Monday, February 14, 2011

Filing Period for School Board Begins Today

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day when people show their love and affection to each other. Coincidentally it is also the beginning of the 1-month long filing period for three seats on the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.

But love and affection, I think, will be far from the minds of any school board filers.

Three seats are up for grabs, One is currently held by Laurie Caldwell, the last of the gang of four that put the BOT on its ear for months on end, and ended in the separation of two District Superintendents. The other two are currently occupied by David Menendez and Susan Hohnbaum who were each voted in during the May 2008 election.

Now why is this worthy of attention? Well, not much, really, right?  It’s just the election that will have the most personal impact on the lives of local residents. More impact than a mid-term election that saw the installment of a super-majority in the Texas State House. More than a presidential election. And really more important than usual in a local school board race.

And why is that?

This year will be a year of angst. It will be such a contentious year that, really, I have to wonder about the sanity of anyone who would want to run for a seat on the Board of Trustees – a seat, need I remind you – where no salary is paid. You get some perks, but you also get to have your name published in the local papers when you take advantage of some of those perks.

This year’s BOT will have to deal with something like a $74 million short fall, that is $74 million fewer dollars than the state must statutorily hand over to the school district.

Because they say they don’t have the money because the money they have in the so-called “Rainy Day Fund” is not “on the table,” won’t raise taxes to get it, and will not lift a hand to allow local school districts do anything to take up the slack. Nothing that anyone is hearing about, anyway.

Very much on the table is the end of quality education in Fort Bend ISD. This is not a sumptuous spread let’s just say.

And let’s just say I am going to be very interested to see what kinds of people are going to step up and run for these three seats. Because as the district superintendent has said in the past, there are plenty of funds on hand to build and expand campuses, there is just no money to run them.

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