Tuesday, March 21, 2017


By Juan Montoya

After local school districts unleashed a firestorm of protest over his bill to consolidate the eight school districts in Cameron County into one, Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. announced this afternoon that he is pulling the bill and instead is filing one that would authorize a "study" to see whether it was feasible to do it.

Lucio had filed the bill on March 10, but it wasn't until today that knowledge of it was widespread and blazed on the Internet social media. The bill had not been sent to any committees for study. In private phone calls, he is said to have told them that the filing of the bill was "premature" and that it had been an "office screw-up" that it had been filed.

Lucio made the sudden turnaround after word got out on the social media and then on to mainstream media. In a telephone interview with KRGV Channel 5 on the 6 p.m. news, Lucio said he was pulling the bill. The station reported that Cameron County trustees and administrators of the local districts said they were never consulted about the bill.

Senate Bill 2112 contained a section that states:
Sec. 13.183. CONSOLIDATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CERTAIN OTHER TERRITORY. Effective July 1, 2018, each school district wholly located in a county subject to this subchapter and any detached territory to which Section 13.182 applies are consolidated into a single countywide school district.

Some Brownsville Independent School District trustees and administrators – speaking on condition of anonymity called the bill a "harebrained idea." 
Senate Bill 02112 also called for a governance provision that called for "the the board of trustees of the consolidating school district wholly located in the county that had the largest enrollment during the 2017-2018 school year serves as the board of trustees of the consolidated district until the next uniform election date, at which time the consolidated school district shall elect a board of trustees.

In Cameron County that board of trustees would be that of the Brownsville Independent School District.

"Can you imagine the BISD board that can hardly manage its own district running the entire county?," asked an incredulous Asst. Area Superintendent when told of the Lucio bill.

Other provisions called for the formation of the board along county commissioners precincts and one at-large commissioner, making it a nine-member board.
It called for "two trustees elected from each county commissioners precinct and one trustee elected from the county at large."

 "Seven BISD trustees can't manage a $500 million budget," said the same administrator. "Can you imagine nine managing a budget made up of all the school districts in the county? What is Lucio thinking?"

Others saw it as an open invitation for the smaller cities and districts in the county to jump on the charter school bandwagon.
"Can you imagine Los Fresnos or San Benito taking orders from Harlingen? Same for Olmito taking orders from Brownsville. They'd rather go independent or charter. This just opens the door to the charter schools. People will leave the district like rats."

Lucio's bill also called for property tax income and assumption of the debt from all the districts to be controlled by the new countywide district.

"Title to all property of the consolidating districts wholly located in the county vests in the consolidated district, and the consolidated district assumes and is liable for the outstanding indebtedness of those consolidating districts."

Apparently based on his thinking that consolidation would increase efficiency, the bill called for a report to be sent to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and presiding officer of each standing legislative committee with primary jurisdiction over public education that "evaluates the operation of the consolidated school district to determine whether an increase in administrative efficiency or any cost savings have resulted from the countywide consolidation of school districts and any applicable detached territory; and makes recommendations for any additional legislative action to enhance the efficiency of the operation of the consolidated district."

If the bill had gone through and received two-thirds of the vote of all the members elected to each house, it would have taken effect immediately. If it did not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, it called for it to take effect September 1, 2017.

Some school administrators said that passage of Lucio's bill would have removed local control from the smaller districts and imposed the will of the nine-member board on the outlying cities and favor the larger populations in Harlingen and Brownsville.

"Can you imagine Santa Maria, Los Fresnos or Santa Rosa electing someone when part of their commissioner's precinct is in Harlingen?," said one. "And Brownsville will elect their reps and displace those of Port Isabel and Olmito."     


Anonymous said...

"Pendejo" is a Lucio family middle name...

cantinflas said...

I see it as a whats in it for me bill. Time for eddie lucio to retire or be retired by the voters, same for rene oliveria, both of these dinosaurs have served their time and purpose, time for a change.

Anonymous said...

FUCK NO! Not one penny to "Study" the isssue! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!

Anonymous said...

What an ass, this guy is. Why do we put up with this. BISD can't run itself properly, much less everyone else. Can you imagine these idiots in charge of the size of budget that would result from this move.

As it is, BISD should be split up, itself, into more than one district, since the $$$ is flowing to the compadres, too easily.

They should pass a bill to "study" why that fucking ass keeps getting elected by "we the people," despite all his misdeeds.

This "study" no doubt will be awarded to Carlos Marin, or one of his other greedy, loser friends.

They MUST both be un-elected.

Anonymous said...

So what?

Anonymous said...

A person with such poor judgment should not be representing us.

Anonymous said...

someone told him he was in hot water with the local voters and he still wants to keep on eating the whole PIE.

Anonymous said...

Eddie "slick eddie" probably was paid by a lobby guy to do this for

$ 10,000 or $ 100,000, in my opinion, any senator will do anything

crazy like this bill if a lobby guy offers to buy.

Crazy eddie does not care for any voter except for the lobby people

who pay pay pay

The republican party and lucio in 2018 yes yes yes fuck the dumb

democrat voters !

Anonymous said...

Why would he submit such a bill without consulting with the various school districts involved? The question becomes Who benefits? Knowing Lucio, someone, somewhere is calling the shots and he is carrying the water. Somebody was going to make money or gain power or both off this deal. If he truly had the interest of the districts and their students and teachers in mind it seems beyond reason that he would not get with them first. A reporter told me once, years ago, that Lucio never met a lobbyist he didn't like. Who has been paying his greens fees and buying him meals and booze and contributing to his campaign fund? that may offer a clue as to who gains.

Anonymous said...

The Father and the Turd. Mexicans pretending to be White. Pendejos y Ojetes.