It is so interesting to read articles in the newspaper about the Robstown Independent School District.
I am sure the articles capture the attention of the community, and I hope they do. The articles are foremost informational.
They are about buildings, instruction, staff, finances and other topics. The topics should be of great interest to our readers.
What is so fascinating is that the present buildings our students occupy are inadequate to provide for student learning.
The school buildings were built over or approximately 50 years ago. The new buildings being built, the athletic field house, Seale Junior High, Lotspeich and San Pedro elementary schools, will enhance instruction.
The schools and other much-needed facilities are for the students, staff and the community.
The persons or naysayers need to take a nostalgic stroll through the existing campuses. Maybe they need to ask themselves if these schools are adequate for students to learn.
Instruction can not occur when air conditioners do not work, roofs are leaking, wall plugs built 50 years ago cannot hold the electrical surges required for computer systems, and classrooms have poor and inefficient cooling and lighting that consumes great amounts of energy and your tax dollars.
Instruction takes 80 percent of any school budget; ask our neighboring school district officials or board members. The beautiful thing about our new schools is that our students and staff really like teaching and learning in them. How do we know this? We simply ask them.
On the issue of school finances, the previous article I submitted to the newspaper did not show the actual fund balances, it simply gave a narrative of the overall audit, revenue and expenditures.
The audit did explain how monies were spent and tells the district of things to watch and suggestions for future expenditures.
When you review the actual numbers of our fund balance, you can decide for yourselves whether or not the district is using funds properly and if the funds have increased or decreased over the last four years.
It was because of careful spending and savings, just like we do at home, that the district has been able to provide health insurance at no cost to professional and non-professional employees, stipends for math and science teachers, pay increases every year to all employees, recruitment bonuses for staff, and new buildings for students.
Is this not instruction for our children?
Our students did not have adequate classroom instructional equipment, science labs, LCD projectors, smart boards (visit our new junior high) or weight rooms at either the junior high or high school and other instructional equipment needed by teachers and students.
Please ask our students how they feel about these new things that the community provides for them. They will tell you. I implore our community to think about the future and not be misguided by misinformation.
Please review the fund balances below and decide for yourself.
On Aug. 31, 2000, the general fund balance was $1,614,791, according to financial audits from John Womack & Co., Ernest Garza & Co. and Robstown ISD.
The school district's fund balance on Aug. 31, 2001 was $1,985,283. The fund balance on Aug. 31, 2002 was $3,247,556. It was $4,911,255 on Aug. 31, 2003; $6,504,988 on Aug. 31, 2004; $10,336,166 on Aug. 31, 2005 and $9,781,438 on Aug. 31, 2006.
Please allow your children to be students with vision and leaders with vision tomorrow.
Roberto Garcia is the superintendent for the Robstown Independent School District. Readers may contact him via telephone at 767-6600, ext. 2223.