Chron update (2-10-09): More double speak from superintendent (George Ranch is first donor to commit to "Global Taj Mahal"--http://www.ultimatefortbend.com/2010/02/science-center-fogged-funding-uncertainty#comment-1165
"In a letter dated Feb. 2 to New Territory resident and project opponent Nancy Hentschel, David Feldman, an attorney for the district, said there are “no committed partnering companies” for the project to meet the threshold of 20 percent community financial pledge required by the school board.
Jenney said Feldman’s statement excluded the George Foundation, which is not a company." Chron (FBW comment: It's not a non-profit corporation under Texas state law?)
District budget woes spark tensions in board meeting
By DIANE TEZENO
Fort Bend ISD budget woes caused tensions to flare during Monday night’s regular school board meeting.
Several individuals raised concerns regarding the direction board trustees and administrators may take in seeking to resolve the district’s current $18 million deficit...
...Despite Jenney’s assurances of the district‘s goal to avoid job cuts, several speakers, at Monday night’s board meeting, expressed concerns regarding potential job losses, among them Fort Bend Employee Federation President Karrie Washenfelder.
Washenfelder encouraged trustees to look at ways to implement energy-efficiency savings on district campuses as a means of reducing the budget deficit rather than risk the loss of jobs.
“It would be short-sighted of us to think that job cuts are an easy answer without realizing how much we can lose in the balance,” Washenfelder said.
She encouraged the board to consider launching an energy audit and raised concerns with jeopardizing the “high quality educational delivery the district expects” by implementing suggested TASB class size changes.
“When we cut jobs we are asking fewer people to take on more work, but will we see less than stellar results as we over-tax our teachers [paraprofessionals] and support personnel,” Washenfelder said.
She called on Jenney to work with Federation members towards a solution to “this very serious crisis facing our school employees.”
Another speaker, Dave Rosenthal raised concerns with the district’s proposed Global Science Technology Center in the face of the current budget crisis.
Rosenthal chided board members, with the exception of board trustee Marilyn Glover, for what he called “tax and spend policies” and their “working hand and hand with big business.” He commended Glover for “providing at least some sense of fiscal responsibility” based on her reaction to the GSTC.
“If there is a need for a fine arts center, then let the free market build it, if there is a need for a science center, then let the free market build it,” Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal said the district should focus its efforts on trying to find the best science teachers the district’s money can buy, rather than building a science center.
“You can double the salaries of 100 top science teachers and still spend less than the operating expenses in a year for the [Global Science Technology Center],” Rosenthal said.
Two other speakers, Chris Calvin and Nancy Henschel walked out of the meeting after chiding the board for failure to respond to recent open records requests and expressing objections to what Calvin described as “unfair application” of board policy requiring audience members to refrain from applauding.
Before information items were introduced, Board President Bob Broxson paused school board proceedings to address board disruptions and a number of comments made by audience members during the night that he said “offended” him...
Get the full story at: http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2010/02/09/fort_bend_sun/news/swsa_-_fbisd_budget_woes_29.txt
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)