Teachers voicing messages in telephone town hall
By Elsa Maxey
Public schools in Texas appear to still be looking at that four billion dollar loss that will affect all the school districts, including those in Fort Bend County. The state legislature continues to meet in special session and reports show teachers’ groups at the state capitol and on the door steps of legislators, a flurry of emails, and back home Karrie Washenfelder, President, Fort Bend Employee Federation joined Alief Federation of Teachers President Veronica Thibideaux in organizing a Tele Town Hall this Monday.
Teachers and parents in the Fort Bend ISD and Alief ISD were asked to join their peers with what was called an outpouring of phone calls to state lawmakers with these messages: Texas Can Do Better and fully fund education! Keep Our Class Sizes Small!
The State Senate has already approved $4 billion in cuts in the special legislative session and the House will be considering them this week, according to state accounts.
In the meantime, the Fort Bend Independent School District proceeded with its public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the school budget along with a two cent tax increase to the tax rate. That means an estimated $33 school tax increase on a home valued at about $189,000. The total general fund budget proposed for the upcoming school year by FBISD is $462,671,959 as compared to the current, 2010-11 actual estimated budget reported at $488,083,941, and ending on June 30. The cost per student this upcoming year is calculated to be $6,673. In the 2010 school budget, it was $7,083 per student.
Fort Bend ISD indicates that its 2011-12 budget will be amended after the special legislative session ends. That’s when the school finance provisions will be adopted as part of the state budget.