• I've been out all day. You all have been busy in the meantime. Yes, LBB, we'll ask all of the questions posed. Some may become stories, and some may take time to develop. If you write a letter to the editor or a guest column, though, you can be sure your question is posed immediately to the powers that be.

    Regarding consolidation, I appreciate the history lesson. You say people loudly opposed it. Did they favor instead having kids from north Victoria bused to Stroman? As I understand it, that was the only other option that would satisfy the federal government.

    Regarding the district's budget, we will be examining it more closely and printing the salary database online. First, we have to get our new site up and running so that we can handle more databases.

    Regarding the Finleys' employment, we've reported their relationship, of course. If this is a violation of the district's nepotism policy, it certainly is a visible one. I'll check with our sports department about the question.

    I appreciate all of the conversation.

    February 28, 2009 at 10:05 p.m.

  • lbb,   you can get a copy of the nepotism policy from the local district.   see page 4, penalty

    here it is...

    send a formal complaint to the white house.  I'd be interested on what the chief(s) say.

    February 28, 2009 at 9:40 p.m.

  • From Chris:

    "I can appreciate why people might feel as if they aren't being given enough time to react to the new boundaries. But what would you say about them if you had more time? Why are two new high schools not better than one mega-school?"

    Time has nothing to do with it....people know that if they were given years, the parents and students would still have no say...the School Board has decided and their decision will not be influenced by public outcry.  The consolidation stands as the ultimate example.  The mega-school idea was horrible and the two high schools will certainly work better; however we had two high schools should never have been changed in the first place.  The consolidation cost millions and now the separation is going to cost even more millions and in both instances the kids were and will be the ones to suffer. 

    February 28, 2009 at 9:15 p.m.

  • i agree!!  i agree!  he and chapa dont know thier roles.  it cost the dr. his chance on the board. 
    small town talk has him, jr., going to head fb coach ...didnt baseball just get busted for pre-emptive decisions....

    February 28, 2009 at 7:17 p.m.

  • lbb,
    finley hires a lot of coaches on probation.  ask chapa.  Jr. was 1.  Do they get full pay, sub pay? dunno.   Most probably teach fb and have 3-4 classes off.  There is no teacher shortage or emergency probation districts nearby.  
    where is the watchdog?

    February 28, 2009 at 6:49 p.m.

  • VBB,

    Another good question to explore regarding the elementary schools. How the district redraws the lines every other year will be worth watching closely. How it handles transfer requests will be another issue.


    I'm not trying to defend the district. I posted to better understand the issues and the questions, starting with why more people didn't show up to the public meetings. In your view, the district broke its trust with the public because of consolidation. If that's so, what steps can the district take to rebuilt that trust? You say it will take years and lots of patience. Is the district doing the right things now that can build over time?

    I have two kids in the district who are doing well, so this isn't just an academic exercise for me. It sounds as if your kids are out of the district and had a bad experience, although that may be an incorrect assumption on my part.

    I recognize that my experience or your experience are not evidence alone of any larger truths. As a newspaper, we have many questions to keep asking on behalf of the public. I encourage you and everyone else to also pose these questions in the form of letters to the editor and guest columns. I maintain the best course of action for everyone is to get and stay involved.

    February 28, 2009 at 6:27 a.m.

  • I've been told the elementary numbers are gonna be hard to attain at some schools.  1 in particular only lost 1 street & they already have more than the acceptable number of students.  Whats gonna happen to them?  Also, because of the old north/south lines, the elementary schools are still going to have to remain magnet schools to maintain balance & harmony.

    February 28, 2009 at 12:07 a.m.

  • LBB,

    An in-depth look at the history of the district could be interesting. Perhaps the right time would be before the two high schools open. When I've heard the superintendent speak, he's been very up-front about the number of high school students being lost to other districts and private schools. I haven't met anyone who says consolidation worked well. The most charitable description I've heard is it was the best of a bad situation that had been allowed to develop. The May 2007 bond election and the two new high schools were sold as the solution to that problem.

    I don't know the history of past superintendents, but this one has made a point of accepting only a one-year contract. He's said he wants to be judged each year by the board on his merits. If the board doesn't want him, he'll leave. What are your thoughts on that?

    South Texas,

    I can appreciate why people might feel as if they aren't being given enough time to react to the new boundaries. But what would you say about them if you had more time? Why are two new high schools not better than one mega-school?

    February 27, 2009 at 9:38 p.m.

  • Consolidation was done to keep from uprooting students?  Boy is that ever a fairy tale. 

    In a time when every study known to man says that kids get a better education in smaller schools, the Victoria School District votes to consolidate into this mega school.  No one was happy!  The kids hated it; the parents hated it, and people petitioned and fought and tried. Why was it done?...Perhaps consolidation had something to do with football?  Ya think?.

    Football in Texas is a big deal.  Take a long look at Judson and the tales and stories about goings on there.  Victoria, however is not a football town and even with bunches of kids to pick from they still didn't come up with a winning team.....but we sure wasted a lot of money and there were a lot of kids who got a poor education in the madness of the transition.  Thank God my kids were out by that time. 

    The schools were bad enough before that; consolidation made them worse and they will continue to get worse because those in power think throwing money at a kid can provide him with an education.

    The decisions have already been made....just like choosing the school names...people are tired of being given the pretense of having a choice when there is no choice. 

    February 27, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.

  • South Texas and LBB,

    No, I wasn't around during consolidation, but I've heard a lot about it. What I know is the two high schools were so out of balance that the federal government stepped in. School board members chose to consolidate rather than draw new attendance boundaries and uproot students.

    What public concerns were not addressed then? Even if bad decisions were made then, why wouldn't parents and others want to get involved and make sure good decisions are made today? Why is it better to just play the victim and say no one will listen?

    Most of the comments here so far contain vague criticism of the district. What specific issues do you want addressed? VBB, you raise a good point about the middle schools' balance. We'll take a look at that.

    We also plan to explore how the changes will affect Juan Linn and Crain. What other specific issues should we address?

    Thanks for the feedback.

    February 27, 2009 at 8:55 a.m.

  • Chris, I don't think you were around back when the schools were consolidated....people did speak up and it did absolutely no good.  People don't come because they know the decisions have already been made and basically it is a waste of their time.  The same with the City have the same few people that show up to speak who are treated rudely by the City Council members and their statements are just "put up with" because they have to be allowed to speak.

    February 26, 2009 at 11:55 p.m.

  • Chris, I do not live in Victoria, if I did, I would attend.  My nieces & nephews will be affected by this fiasco though & their mother wanted to attend but was unable, due to the  timing.  They need to work on their timing.
    Y'all really need to look into the racial/socio economic balance that will exist in the middle schools.  Does not look like it will be well mixed at all.  What is VISD going to do when that comes to light?

    February 26, 2009 at 11:39 p.m.

  • VBB and LBB,

    So both of you will be at Friday's meeting then? We'd sure like to hear from more parents at a public meeting.

    Our family was at the UIL band performance, too. That was definitely more fun than hearing about boundaries and demographics.

    LBB, I'm not quite sure what your comment means. Can you please elaborate?


    February 26, 2009 at 10:29 p.m.

  • Lets see...there was a UIL band thing tonight, how are parents supposed to take & pick up their kids & make the meetings?  Maybe they should look at the times & days they are holding these meetings.  I know my family member wanted to attend but due to childrens school related activities & hubbys work schedule, was unable to make it.  Maybe Saturday afternoon meetings would be best.

    February 26, 2009 at 8:15 p.m.