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Posts published in “Day: August 16, 2018”

Crosby ISD’s cash woes show

CROSBY – Next Monday, August 19, at the school board meeting, Scott Davis, Superintendent of Crosby ISD, is expected to describe financial woes of the district and how the district will repair those woes, according to sources, but for now the district and the Superintendent are remaining silent and not returning phone calls, e-mails, or friendly visits.

Generally, when a Superintendent takes over a district, the first order of duty is to look into the finances of the school district, and for now there is a hiring freeze (excluding the new teachers that were employed last school year) and a hold on new orders, according to the same sources.

As an example of where the funding might have gone, sources say it was not an illegal absconding but using funds up to but not including $50,000 to pay for cost overruns on Crosby’s “The Jungle” Stadium from the General Fund by the previous Superintendent Dr. Keith Moore.

Timing being essential here, the new A-F grading system for schools was just released, with Crosby achieving a B letter grade, with two distinctions at Crosby High School for Post-Secondary Readiness and another for Comparative Academic Growth. The financial rating from Texas Education Agency, was a “C” for ‘met standard’ back when the 2017 bond was decided. TEA ratings go from “A” for superior to “F” for not measuring up.

Crosby ISD was awarded zero out of 10 points on the debt service coverage ratio by the TEA on the last bond. The district brings in $58.3 million in revenue for debt service, the tax rate used to make bond payments, and it now pays $65.4 million. Those poor standings may be due to inaccurate information, and they are under appeal.

Around 2012, the district began planning for the 2013 bond. About that time, the district’s enrollment growth began accelerating. From 2013 to 2016, Crosby ISD’s enrollment growth rate rose from 0.85 percent to 5.49 percent.

The district’s 2013 bond election was for $86.5 million and used to build a new high school and construct athletic structures. The district used more than $10 million from its operating budget, which is set to be reimbursed with the 2017 bond package.

School districts running short of money is not a new experience, especially since 2016 when the largest school districts in Texas filed a lawsuit against their state government, alleging the public school system in Texas is both inadequate and inequitable. That was the same year the TEA initiated the A-F system.

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EPA to hold Citizen’s meetings Sept. 12

Jackie Young shows samples of two types of Geofabrics that were used to cap the Waste Pits. The Geotextile in the foreground was used on most
of the cap, and the Geogrid beyond was used on steep slopes where the fabric would not stay in position.

The San Jacinto River Coalition heard updates from Jackie Young on the condition of the Waste Pits, at their last meeting on Tuesday, August 7th. In addition, Young announced that the EPA was returning to Highlands to conduct one-on-one interviews.

Young also revealed that Congressman Brian Babin had toured the Waste Pits site, along with EPA region 6 Superfund Manager John Meyer on July 22nd. This interest in the Superfund site by Babin was considered as a positive indicator for the project. Babin urged EPA in 2016 to remove the waste pits without delay. About this visit, he said, “I have driven by here 100 times, but this is actually the first time I’ve been on the ground here.”

Ms. Young announced that the EPA is returning to Highlands on September 12th, to conduct interviews of anyone that wants their opinion included in a report that is being prepared, known as the CIP, or Community Involvement Plan.

The Community Involvement Plan serves as a guide for the EPA in sharing information and providing opportunities for public input on site cleanup of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site and other activities outlined in EPA’s October 11, 2017 Record of Decision (ROD).

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Freak storm blocks Crosby roadways

Last Friday at about 4:47, a sudden storm released a microburst that struck the power lines across the San Jacinto River Bridge onto the Beaumont Highway snarling traffic for a couple of hours on Old US 90 in both directions and New US 90 eastbound. Every type of law enforcement that services Crosby made the scene along with ambulances as 4 people were stuck near the lines. A cold front with rain brought the storm.

Changes in Goose Creek CISD Bus Routes

Goose Creek CISD bus driver Kim Kennedy and students (from top) Hallie Buenrostro, Nixon Essangone-Eva and Noah Landry will be ready to go the first day of school. All Goose Creek CISD bus routes have changed, so check the website at www.gccisd.net under Transportation or the bus mailer, which will be sent out the week of August 20th. (Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman)

Welcome to the 2018- 2019 school year! Do you know that Goose Creek CISD parents can find your child’s bus route two different ways? You can go to gccisd.net and click on Departments and Transportation. Click on Bus Routes to access Infofinder i and type in your child’s address and grade. Bus mailers also will be sent out the week of August 20th. Please remember that all routes have changed due to school time changes, so please verify your child’s bus route.

Until school begins, you also can go to gccisd.net and click on Departments and Transportation. Click on the Bus Stops tab to select your child’s school to find his/her bus stop and time of pick up or drop off. This will only be available for a short time, since changes will be made after school starts. Elementary students who ride buses will receive wristbands at school to wear the first week of school to identify their bus routes. Please remember that everyone is adjusting to the new routes, so you should expect delays for the first few days. Thank you for your patience as we work to safely transport your child to and from school.

Early voting started on flood bond issue

Judge Ed Emmett speaking at the Rotary Club of Houston last week.

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters will have a chance to decide to spend $2.5 billion dollars to help alleviate flooding, according to County Judge Ed Emmett.

The measure includes a list of 150 potential projects that will be paid for by the bond money, some of it to repair flood damage and some to mitigate future flood risks.

Judge Emmett said “People realize this is our chance to say we are really serious about flood-control, mitigation and resilience.”

Emmett continued “If this bond passes, it will not only show we are serious, it will actually provide $700 to $900 million that will be matched by the federal government.”

The funding includes $1.2 billion for drainage improvements, $12.5 million for new floodplain mapping, and $1.25 million for an improved early warning system. The money will be spent over a 10 to 15 year period.

Election Day is August 25, the one year anniversary of the time Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and brought devastating flooding to the Houston region. Voting at your precinct will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting has already started, with the following times:

Aug. 15-18, 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Aug. 19, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Aug. 20-21, 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Voters can cast their votes early at any early voting location in Harris County. You should bring a photo ID with you to vote.

Early Voting Locations in this area include:

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