Texas City Independent School District on Saturday announced it had scheduled a meeting today as it seeks to build an advisory committee that would determine whether a bond election could be on the horizon for voters.

“A bond election would be up to the Facilities Advisory Committee,” said Melissa Tortorici, spokeswoman for the district. “If the group makes a recommendation to go out for a bond, then that’s what will happen. That’s why this group is so important.”

District officials Saturday called for all interested citizens to attend a meeting at 6 p.m. today to join the committee.

The purpose of the committee is to analyze facilities and future programs to see what the district’s needs are, officials said.

“This is an opportunity to make sure that your voice is heard in determining the types of facilities we should have for our future,” Superintendent Rodney Cavness said.

Officials wouldn’t elaborate on which facilities might be the focus of the committee.

Hurricane Harvey damaged several district facilities, which led to about 1,600 students being moved from the three La Marque campuses while repairs were made.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 in Rockport, about 200 miles south of Galveston County. It dumped more than 50 inches of rain in some parts of this county, flooding an estimated 20,000 homes in the county and devastating parts of Houston.

The flood damage from Hurricane Harvey occurred at La Marque primary, elementary and middle schools, according to the school district.

The Texas City school district annexed the La Marque Independent School District in 2016 by order of the state.

The damage from Hurricane Harvey came shortly after district officials learned they must return about $8 million to Valero Energy Corp. in an agreement with the Galveston Central Appraisal District on disputed property values.

Texas City ISD, along with every other school district in the county, also is straining under a state public education funding system that many education officials say is unsustainable.

More and more school boards across Galveston County have adopted deficit budgets as they struggle with myriad issues. Those include a state system that funnels local tax money to districts with small tax bases, less state funding and the loss of other funding avenues.

Texas City ISD stood to lose about $11 million in funding with the possible loss of the Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction program before the last-minute saving of the funding in a Texas Legislature special session.

Legislators also clarified language in a bill to guarantee $18 million to Texas City ISD to help cover costs the district began incurring after it absorbed the former La Marque Independent School District in 2016.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


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