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VISD Superintendent: School district's future is bright

By ALLISON MILES
Nov. 10, 2010 at 5:10 a.m.
Updated Nov. 11, 2010 at 5:11 a.m.

BOB_MOOREQ:DEPT/PHOTO/DIGITAL/070306IN GOOD COMPANYCONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Several programs are expanding in the Victoria school district. Those include:

The Victoria Center for Advanced Learning, which has 953 students enrolled, offers 32 courses and added 10 new courses

Liberty Academy got word Tuesday it received a $2.9 million grant to develop an early college program.

The Career and Technical Institute, which has 68 courses, 43 new or revised courses for the 2010-11 school year and four new middle school courses.

Source: Bob Moore, Victoria school district superintendent

The future looks bright for the Victoria school district, Superintendent Bob Moore said Wednesday.

Among other things, the district completion rate will likely hit 90 percent this year, the number of disciplinary incidents will likely decrease and programs are expanding.

Moore spoke to about 150 people at the Victoria Chamber of Commerce's luncheon, updating them on the district. The luncheon was at the University of Houston-Victoria's multipurpose room.

The 2009-10 school year resulted in eight exemplary campuses, nine recognized campuses and six academically acceptable campuses for the Victoria district, Moore said.

Those exemplary campuses rank up there with schools from Round Rock, Leander and the like, where only about 18 to 20 percent of students are eligible for free lunch. It's a tremendous accomplishment, he said, considering about 70 percent of Victoria students qualify for free lunch.

He said the biggest challenge in education is trying to make sure students who come from poverty have the same opportunities for success in school as those who come from more enriched backgrounds.

A bond proposal that was approved three years ago brought change to the district this year, Moore said. In addition to new schools, a natatorium opened recently, while a 1,500-seat fine arts center will host its first event Feb. 3.

The superintendent said he was also glad that, even during the economic downturn, the district never released employees due to financial issues. The district has also kept its maintenance and operations tax at $1.03 per $100 valuation since 2006, resulting in taxpayer savings of $1.22 million.

"I, for one, am really proud of that because ... our maintenance and operations tax is two and-a-half cents lower than the state average," he said.

Moore's presentation was informative, said Letty Ramirez, who attended the luncheon. She said she especially liked knowing that the district is taking measures to save taxpayers money.

"I thought that was very noble for them to keep us in mind," said Ramirez, who works at Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent.

These are exciting times for the district and Moore and his team should be commended, Randy Vivian, the chamber's president, said.

That excitement spans beyond the classrooms and administrative offices, he said. Spectators also experienced it during the first-ever Victoria East vs. Victoria West football game, last week.

"I sat in the crowd Friday night and felt electricity in the air," Vivian said. "It was a phenomenal, phenomenal feeling. It was a very proud day to be a chamber director."

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