Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
December 14, 2011     Hays Free Press
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December 14, 2011

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4 [ i I THEY REALLY SAID THAT? 'Td ahoays envisioned being able to use them for a Christmas light tour during the holidays. 7hey had little radios in them. 7hey couldplay Christmas music." -James Earp, Assistant City Manager for Kyle about use for the city's trolleys Page 4A Hays Free Press December 14, 2011 4 EDITORIAL [] [] [] "ays CISD has joined a large group of school districts from across the state .suing over Texas' inequitable and shabby system of funding schools. This coalition of school districts has been in the making for a long time, following the 2005 ruling by the Texas Supreme Court striking down the school funding system. Schools in Texas have been funded through a combination of local property taxes and monies from the state. The lawsuit claims that fire current system of paying for education in Texas in unconstitutional and inefficient. The lawsuit was filed by the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition, with more than 150 school district joining the process. Another lawsuit was filed this week by Mexican American Legal Defense and Edu- cational Fund, asking courts to rule on the problems that especially affect low-income districts and bilingual students. It is about time that Hays CISD, which has a growing number of students but not a comparable amount of commercial prop- erty and taxes, joined the lawsuit. There are always critics about the ways Hays CISD is using its funds, about the Salaries of administrators and the number of person- nel in central administration or some of the programs that have been implemented. But school districts must have adequate funding - to build new buildings, to educate students who need help, or to raise the level of academic excellence. We can only hope that the resulting redistribution of wealth will be good for all students in Hays CISD. TAX DOLLARS NOT AT WORK I am always concerned when I hear about public officials wasting taxpayers dollars, but when I hear about elected officials using those tax dollars to benefit themselves or their egos it makes me think an investigation is needed. What I arn referring to is the waste I have seen, as a former employee, in our Hays County Sheriff's Office. There is of course that infamous "bat light" Sheriff Cutler had installed to illuminate his name, but he also had personalized decals placed on many of the ~_ndows with his name on them. In addition, why have we bought Sheriff Curler two new vehicles in less tha~n a year? No other Sheriffhad his name emblazoned all over the county owned fact/ties nor did the taxpayers buy two vehicles for any sheriff in one year. And why does Sheriff Cutler allow use of county owned vehicles and county expense money for his staff's personal use to drive back and forth to their homes hi Travis County? What else are our hard earned tax dollars being spent on in the Sheriff's office? ]oshAlba Dripping Springs I WHAT S THE GAME PLAN? Whyis Hays CISD failing to achieve sustainable academic improvement? How many times have you heard a losing football coach say, "Our game plan was sound - we just didn't execute it verywell"?You don't toss out a game plan just because it wasn't executed properly. Is the district's game plan sound and we are having poor execution or is it a faulty game plan or a combination of both? We have to dig dipper, ask the uncom- fortable questions people do not want to answer. For example: Is a $185,000 super- intendent with a guaranteed 4% minimum annual raise, additional $110,000 teacher retirement buyback plan for out-of-state ser- vices not rendered to the district, expensive deferred compensation plan, defined benefit plan, lots of time off, life insurance and expense allowance with a $66,000 specially created position for his spouse backed by a Central Office with 46 mostly non-resident bureaucrats working harder than a $120,000 superintendent at a smaller school district that doesn't have this kind of support staff?. If all these highly paid superintendents do is operate on a five year horizon, hop- ing to hang on until their personal financial enrichment plans are complete, we've failed taxpayers and students mightily. Exactly what sustainable improvement did Hinojosa and Lazy London achieve? I wouldn't have a problem with these lavish compensation packages and surging CentralAdministration employment if we were doing more than kicking the can down the road. We're spending over $140 million annually. SAI" and ACT scores are dropping. Standardized test scores, including sub- groups, are stagnant. The district has added a new program for every problem to no avail. Everyone should be deeply concerned. Maybe administrators need to get out of 'the way and let teachers teach what works instead of forcing them to teach a diverse student population with individualized learning styles using a standardized cur- riculum? Failure to stem academic decline is having devastating consequences for our district. The majority of the professional staff do not want to live here. They are communi- cating this message: If you are middle class, stay away! Education is Everybody's Business! Bryce Bales Manchaca TO P P -P, OTHE ,' AU oN FR PAY... as "great a threat Germany and the (Maybe so as not plagiarism, Tancr greate~ threat tha i i ' Tt~as an ng statement I , ~ $300,000. | from a Republican, and just wl~at i Rush, while howling about God- At.Democrats w~nted to hear. l 0UNfi- less Democrats and about ,all those It came from e~;-Colorado con~ Christian family values he upholds, gressman hard-right foghorn and] : as well as "defending marriage," has recently candldat~-for-everythm~ been through several marriages. He is Tom Tancredo: [ [ ~ ~~:~ on No. 4. Guess who, at wife No. 3, is "I firmly believ# this ... The gre~t- I1~)~ playing catchup? Gingrich. est threat to the cbuntry that our[ [ Well, then, Limbaugh never foundfng fathers ~ut together is ~e ' keeps a running cumu- cheated on and dumped ins life- man that's sitting[in the White Ho~se lative poll: Obama vs. the Republican mate while she faced grave illness, today.I' [ | front runner. For weeks, the RCP as Gingrich did wives Nos. 1 and 2. Tan~credo was ~ppearing at an~ :ayerage showed Obama leading Mitt Until death? See you later. event ~to support ~;olorado Repub~i- Romney by one to 2 points. When You understand, it's all about can Senate nomi~aee Ken Buck, at~a C~grich started outpolling Romney Christian principles, as Gingrich party tarling. His[words drew loud among Republicans (now by an aver- stressed to a campaign gathering applai~se. [ [ age of 7,5 points nationwide), Obama the other day in a South Carolina Democrats wo~ld thank them l~oth suddenly had a six-point advantage, church. The congregants seemed less for this kind of rhetoric when Buck i What is the reason for Newt's interested, naturally, in Newt's track lost to centrist MiChael Bennett in[ sUrge? Clearly, it is the same reason record as a moral person than with the Senate race. I~Ieanwhile, Denver why hard-right Ken Buck was the his fealty to anti-choice politics. MayoT John Hick#nlooper routed man who Republicans sent up in the Wait, you say: The key reason TancrCdo and another tea party ~ S~nate race in Colorado, and Shar- Gingrich has risen in the polls, aside prodt~ct, Dan Ma#s, in a three-ma~a [ r0n Angle in Nevada, and Christine from right-wingers' discomfort with race for gvernr.I ] O'Donnell in Delaware. The tea party Romney, is that at times he has ap- A&qantage Der0s. Advantage ] i is! the GOP's life force. He or she who peared to be the only adult in the voiceg of reason. Oh, and thank yqu, enunciates best what it is thinking room during the comedy chautauqua Newt Gingrich. | and saying will be its standard-bearer, advertised as the GOP presidential BefOre Tancred[3 let fly with this[ As in Obama depicting "Kenyan, debates. It's true. bombast, Gingric[a coined it. In a tfox anti:colonial behavior." (Gingrich) And the Democrats are sitting in News !nterview, qingrich affirmed] i As in Justice Sonia Sotomayor be- the living'room audience, applaud- writing in his boo~"To Save America" iqg "racist." (Gingrich) ing his every measured word. that the Obama al:lministration w/ts ]As in saying the nation was "in When it comes to a paper trail, a o America as Na ,i danger of becoming a secular atheist list of damaging quotes as long as Soviet Union." cOuntry, potentially one dominated :o be charged wi h by radical Islamists." (Yes, Gingrich) a You realize what you are hearing ~do called Obam a al-Qaida.) SufOce it to say then, that thank you notes go OUt his week from Demolcrats thrille d that Newt the BomblThrower is at the head ofth Republican pack. Talk ahou.t an ea y tagr et' and we ar~ n't talkin~ , ggirth .[ How joyous sh6uld the D,s be ] ~ent? RealClear- Where, from this man; you are hearing Rush Limbaugh in a better suit. And isn't that the way it's always been? If Rush got caught playing fast arid loose with OxyContin scrips, Gingrich got caught - reprimanded, the first sitting U.S. House speaker so disgraced- for misusing tax-de- dTlctible contributions. He was fined Lincoln's arm, and a track record of achievement headed by shutting down the government (helping as- sure Bill Clinton's re-election), well, what better candidate could the op- position ask for? Unless. Rush, will you run? Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. "~ A iT"ell, coileg~ football is over l~ / ~ll until the ~owl games begir~ I:aOM !HE Texas" 'A&Min a few v~eeks, starting with playintg Missuri in the Benedict Arnold l~owl. I'm picking the Aggies to win l~ecause this is th~ only bowl game ~at has justthree quarters. Until th~ first of countlessI and meaningless l~owl games begirt, I have tO find something else to watch to be, but I do remember watching on Saturday morn ings besides Lee Corso and College Gameday. Since he high quality show: ~ like Lady Hogge: 's and Swamp Peopl ? don't air until la :er in the day, I thoug ~t I'd revert to my childh0od ways al td watch cartoon all rhorning. Yup, I hat was my plan a/right, until I swit :hed from ESPN the major networt s to check out th~ Saturday morning shows. Have y'all seen the stuff they are airing on Saturda ~ mornings thes~ days? What the h ~ck the cartoons? All ] see are mornm~ youngsters today, but I'm sorry Mr. newscasts and educational crap. ~ Square Pants, you are no Popeye! Where's Bugs andlElmer Fudd? Did I have fond memories growing up Tom apd Jerry en~l up in a lab testihg in the '60s and '70s. I recall running perfumes? Did W'~le E. Coyote finally around in the yard with a towel catch that roadruhner and end the: tied around my neck and a red "S" seriesi Where did lall my cartoon ] drawn on an old T shirt, replaying friend~ go?[ the Superman show I just watched. Today's kids havre to sit and watqh My little brother was my sidekick, second-string nev)scasters babble[ Underdog. If we weren t fighting while munching ~n their cold PopJ bad guys in Metropolis, then I was Tarts. Also available for Saturday [ strutting around with pearl:handle mornilag viewing,[affer spending the p!stols and a mask while my trusty past five days in a[classroom, som~ companion, Tonto, followed me show Called The I~agic School Bu~ with his rubber tomahawk. Oncb we comes on. What? More school wod