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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 18, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERAT PELS Water Restrictions New Braunfels Utilities customers cannot water today Well users with addresses end Ing In 8 or 9 can water today after 8 ITUNG Vol 149 No 202 18 pages in 2 sections August 18 2000 FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents grades TEA releases school performance ratings rates local districts BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer The Texas Education Agency rate Comal and New Braunfels school districts as according to ratings released Thursday TEA released the annual Academic Excellent Indicator System on Thursday For the first time Comal Elementary in Comal school district earned the highest rating of exem Both school districts jumped from academically acceptable ratings this past year the third highest rating to recognized status this year TEA rates public schools and districts as exem plary recognized acceptable or lowperform ing Ratings are based on Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test scores attendance rates and dropout rates TAAS tests measure students knowledge of math reading and writing Beginning this school year attendance will not be used in ratings calculations TEA Commissioner Jim Nelson said a record number of Texas public schools and districts received the states highest academic ratings this year TEA classified schools and 167 school districts as exemplary and schools and 435 districts as To get a recognized rating a school district or campus must have a TAAS passing rate of 80 percent or more a dropout rate of percent or less for all stu dents and each student group and an attendance rate of at least 94 percent or bet ter Several schools in both local districts received the recognized rating This year an acceptable rating required 50 percent of all students and in each student group to pass the TAAS test This past year the state required a passing rate of 45 percent Student groups are classified as Hispanic K JESSIE Above Comal Elementary students in Mrs Clecklers thirdgrade class learn the table of contents in their new school books Third and fourthgrade classes at Comal Elementary earned exemplary ratings from the state the highest rating given Below Tyler Figol left and Cameron Pawelek right read along with the rest of their thirdgrade class AfricanAmerican white and economically dis advantaged However TEA also rated an increased number of schools as low performing Nelson said We are not surprised that the number of lowperforming campuses rose from 96 to 157 in 2000 because it got harder to achieve See REPORT CARD Texas public schools are rated on three factors dropout rates attendance rates and student passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills A school or district must have the same TAAS pass and dropout rates for each of four student groups Hispanic AfricanAmerican white and economically disadvantaged What the ratings mean Exemplary percent or more of the total stu dents and student groups pass all sections of the TAAS dropout rate of 1 percent or less for all students and each student group and an attendance rate of 94 percent or better Recognized 80 percent or more of the total stu dents and student groups passing all sections of the TAAS dropout rate of percent or less for all stu dents and each student group and an attendance rate of 94 percent or better Acceptable percent of all students and stu dent groups pass all sections of the TAAS a dropout rate of 6 percent of less for all students and each stu dent group and an attendance rate of 94 percent or better Low performing campus academically unac ceptable districts At least one student group or the total students in a district or campus had a TAAS passing rate of less than 50 percent a dropout rate of more than 6 percent or an attendance rate below 94 percent WORD votes no to secure extra water BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ HeraldZeitung Correspondent Comal County Water Ori ented Recreation District opt ed not to pay for increased flow on the Guadalupe River for the Labor Day weekend WORD board members considered a firstofitskind plan to pay the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority about for extra releases from Canyon Lake The water buy was aimed at improving recre ational flows The drought has drowned parks lakes and rivers and related businesses with prob lems including low flow levels and visitor numbers San Antonio is pumping water into the San Antonio river to protect tourism while we choke WORD board member Zero Rivers said Now businesses and vis itors will deal with the current sputtering river flow Also Wednesday WORD discussed a plan to tax people who use their own tubes and rafts on the river The tax or fee would be applied to those who use private equipment on the river and enter at public access points WORD manager George D Cushanick said people could enter the river at four to six access points near bridges board members want to study how we could go into it using an annual pass not unlike a fishing Cushanick said Taxes supplement river policing and cleanup and bring in between and annually About people float the river each year Businesses that rely on water traffic already pay a fee for equipment such as boats and hotel rooms People who rent tubes or other floating equip ment pay a tax on inner tubes Outfitters say making their customers shoulder the brunt of river maintenance and cleanup costs is unfair Were trying to level the playing field so all partici pants pay their Rivers said Board members question how a tax on private tubes would be managed and enforced Board member Charles Stephens said I feel like this is an exercise in futility I want more information so if we decide to do this we can explain Police seeking babys parents BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer New Braunfels Police Department officials are con tinuing to search for the par ents of a baby that was aban doned outside McKenna Memorial Hospital a week ago and are urging anyone with information to come forward The Hispanic baby girl named McKenna Hope by hospital staff was found by a hospital team member between and 8 Friday behind a concrete bench outside the employee entrance on Union Street Tim Brierty McKenna Health System president and CEO said the baby was dis charged from the hospital Tuesday and is currently in the care of foster parents Steven deLemos Comal County assistant district attor ney said Child Protective Ser vices received temporary cus tody of the baby earlier this week Detective Sean Gabbard with the New Braunfels Police Department said the parents have not been identified but information provided by the public and from Crimestop pers phone calls has given some leads in the investiga tion A lot of the information is the same and has correlated about particular individuals Hopefully sometime in the next few days we can get some identification on the person See CISD commits budget BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal Independent School Dis trict trustees took only 11 minutes approve a million budget for the 20002001 school year Thurs day No one attending Thursdays tax rate hearing addressed the board about the proposed per valuation tax rate Trustees approved the tax rate in a 61 vote with trustee Nick Nichols casting the dissenting vote The 20002001 tax rate is lower than the 19992000 tax rate of per valuation Trustees also voted 52 to approve the budget which is million more than the 19992000 budget Trustee John Bertelsen joined Nichols in voting against the budget Bertelsen said he was concerned the district was spending too much compared to projected enrollment figures Last year the board approved a million budget for a pro jected students and we only had about students Yet we spent the full he said This year were forecasting students and we have a million budget which is mil lion more than last year for 200 fewer Nichols said he was concerned about inequitable allocation of funding to campuses My concern is that we are spending more money on some campuses and possibly some cam puses arent getting he said Nichols also said he voted against the tax rate because he did See INSIDE Key Code 76 Water break K JESSIE NBUs Eusebio Perez Chris Kusak Gus Lara and Flomtino Sosa left to right work to fix a watermain that ruptured early Thursday afternoon
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