Conroe ISD citizens call for cutting, streamlining 2019-20 budget

All Conroe ISD trustees were in attendance for the Aug. 6 public hearing.

All Conroe ISD trustees were in attendance for the Aug. 6 public hearing.

Conroe ISD citizens called for cutting the proposed 2019-20 budget and streamlining future projects.

The CISD board of trustees hosted its first public hearing on the proposed budget Aug. 6. Chief Financial Officer Darren Rice gave a brief presentation on the $549.58 million budget.

Rice said House Bill 3 compresses the district’s maintenance and operations rate from its proposed $1.04 to $0.97. The bill also prevents the district from transferring unassigned funds to pay down the debt service rate. Rice said the district traditionally transferred at least $10 million, but now must raise the rate from $0.24 to $0.265 in order to cover the debt expenditure for the 2019-20 year. In total, the district’s proposed tax rate will decrease from $1.28 to $1.235.

“CISD will still be the second-lowest tax rate in the Greater Houston area,” Rice said.

After Rice’s presentation, the board heard comments from several citizens on the budget and tax rate. All citizens pushed for cutting the budget.

“We’re oppressed [by the tax rate]. I took time off from work today to come up here to let you know we are definitely oppressed,” CISD resident Randy Smith said.

Smith also said he wanted the board to focus on student safety, citing sexual assaults that have occurred in CISD over the last few decades.

Oak Ridge North resident Jon Bouche asked the board to approach growth and building new schools with a “no-frills approach,” focusing on plain buildings and not amenities.

“Let's fill these schools with teachers who have a passion for teaching, students who are there to learn,” Bouche said. “If you want to spend money on something, spend it on that, not AstroTurf.”

The AstroTurf Bouche mentioned is a part of CISD’s proposed bond, which was not discussed at the public hearing. The $683.8 million bond has two propositions: a $660 million Proposition A for new schools and campus improvements and a $23.8 million Proposition B for AstroTurf on athletic fields. The board has until Aug. 19 to approve the bond to go to voters in November.

The board’s next public hearing is Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Deane L. Sadler Administration/Technology Center, located at 3205 W. Davis St., Conroe.
By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


The Woodforest Bank Stadium vaccine hub is set to close June 3. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County announces last day for vaccines at Woodforest Bank Stadium

The Woodforest Bank Stadium vaccine hub is set to close June 3. First doses are no longer being provided at the location.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Montgomery County commissioners will convene May 11 for a regular court session. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Commissioners propose resolution objecting to groundwater production that supplies areas outside Montgomery County

Commissioners will vote to approve a resolution relating to groundwater use May 11 following a withdrawn proposal for a controversial water-bottling deal in Conroe.

ExxonMobil moved employees from its Springwoods Village campus to a Hughes Landing to cure a default on a Montgomery County tax abatement. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil resolves tax abatement default; Home Depot distribution center taking over superfund site; and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

A water-bottling company had purchased a tract of land in Conroe Park North with the intent to pump groundwater. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
'Nationally known' water bottling company backs out of Conroe deal

The proposal—which was dubbed Project Hydrate—had drawn concern from residents and some city officials

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

The business features an upscale hair salon and boutique. (Courtesy Bonjour Belle Salon and Suites)
Bounjour Belle Salons and Suites now open in Woodforest

Services include a complimentary consultation, color and foil, haircuts and styles and tape-in extensions.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens in Magnolia; get a sneak peek of new Houston aquarium and more metro news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

(Courtesy Third Coast Organic Foods)
Third Coast Organic Foods launches e-commerce business

The business sells sugar-free organic wine vinaigrette salad dressings.