Jan 17, 2010

Really?

In Philip R. Klein's latest posting on the Southeast Texas Political Review, he mangles the facts concerning the mid-term report on the BISD Bond:
So Dr. David Teuscher and Paul Brown with the mafia chief Dr. Carroll Thomas call a presser and announce big news! The BISD bond construction package is $10 million under budget!

And the media goes gaga? And the taxpayers go - REALLY?

So the big announcement is that the BISD has again overtaxed the people - again. They came up with wild figures and passed a bond issue that is going to cost the taxpayer x amount of dollars. And then they come back and say that x amount wasn't the real number and how they did such a great job and saved you the taxpayer money?
After this Philip lapses into familiar territory:
Think about it - you have a county that is dying. People are moving out. Businesses are closing. Unemployment is cresting 12%. The Chamber of Commerce is run by the government powerbase (sic). Taxes are through the roof. Crime rates are high. And nobody calls it what it is? Complete and total lack of true leadership by government leaders? All they can do is march in front of cameras and say instead of spending MILLIONS AN D MILLIONS they are only spending some MILLIONS AND MILLIONS. And nothing has changed?
I've addressed all of this ad nauseum in the past, but I'll note that Philip now claims unemployment "is cresting 12%,"  after claiming an 18 percent unemployment rate last week. The latest unemployment is 10.5 percent, but the numbers for December are not available yet. I suspect the rate will go down, as the country continues to recover from the recession of 2007-2010.

Considering Klein's original thesis before he veered off subject like a drunken private eye on Saturday night, here's a more accurate assessment from the Beaumont Enterprise:
Three new elementary schools - Amelia, Blanchette/Bingman and Martin/Lucas - are to open this fall.

The school district is scheduled to play football in the new $43 million stadium being built along Interstate 10 near Brooks Road.

And Parsons Corp., the company managing all projects, expects to see $10 million in cost savings overall.

"We're giving you a midpoint report," Teuscher told media gathered at the BISD Administration Building Friday. "So we haven't finished the game, but we're ahead."

Getting to this place has not been without pitfalls, which committee members and district officials acknowledged during a news conference on Friday.

The first three projects on the district's schedule went $2.6 million over budget.

Design problems delayed the start of the elementary schools.

And a legal battle delayed the construction of the new South Park Middle School.

The district even pushed back the construction of some schools such as Caldwood, Sallie Curtis and Regina-Howell to facilitate better building and design, officials said.
The Jefferson County government has no control over the BISD Bond, nor does the BISD Board of Trustees have any control over local unemployment, crime rates, or the Chamber of Commerce. Has Philip R. Klein confused the issues through his ignorance, or is this another example of his reckless disregard for the truth?

Another frequent target of Klein's hysterical and misinformed demagoguery is the BISD Police Department. He's never commented on my rebuttals concerning this national trend in larger school districts, but the Beaumont Enterprise also addressed this issue in an article today,Schools arm themselves with district police departments:
The days of police-free schools are gone, particularly after the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, law enforcement and school observers say.

And taxpayers are going to pay for that police presence, whether through their school district budgets or in city police or county sheriff's budgets.
Putting this into another perspective, the Houston ISD Police Department is larger than the Port Arthur Police Department.  This parallels another trend: consolidating more students into larger high schools, while closing smaller schools for cost-efficiency.

I'm not sure what the real answer is. Neither does Philip R. Klein, but throwing mud based on misinformed and myopic opinions only obfuscates the real issues.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Add David Teuscher to the long list of
honorable, civic-minded people subjected to "Malign by Klein."