My heartfelt thanks go out to the Texas City Police Department for making all involved in the rally that was held May 25 feel safe and free to proceed as we wished. I could not help but see the waves and thumbs-up signs of many individuals that traveled up and down Ninth Avenue North during the time of our rally, and I so appreciate the genuine courtesy that was extended to each of us by the teenagers and senior citizens who patiently sat and stood along the route as we progressed and concluded the rally. We do have decent, warmhearted and concerned people, who project a caring spirit that can make one feel grateful to have crossed the paths of those individuals; strangers or not.

As I continue to witness the aggressiveness and the hurry to get the process of closing La Marque Independent School District down, to make the district exist no more, I know that this closure represents everything except fair, legal or being done because “it is best for the children.”

Yes. There is something else driving this impending closure and it is not about not meeting academic standard as set forth by the Texas Education Agency, nor is it about not having a sound budget. La Marque ISD met both requirements and was turning around. Can the desire for money be the reason that Texas City ISD is collecting keys, changing locks and hustling our summer school students over to their campus for summer school?

As I anticipate the experience of venturing through still another court of law — the Texas Supreme Court — I reminisce about the confusion involving the takeover of La Marque ISD since Nov. 15, 2015. On that date, The Daily News printed the article “LMISD will cease to exist on July 1.” In that article, DeEtta Culbertson, former spokeswoman with the TEA stated, “Before a decision is made as to which district will annex La Marque ISD, the state education agency will reach out to districts in the area and talk to them about the options. We can ask them to take the district, and they can say, no.”

Yet, on Jan. 3, in the opinion section of The Daily News, “State must move quickly with aide to Texas City ISD,” it was stated that Cynthia Lusignolo told her board that, “We were given no option for this, and we didn’t create it, but we are going to handle it in a quality manner.”

My question is, “why did TCISD not have an option?” It appears that all others had one.

Also, in an article in The Daily News, Dec. 4, 2015: “We’ve been through this before,” the education commissioner was quoted as saying that despite unknowns, one thing is certain, the LMISD annexation will happen. That same article shows the former commissioner and Superintendent of TCISD, Cynthia Lusignolo, answering questions regarding the annexation of LMISD at a time that the board for LMISD was still seated and had not been formally notified of anything. This entire pending closure has been poorly managed.

Edna Courville lives in Texas City.

Locations

(29) comments

Robert Buckner

Nothing has ever been as poorly managed as LMISD Edna. Once again you are not taking respomsibility for the demise of a once leading ISD in the state. Blame the TEA, TCISD, and the GDN but never yourself.

Carlos Ponce

Edna, the closure of LMISD was fair and legal
"Can the desire for money be the reason....." No. Truth be told TCISD WANTED LMISD to be successful. They, along with DISD, HISD, GISD, etc. were accepting students FLEEING from LMISD. Why did parents pull their children out of LMISD? Poor management, poor facility upkeep, less than adequate education. The problem started with the LMBOTs. Their self interests got in the way of properly educating the children of La Marque. YOU helped place LMISD in the ground. Some of the new LM school administrators are La Marque Alumni. They remember when La Marque Schools were great. They would like to restore LM schools to a high level of achievement. Why are you fighting THEM?

Walter Manuel

"I know that this closure represents everything except fair, legal or being done because “it is best for the children.”

Seriously Edna???

What did you and your friends EVER do that was FAIR and in the BEST interest for LMISD students, as well as, LM/WTC taxpayers except take care of your own friends that ultimately led to LMISD being shut down for good???

" I could not help but see the waves and thumbs-up signs of many individuals that traveled up and down Ninth Avenue North during the time of our rally, and I so appreciate the genuine courtesy that was extended to each of us by the teenagers and senior citizens who patiently sat and stood along the route as we progressed and concluded the rally".

Wow Edna! LOL

Could it have been that these very people were actually standing and waving to say GOODBYE and actually giving a THUMBS UP to the fact that TEA was sending ya'll packing????

I would think that these same individuals that you claim "sat and stood along the route as we progressed and concluded the rally" were simply paying their final respect as ordinary people would do for someones passing.

If this cause was important enough to those who "patiently sat and stood along the route", surely they would have walked beside you and your supporters and showed their support in their numbers and we just didn't see that happen.

Ms. Courville, by your own statement, I'm sure some people are left wondering why you and your friends might think that these bystanders were actually supporting you and your cause or were they simply wanting to see who it was that REALLY destroyed and closed down LMISD for good?

The ousted LMISD board members and their supporters need to put the REAL blame for LMISD's closure where it RIGHTFULLY belongs and that's in their own laps and NOT others! [yawn]

Robert Buckner

The fact that Edna and her little band of protesters are doing these tiny protest just proves again that the best interest of the students still isn't a priority. The only thing they (very small group of protesters) may have learned was how to spell annexation.

Carlos Ponce

And hopefully they will do a spellcheck next time and avoid public ridicule. Reality is a harsh teacher.

Walter Manuel

Thank goodness Comedy Central won't have the last word regarding the eventual closure of LMISD.

When I read "feel good" guest columns like this, I'm constantly reminded of the Bible verse where God placed the "sheep on the right, goats on the left".[beam]

Carlos Ponce

Matthew 25:32-34
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 25: 41
Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Robert Buckner

I'm reminded of that verse in a song "clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right"

Mike Meador

Get out, get out, get out.....

George Croix

"My question is, “why did TCISD not have an option?” It appears that all others had one."

It appears that all others had one?????

This is a trick question, isn't it? a joke?

Here's a clue: LMISD was not WANTED and that is born out by about half the kids who should have been students there going to other districts, and the near apoplexia of many people just thinking about being saddled with LMISD's problems in their school district.

The kids in LM are blessed that T.C. was given the task of trying to clean up a Great Big Mess.
Now, we'll see how many of the usual suspects run for Board next year and try to screw up TC as bad as they did LM.....I fully expect the same set of people who kept electing them to hear the Pied Pipe playing same song, another verse, will cheerfully do so again....the kid's future be darned......

Better get started tearing down the building wrecks and ancient history monuments quick or we'll end up paying the light bill on them again while they rot in homage to imagined glories.....

Bill Broussard

Wow George....that's a terrifying thought.

George Croix

Unless there's some ironclad legal paper somewhere (fingers crossed - anybody know one way or the other ?????) saying that former LMISD Board members cannot run again, then what's to stop them?
It's already been proven they are supported by people who have maintained that support despite hell, high water, or facts or failure......
It's no different from most other utterly polarized politics these days...the likely victor is the one with the most % of a low voter turnout, and who exhibits the least transparency......

Walter Manuel

"In that article, DeEtta Culbertson, "former" spokeswoman with the TEA stated",....

Seriously Ms. Courville???

Again, this ousted LMISD board member does NOT have her facts straight and tells the story that only serves to suit her own personal agenda.

At 11:30 this morning, I personally contacted TEA and DeEtta Culbertson is STILL a spokeswoman for TEA.

This guest column is nothing more than a disgruntled LMISD ousted board member once again desperately trying to fire up those few remaining supporters who remain in their irrelevant support group. [whistling]

Jim Forsythe

Walter, I remember someone saying that the ousted LMISD board members would not ever be able to be on any school board in Texas.
Maybe I was just dreaming it. Just wondering if you know?

Paula David

Maybe they were giving the protesters a thumbs up for the spelling on the signs, as in they are glad that people who can't spell aren't running a school district anymore.

Don Ciaccio

I want to know who authorized the use of LMISD facilities to hold the rally. The group should have rented the facility. It could very well be illegal to give the free rent. It opens a can of worms that ANYONE can request the free use of school facilities. Maybe someone needs a reception hall for a wedding?? Why should they not get permission like the group that held a rally there?

sheryl tillson

Through Open Records Request, I ask who approved the meeting, what administrator was on duty and was there security on the campus and the cost of security.
I was provided with an application from LM Alumi & Assoc./John N. Humphrey along with copies of two receipts. One was a check for $200.00 deposit with a hand written note - DO NO DEPOSIT. Another for $52.00 cash and rent was checked. Both signed by Danille James, Accounts Payable clerk. When I ask Ms. Allen's secretary if Ms. James authorized the event she said yes. Regarding an administrator and security questions - It was stated on the letter attached "LaMarque ISD has no documents responsive to the remaining items of your request".

Mr. Ciaccio, you can draw your own conclusions.
(I am not sure of the spelling of Ms. James's first name)
.

Robert Buckner

I can draw my own conclusions, thanks Sheryl.

Don Ciaccio

It's spelled -C.R.O.O.K.E.D!

Walter Manuel

I too received the same receipt copy given to the LM Alumni Association for a check written in the amount of $200.00 during my open records request that read, "Do Not Deposit".

I also received from LMISD another receipt for "$52.00 "cash", so one can only guess how much it really cost the district for private citizens to hold a meeting in a public school?

And because the school district did not provide me with who provided or paid for security for this event, it leaves me to believe that there probably wasn't any security provided since the Alumni felt that they were only expecting around "50 people" according the the form that was filled out for their supposedly town hall meeting.

Mr. Forsythe, unfortunately because the ousted LMISD weren't officially removed from the LMISD BOT by the former TEA commissioner, they were simply relieved of their duties as elected officials and replaced with a board of managers, they still qualify to run for the TCISD school board.

What we must do is make sure that we remind voters at election time of exactly what the ousted LMISD board members PURPOSEFULLY did to LMISD that eventually shut down the entire district and NOT allow them to disrupt what the TCISD BOT have worked so hard to build in our communities.

We already know by their actions that once the redistricting is done, several of the ousted LMISD BOT will inherently once again show that they have NO shame and think that they've done absolutely nothing wrong and they will try to run for the TCISD BOT.[yawn]

Walter Manuel

I also wanted to mention that yesterday, I received tons of calls from people that read about DeEtta Culbertson still working as a "spokeswoman for TEA" and they were questioning why the GDN was allowing an ex-LMISD board member or their supporters to KNOWINGLY submit a guest column that contains false information related to LMISD or TEA?

My answer to them was simple. It was written as a "guest column" and it was that person's First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech even if it was false information and it's my belief that it's not the responsibility of the GDN to try and spare the writers reputation as to their trustworthiness or honesty by making an "editors note" stating the actual truth.

As I said before, as the Bible teaches us, "You shall know them by their fruits".....[beam]

Doyle Beard

Walter its hard to tell the truth when you dont have a case like the poster you are speaking about.

Mike Trube

I would hope that by the time the elections roll around, TCISD would redraw the voting lines. To make it less lope sided. If they don't, nothing will change. Since La Marque will be fully under TCISD, it would seem to me more voters would be eligible to vote in those district. But if not, I would also think that the good board members of TCISD would outweigh the ousted ones, if they should run, and get elected again. They wouldn't have a majority vote, of the voting board.

Connie

Carlos Ponce

No but they will be loud, boisterous and demand to be heard. They should be ignored. Electing a former LMISD BOT to a similar position in TCISD is tantamount to handing your car keys to a drunk driver. Disaster looms.

George Croix

In addition to LaMarque, the LMISD covered all of the Texas City area west of, what, 34th St.....
That includes the great big 'ol area west of Hwy 146 commonly but erroneously referred to as West Texas City rather than west Texas City by folks who can't read a map or just don't know any better, or as historically practiced, want to make a distinction between the two areas....
This area is building up while the town east of 146 is sprucing up.
The former LMISD BOT was elected in huge if not total part by residents of this area.
The residents are free to vote for anyone they want to who's legally on a school board ballot.
The question to be answered is who'll be on it next year....
If it's the same wrecking crew that just got furloughed, then the only way to prevent their re-election, considering the willingness of past supporters to do so come heck or high water, is to turn out a bigger vote for other candidates.
With the power of block voting, that's a challenge unlikely to be overcome in total based on the current voting map....
It is what it is, until it's changed.....

Walter Manuel

That is very true Doyle, Connie and Carlos!

This is exactly why were are seeing LMISD being shut down because the public was intentionally misled by the ousted LMISD BOT and were made to believe that things were better than we've all now learned about them.

It would be totally irresponsible for anyone to vote for any one of these ousted LMISD board members if they should run for TCISD BOT and would further prove that it's always been about their friends and NOT the education of a child.

We'll wait to see if someone steals a play out of Shirley Fanuiels' old play book and goes out and registers a whole bunch of people living in nursing homes and private care homes in order to vote for them in the school board election? [whistling]

Walter Manuel

Excellent point Mr. Croix, voter turn out will be everything come election time!

One of the possible TCISD board members who might be affected by this redistricting is a tenured and proven TCISD board member who is extremely well liked in the TC and surrounding communities and has a proven track record for being a team player that has ultimately made so many positive things possible for TCISD's future.

I can assure you that this won't be no cake walk for these ousted LMISD board members trying to unseat ANY current TCISD board member. [wink]

George Croix

I'm not talking about unseating anybody, Mr. Manuel.
I'm talking about re-taking the position that has been filled heretofore by people who were in the LMISD geographic area.
That area is not represented by current TCISD BOT members that were elected from the ranks of voters on the west side of TC.
If ability and quality of service counted, we'd not be having this discussion.....

Walter Manuel

Your right again Mr. Croix, however it's my understanding that one of the current sitting TCISD BOT districts will be expanded in order to accommodate the annexation, so it will be essential that voter turn out in TC is high in order to prevent any of the ousted LMISD board members from getting seated on the TCISD board.

Remember, some of these ousted LMISD board members only won by a couple of votes or worse than that they had no opponent because people no longer cared about what happened to LMISD.

"If ability and quality of service counted, we'd not be having this discussion".....

Couldn't have said it any better myself sir!

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