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)

Monday, July 20, 2009

OP/ED (From fortbendemployees blogspot): Lowering Standards In FBISD

The following was reprinted with permission from the author:

"I plead with each of you to ask the tough questions and seek an explanation as to why Mr. Johnson is lowering FBISD standards, and why Mr. Johnson is not seeking the maximum qualifications for our tax dollar."


While on the surface, one would think that FBISD is an institution of learning, in which we teach and preach to our students that education is the key to success in their future, although the reality is much different. It seems that there is a very disturbing trend that is being perpetuated by the director of facilities, Michael Johnson, to lower the minimum educational requirements for many of the high paying jobs within the department.

The first position which Michael Johnson lowered the minimum standard of education from a Bachelors Degree to a high school degree was that of the newly created support manager position. This position, which pays in excess of $60,000 a year, was given to a very attractive white female who did not have a degree, even though the original job posting required a college degree as a minimum qualification. In fact, there were two highly qualified black candidates which had Bachelor degrees, and one with an MBA, who were bypassed for the position in order to give it to the attractive white female with no previous experience and a high school diploma. This action on the part of Michael Johnson led to the allegations of discrimination being made and a complaint being filed to the EEOC, which is still currently under investigation. You can read the details of this event at http://www.fortbendemployees.blogspot.com

The second position in which Michael Johnson lowered the minimum educational qualifications was for the newly created position of second operations manager. This position, which pays in excess of $60,000 a year, was given to an individual which did not have a college degree, even though a job with a pay category of 16 required a college degree as a minimum qualification. Keep in mind that the two other manager positions within the facilities department are also category 16 positions which currently require degrees as part of the job requirement.

Mr. Johnson has created another new position of an additional contracts coordinator, which is another high paying position in excess of $50,000 a year and one which is being advertised very low key and quickly, as to not attract too much attention. The contracts coordinator position will be responsible for administrating the multi-million dollar record bond/debt program that FBISD is currently involved in. This individual will be responsible for all aspects of contract administration, payments, and so forth.

There is currently an individual who is employed as a contracts coordinator with FBISD. This individual is an engineer, with many years of experience in bond programs, and one which was hired under the contracts coordinator job description which required, as a minimum, a Bachelors degree, with several years of experience in project management.

It is alleged that there are several inside candidates that Mr. Johnson wants to promote to the newly created contracts coordinator position. Of these candidates, none of them have any project management experience, nor any construction experience. In fact, one of the candidates is currently the janitorial supervisor. Is this not amazing that FBISD taxpayers are on the verge of gaining a janitorial supervisor as the administrator to our multi-million dollar record bond program?

One has to ask several key questions regarding these actions on the part of Michael Johnson. Why is it, that in these economic times, and with a great multitude of qualified individuals seeking employment, FBISD, on the behest of Michael Johnson, has not increased the requirements for a job, but have in fact decreased the minimum standards. Keep in mind that the pay category has not been lowered for this position, only the educational requirement.

Does it not strike anyone as odd that a job of this magnitude and of this high pay be one which requires nothing more than a GED? I invite any of the board members to scour through the job postings for any other school district, even the smaller ones, and you will not find any jobs of this magnitude, that do not require a college degree. In fact, this newly created job only requires a GED.

Why isn't Michael Johnson seeking to maximize the FBISD tax dollar by employing the better qualified candidates by keeping the minimum educational requirements as they previously were? Why is this newly created position of contracts coordinator being advertised so quickly and quietly? Is it, as many people have alleged, so that Michael Johnson can place his janitorial supervisor or one of the other non qualified candidates in this position with minimal attention?

How many of you board members don't make $60,000 a year working only 226 days a year? I am sure that even though some of you may earn significantly more, I am sure you don't have to look far to find many people, who would love to have these high paying jobs. In fact, I am sure that the more and more you look, you will find many people within our community, who have the educational requirements, with the required experience, who will not get a fair shake at this position.

You may ask yourself why Michael Johnson would go to such great lengths to lower educational standards for these positions, when there are so many educated people with the required experience looking for work? The answer is very simple. The pending EEOC investigation has brought forth many discrepancies, possibly actions which can be construed to be discriminatory on the part of Michael Johnson.

After the initial support manager position, in which Michael Johnson hired an unqualified, but very attractive white female, Mr. Johnson has gone to great lengths to cover his actions. Mr. Johnson created another operations manager position, which pays in excess of $60,000 a year and placed a black individual, who did not have a degree, in this position.

Mr Johnson is now advertising another newly created position for contracts coordinator position which requires nothing more than a GED, even though it is a high paying job. Keep in mind that this newly created position pays more than any of our teaching positions. It is highly rumored that this position has been promised to Melvin Williams, who is a non degreed individual, with no experience in project management, but who is a black candidate. What reason does Michael Johnson have to lower the standards set forth for this position? Could it be to cover and placate the EEOC investigators, as well as the many unhappy minority employees within the facilities department of FBISD? I think so.

Why does the human resource department allow Michael Johnson to lower the minimum qualifications for these positions? Is it not the responsibility of the human resource department to seek the most highly qualified candidates for our school district? Could it be Michael Johnson's extremely close relationship to Dr. Jenney, which Michael Johnson is quite fond to describe to anyone who will listen, which gives him carte blanche? It is this close relationship between Michael Johnson and Dr. Jenney which keeps many of the employees within the facilities department in fear. Could this be why the human resource department is rumored to be a rubber stamp for all of Michael Johnson's actions? I would love to hear what argument they give in favor of reducing standards rather than increasing them. It's not like there aren't people looking for work.

Described above you have three newly created positions, which in pay, total more than $150,000 a year, that require nothing more than a GED. My question to each of you is why is FBISD hypocritical in telling our children to educate themselves and get ready for the future, while lowering the minimum educational standards for high paying positions within the facilities department? Is this not sending the wrong message to our children? Even though I am a proud black man, I find it appalling that Mr. Johnson would resort to such cheap actions to cover his initial act of discrimination. I cannot justify Mr Johnson's actions of lowering the minimum educational qualifications, and hiring unqualified minority candidates, at the expense of the FBISD taxpayer, to cover his actions. I don't agree with discrimination of any kind, and it seems to me that the actions described above, in which Mr. Johnson creates new positions, with lower standards to give to unqualified minority applicants is no more correct than his original alleged discriminatory act that is being investigated by the EEOC.

I plead with each of you to ask the tough questions and seek an explanation as to why Mr. Johnson is lowering FBISD standards, and why Mr. Johnson is not seeking the maximum qualifications for our tax dollar.

This article can be found at: http://www.fortbendemployees.blogspot.com