By now Houston taxpayers know the Houston School Board likes to keep secrets, and control what we find out.
That is why they punished their auditor for doing his job. That is why they hide internal investigations. Now, it’s why they won’t let the public see their business phone records, and that is why they outright lie on what things will cost, and where the money will come from.
After all the media is so annoying, and those pesky little taxpayers, they don’t really understand how smart these politicians really are.
The new school year is here and those names have been changed on the schools. Can’t you just see the difference in the children’s little faces?
Taxpayers had asked Judge Bill Burke to stop the renaming and destruction of historical buildings until the Texas Education Agency could investigate. But Judge Burke seemed annoyed that these pesky little taxpayers were doing exactly what the law told them they should do. He made it clear he had no intention of stopping the renaming, and seemed confused as to what the big deal was that HISD lied about how much it would cost and lied about where the money would come from.
Maybe Judge Burke should read up on the Texas Open Meetings Act. That pesky little law that makes it illegal for a government agency to violate transparency rules, and even worse, requires the government to actually tell the public in advance not only what they are doing, but what it will cost. You would think Judge Burke should understand about taxpayer’s money, because that is where his salary comes from, but after watching the hearing you can tell he was just annoyed. If he had followed the law, it wouldn’t matter what the vote was about. He played politics. So remember his name next election day.
The HISD Board then held another vote on the school renaming with an estimated price tag attached at $1.25 million dollars. Two school board members who voted no the first time, voted yes this time, citing the fact that the decision had already been made. Some of the name changes were already on the schools. That’s why it matters Judge Burke. A rubber stamp doesn’t fix the violation. It compounds it. You owed these taxpayers better.
This week Visiting Judge John Wooldridge signed the order denying the injunction for his buddy Judge Burke, even though Judge Wooldridge didn’t even hear the case. And they call that justice.
So we buried the lead.
HISD has released another document breaking down the cost of each school name change, something they refused to do before the actual vote. A trickle of transparency, even though it no longer matters, does it.
The most expensive school to change will be Reagan they claim. $304,000.
HISD will spend $265,000 to change Davis, where 96% percent of the student population is economically disadvantaged.
HISD claims it will only cost $133,320 to change Sidney Lanier, even though they have to carve the name out of a 90- year old building, tear up the hallway and replace every seat in the auditorium. Lanier Parents think the cost is more like half a million dollars, and HISD does admit this is just an estimate. What’s a few hundred thousand more wasted dollars when you’re HISD?
The cost of the new uniforms are a measly $270,000 dollars. Forget we could have bought classroom supplies for teachers who had to beg on Facebook for paper and pencils.
Ask the little kids if the name change will better prepare them for the future? Odds are they don’t give a darn what the school name is.
They are like Judge Burke, who clearly didn’t give a darn whether the government followed the law in the way they spent taxpayer money.HISD School Renaming Costs