The Mystery of Klein High School and the Disappearing Funds
I’ve refrained from talking about this on my blog because I work for the district, and I really want to support my employer. I’m not about sabotage – I’m about teaching kids. That’s why I work for them.
But I’m also a taxpayer. Gregg and I waited until after the 2008 bond to buy a house because we knew that things would change. When we finally did buy a house, we bought one right next to Klein High School, so that we wouldn’t be zoned out with the building of high schools 5 and 6. We were forward thinking.
Granted, I was a little surprised when the district put off the building of high school #5, but honestly, I wasn’t that concerned. It didn’t really affect me. I don’t have kids, and I especially don’t have kids attending Klein High School. But I want to, and that’s the entire reason we moved to this specific house. I really thought it was counter-intuitive for the district to wait a year to start building, even if enrollment numbers were down, because the fifth high school wouldn’t open for another four years, which gives the economy a good amount of time to bounce back. But still, I sat back quietly and didn’t say much. After all, they are the ones who hold all the charts and graphics and statistics.
Gregg, on the other hand, went to board meetings. I was happy that he was getting involved, but I didn’t think it was necessary. I mean, after all, the district won the bond election with the campaign of a Klein High School rebuild and a high school #5. I lived next to Klein High School. What could possibly go wrong?
I don’t think I have anyone on the board who represents me and my interests. I worked in Klein before I lived here, and I chose to live here because I like what the district is doing. I see first hand how students are educated. I love the risk they took with technology. For the past few years, I had been driving to work every day from the Inner Loop in Houston, and could have very easily continued to do so for the next twelve. I didn’t relocate to Klein because of the commute. I moved here because I wanted to live in a community where I could raise a family and be confident that my children would receive a better education than I did. My husband and I chose Klein for our future children.
When I am told that redistricting is years away and that I shouldn’t worry out it right now, I want to scream out “But those are MY years! Those are MY children!” I think that the district is hearing from former Klein clients, current Klein clients, but what about the future Klein clients?
It’s not that I don’t want my children to go to Klein Forest High School. We considered looking at buying houses in Greenwood Forest and Woods of Wimbledon, but the resale value didn’t seem the be the same as the houses that fed into Klein High School. I can say honestly right that Klein Forest has the best high school teachers that our district has to offer.
I’ve been reading and listening a lot lately, and I find myself having to explain and justify myself just as often:
1. Klein High School needs to be repaired or rebuilt, no matter what.
2. I’m not anti-Klein Forest.
3. I’m a taxpayer.
4. I’m a voter.
5. I chose to buy my house on the promises the the KISD board made.
6. I’m all about financial responsibility, and I have voiced my complaints when I thought that my money (or time) was being wasted.
7. I really want to find a solution to everything.
That being said, I think the district is going to be fighting a battle. Everyone seems to be angry, alienated, or worried. No matter what the district chooses, there will need to be another bond election soon, and I don’t think the voting population of Klein will forget this anytime easily.
What I am most worried about is this: the Klein develops the perfect plan, but needs additional funds in 6 years, and the future bond election will not go through. As I said before, I’m a teacher – I see the need for bonds. (And just for the record, my salary cannot come from bond elections, so I’m not saying this for personal reasons.)
My next worry is this: that the Klein board of education will experience a drastic shift. If enough people get upset, they will vote out the more traditional board members, angry because of the bond controversy. And that leaves an opportunity for new people to be voted in. I’m not saying that I agree with all of our board members. There are some that I really would rather have been voted off the island. But just because I don’t like “Yes Men” doesn’t mean I think we need a “No Man” on the board, either. It’s like when the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes were all fighting each other for territory – because of all the infighting, it made them more vulnerable to attack from outsiders. We need an Alfred the Great to come along and unite Klein*.
But in the end, Klein is going to do what Klein wants to do. Call me cynical, but I don’t think that any elected official cares about his constituents – he cares about himself. I personally think that the board members will vote for whatever will benefit them personally the most. And why not? Why else do people get involved in local politics? It took a personal trigger for me to write this blog!
*Sorry. I teach British literature. It seemed like an appropriate analogy at the time. 🙂