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Observer working overtime; Away game travel funding cut for football teams’ support systems in Humble ISD

Posted by Texas Education on August 26, 2008

Looks like we are in an all out battle (notice I did not say war.) Only because this is just the beginning and it’s something that is not common knowledge, for the moment. I will be scratching about more on this later.

JENNIFER SUMMER from the Observer pens some hard core facts that I believe is just the beginning of just how deep the cuts will go, and how it will get the forces, the parent’s, panties in a bunch. It seems only when you hit them where it counts (Texas football) do we/they get involved, in an up roar, and down right nasty. Well, kids, we are well on our way. Maybe when we start cutting into Texas football will the masses come out and work on the lege, now! I’m posting the whole enchilada so everyone can see it in it’s full glory.

Away football games may have a different tune this season as Humble Independent School District had to cut funding for away games for the band and drill teams to ease the burden on an over-expended budget.

Facing a $17 million budget deficit and rising fuel costs, the district met with the fine arts director and band directors from all four high schools to make cuts that affect the students the least and continue with academic standards.

“We needed to cut $100,000 from the fine arts budget and left it up to the directors to decide what would be eliminated,” Karen Collier, Executive Director of Public Information, said.

The budget cuts included the band, drill team and cheerleaders and they are all still able to go to away games to support their teams but they will have to provide the funding themselves.

A few of the support organizations like the Booster clubs have stepped forward to make sure the audience is entertained and students are able to show off their talents.

“At Kingwood High School, we devised a plan where the $6,000 total will be split three ways between the All-Sports Boosters, The Fillies Boosters and our booster club, The Band Boosters,” said treasurer and parent, Jim Galegar.

“This year we feel we can commit $2,000 for this purpose. Next year, we will have to re-evaluate our funding to see if we can continue this. We are lucky enough to not have our students pay a band fee like other school districts to be a member of the band.”

The money these booster clubs are forking over will pay the bus drivers and buy the gas to get to the games.

The Booster clubs makes funds through the sale of concessions at the football game which will help fund some of the money needed for the away games.

While the Band Boosters does raise funds through their entertainment coupon book sales, a majority of that money is used to fund conventions, entry fees for contests, accompanists, clinicians, pre-UIL contest judges, local transportation, food for concessions and permits to name a few of the responsibilities of the club.

In the case of the Atascocita booster clubs, they are still new organizations and growing so they will be helping fund a few of the games, but if they take too much out of the budget they will not be able to afford other things that are budgeted for every year.

“We are planning to go to as many as we can. Currently, we have decided that we can only attend three out of the four of the away games. We are doing as much as we can right now,” Atascocita High School band director Larry Ward said.

“We are already asking the parents to pitch in and help us fund some activities and now we are asking again. Hopefully, there will be a resolution to this problem so we can all attend these away games.”

After the the budget cuts were announced, the directors met to make the decision of what could and what had to go under a directive by the administration.

Each school dealt with the budget cut independently, deciding what would work at their school and what would not.

“It was never about us not wanting to go to away games. We have thoroughly enjoyed traveling to these games in the past, we will just have to see what happens in the future,” Kingwood High School band director Destry Balch said.

Kingwood Park High School will also be receiving funds for travel for their organizations from several of their booster clubs and a couple of donators.

Kingwood Park High first opened in 2007, so a few of their booster clubs much like Atascocita High School are working on generating funds to support more programs which now include funds for traveling to away games.

Humble High School will be working out a program to see if they can attend any away games though since they are in a new district, their games will be located closer to home than the other high schools.

“While we do not know how our fundraising will go this year, we are hopeful that we can continue to bring in the kind of funds needed to keep our band program strong,” Jim Galegar.

“There seems to be a constant stream of kids wanting to be in band because of the excellent program we offer. Our booster club has always been thrifty with our budget and we are always looking for new income streams.”

With all budget concerns set aside, each band director are excited about the football season and performing at home games and the away games they are able to attend.

They are prepared to show off all of the hard work they did this summer to get incoming freshmen ready to march and learn new drills.

“It is amazing to watch a student learn how to be a band student,” Balch said.

“Watching and listening to them perform is what I love. Directing is an art form and all of the students’ success is a daily journey. We are excited about this band season and what is to come.”

For more information

Call Humble ISD at 281-641-1000.

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Humble ISD finalizes budget

Posted by Texas Education on June 30, 2008

Humble Independent School District, after months of balance sheet wrangling, finalized its 2008-2009 budget with nearly $9 million in reductions and the request to voters for a 13-cent increase.

The cuts are coming in response to news at a May 27 budget workshop that the district was looking at a $26.42 million budget deficit for the ‘08-‘09 school year and $31.29 million short fall for ’09-’10 without a 13-cent tax increase, which would put the district at the state’s tax limit.

Dr. Sconzo said the tax election date will come when the district receives certified values from the Harris County Appraisal District. The appraisals could come as early as August, which would put the election some time in the fall.

I missed this blessed event. But, my friend RYAN HICKMAN at the Atascocita/Kingwood Observer covered it most nicely. Don’t think there are any real surprises here. And at least now we can move on, lick our wounds, buck up, get a thick skin, keep our chins up. Yeah, yeah, I know enough already…

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