RISD reserves must be protected

The Robstown Independent School District received the 2006-07 Audit Report, which showed several major concerns. As a result, the school board will conduct a workshop to review these concerns.

The report shows that the district overspent about $2 million. A few months prior, superintendent Roberto Garcia had told the board that the school district was expected to have a $1.5 million surplus, which obviously was not true.

The Audit Report disclosed 19 deficiencies in the operation of the business office. Normally, only two or four are reported.

For the current school year, the district is again expected to overspend another $2 million. Garcia had misinformed the board by telling them the deficit would only be about $500,000.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the school district is not spending enough money for instruction. It appears that the $4 million over-expenditures are being used for other purposes.

Now, the RISD is considering laying off employees to compensate for the loss. Garcia has gotten the district into financial problems in addition to the academic failures. If this trend continues, the district will use up most of its reserves in two more years. Previous administrations and school board members earned these reserves.

The district is losing enrollment, operating in the red, losing its reserves, considering laying off employees and is not directing enough money to instructional programs. However, Garcia is recommending construction of more buildings that will cost the district millions of dollars. Does this make sense to anybody?

Noe De Los Santos

Robstown