we believe the Center could be funded without any need to raise taxes, or take away resources already allocated for other district purposes,” said Wallace. With the economy the way it is now, that does not sound like a reality. “If we could...” and “...we believe” holds no water. Does anybody remember “No new taxes”? Nor does this account for the ongoing cost of this facility. And, how soon will it get outdated and need to be “re-modernized?”

9. According to information provided regarding funding of the center, there is no need to raise taxes for this project because sufficient funds exist in other FBISD accounts. If that is really the case, pay back the excessive funds to the taxpayers! We surely would approve of a lower tax rate!

10. The rest of the story... That is the BIG question. Why spend so much time and effort to “sell” a GSC idea when that time and effort would be much better allocated to training teachers more about science? Is there another purpose behind this big project?

In finishing up, I find it rather curious that the main purpose of this “Global Center” is to improve the TAKS test, but nobody has indicated what verifiable improvement this Center would have regarding TAKS scores or how many students would actually be enlightened to become a Scientist.

Seems to me the FBISD board should set up a Learning Center for their own use: Financing, Budgeting, and Living Within Your Means. Now, ALL of America could benefit from that!

REALTOR, Realty Associates

WATCH UPDATE: New information is coming out as this post was being added. We will update it soon!