Friday, September 23, 2011

Unconstitutional - Waste In Harris County (TX) DOE - Pt 3


In Part 1 of this series we lay the case that the Harris County Department of Education is OBSOLETE. In Part 2 we discussed the DUPLICATION of services by the Harris County Department of Education.  In this part we discuss whether the HCDE is constitutional.

#3- Unconstitutional
Remember Texas Constitution 7.1…” support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools”? Our local school district taxes are collected to support for our free public schools. But HCDE is providing services to organizations all over Texas and the US. Of the 400 “Entities” HCDE reports serving, ONLY 26 are Harris County School Districts. The Texas Constitution says nothing about local tax dollars to support public free schools in Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Arkansas! A quick look at the purchasing cooperative offered by HCDE shows that Harris County tax payers are quite generous. Not only do they supply the beautiful building with state of the art technology supported by an abundance of personnel, they provide services so other organizations around the country can also benefit from HCDE. Organizations like:

APPLY VALLEY, MINNESOTA
BROWNSVILLE HOUSING AUTHRTY
BENBROOK WATER AUTHORITY
BRUNSWICK CITY SCHOOLS OH
CENIKOR FOUNDATION
DENTON COUNTY
DEVEREUX FOUNDATION
DONA ANA COUNTY, NM
EL PASO HOUSING FINANCE CORP
HIDALGO CTY DRAINAGE DIST #1
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
NORTH LITTLE ROCK S. DIST
O’FALLON, MISSOURI
RAINDROP FOUNDATION
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERS
SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIV
ST. CECILIA CATHOLIC SCHOOL
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES SCHOOL
 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN UNIVERSITY
TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE DIST
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
 TEXAS STATE TECH. COLLEGE
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY
TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI
TEXAS A&M COMMERCE
 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY HSC
REGION I ESC
 UNITED WAY GREATER HOUSTON
UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS
UNIV. TEXAS SYSTEM
 UNIVERSITY PARK, TEXAS
WESTERLY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (RI)
WEYMOUTH, MA.


A look at the way HCDE spends money shows it is NOT an “efficient system of public free schools”.
They use tax dollars to operate a fully staffed “Marketing” department. Now what school district offering a wonderful educational service to their local community needs a marketing department that travels all over the country promoting itself? What school district allows the purchase of $250 gift cards to be given as awards(door prizes) at conventions? What school district allows its administrators to stay at the Ritz Carlton? The list goes on and on. You can see for yourself by selecting any month at the bottom of the page:


11/03/2010

Target
Awards recognition
Gift card for recruitment booth at TOTA conf

$250.00

10/19/2010
Apogee Publications
Ads,Bids & Notices

Advertising - NAOEP

$1000.00

09/10/10
Global
Goals
Ads,Bids & Notices
TCUF – Conference
       Sponsorship

$2500.00

09/13/2010

NAEP INC
RentalSpace Events

TOAL conf booth

$650.00

09/23/2010

TASBO
RentalSpace Events

1 booth for CFP

$1050.00

12/21/2010
French
Corner

Food/refresh

Staff Luncheon Meeting

$611.50

11/03/2010
Filterfresh
Houston

Food/refresh

Tea & Coffee Service at

$3314.83

10/04/2010
Dave & Busters

Food/refresh
Dinner 4 the End of Yr. Policy Council Banquet

$1449.98

08/18/2010
Panera Bread #4111

Food/refresh
Lunch for mtg
w/League of Women Voters

$97.21
09/24/2010
SAMSCLUB #4712
General Supplies
Fall Festival door prizes
$77.78
09/27/2010
THE RITZ CARLTON PNTGN
Employee Travel-Lodging
Hotel Expence for CHarris
$724.35
09/17/2010
4IMPRINT
General Supplies
Promotional Items
$1,513.14
09/20/2010
APL*ITUNES
Software Purchases
Software for IPAD - L. Pitr
$36.77
09/10/2010
FINGERPRINT SERVICE
Professional Services
Fingerprint Services for Yolanda
$45.45
Link 1 and 2

From August to December of 2010, HCDE employees ate up $72,593 in “Food/Refreshment” purchases. In August alone a sampling of employee expenses totaled $34,257.58. One employee raked up $690.34 in taxi rides between HCDE owned buildings from August 2010 through February 2011.

When the Texas Constitution says…“support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools” it does NOT give a school board the power to tax local citizens and throw the money away on food, travel and pet projects, especially to benefit others outside their district and their state.   

In Part 4 we ask why Harris County Department of Education runs FOR PROFIT BUSINESSES.

In Part 5 you can sign the petition to stop this waste..

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