Friday, May 7, 2004

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 7, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas ZEITUNG CLOSE CALL Canyon girls softball team drops playoff match 21 against Medina Valley Page SA SAVINGS COUPON Bring in this advertisement to save an additional 10 percent on your next purchase at the Hunting Camp Page 6A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 Vol 163 No 183 12 pages 2 sections CK i DEARABBY 3B www FRONT and CENTER DAVID New Braunfels High School Physics teacher KP ZiarKovyski talks with sophomore Mia Bakken in class Thursday afternoon Ziarkowski supports by state that a health for teachers 4 if Unhealthy hit to teachers pockets Teachers monthly insurance premiums CISDpays employee pays remaining Employee only Employee spouse Employee chil Employee fami ly NBISDpays employee pays remaining Employee only Employee spouse Employee chil dren Employee fami ly By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Most teachers do not choose their pro fession based on the pay and benefits Ziarkowski physics and chem istry teacher at New Braunfels High School said he left a 14year career in retail and financial management because he wanted to do something important Im here for the kids not the he said I like to get up and go to work every morning Teaching is an impor tant On the other hand Ziarkowski has to pay his bills including everincreasing health insurance costs In 2001 the state Legislature voted to assist teachers with a health insurance supplement When they first gave it to us it helped me out a lot Ziarkowski said It covered copays dental plans and Because the money was added direct ly to teachers paychecks it could be used for anything they wanted The next year the state reduced the supplement to for teachers for parttime district employees and eliminated principals and administra tors assistance altogether Now they want to take that and make it hard for us to get Ziarkows ki said And well be paying someone millions of dollars to manage it for In 2003 legislators enacted HB 3257 creating health reimbursement accounts where the supplement will be stored beginning Sept 1 Aetna Insurance was selected to man age the accounts and stands to earn roughly million from Texas teachers At the point the account is activated by the first withdrawal Aetna will initiate a per month said Sandy Hill New Braunfels Independent School Dis trict executive director of business and support services If the teacher choos es to request a debit card to access his or her account Aetna will charge an addi tional per Ziarkowski said he and other teach ers would rather have seen the mil lion spent on Texas children Most teachers that Ive talked to here agree that they should have just taken the he said Then Aetna is not making a lot of money and hope fully it would go somewhere else in edu Hill and Ziarkowski expressed con cern that employees who did not select a debit card which could be used when paying for office visits or prescriptions would find the paperwork process intim idating Hill said officials with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas were unsure whether money in the accounts would roll over at the end of each year or be returned to the state There is a possibility that the accounts will be eliminated before September by HB29 coauthored by Rep Carter Gas teel RNew Braunfels The bill would reinstate the supplement direct ly to teachers paychecks Ziarkowski said he hoped it would pass money is so much handier in our he said i COMICS 2B I CROSSWORD 2i i FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A j SPORTS 56A I TV GRIDS 3B W Mostly cloudy High Low 83 65 DetailsIB Funding bill would eliminate TAKS test AUSTIN AP A provision in the school finance bill approved by the House this week would replace the high school Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exitlevel test with a series of endofcourse exams that students would have to pass before they graduate But the measure doesnt have much support across the rotunda where the Senate is drafting their own school finance legislation I dont think change is good at this point in said Sen Royce West D Dallas Let our students get adjusted It took them a long time to get adjusted to the TAAS test now we have this test Now were talking about endoftheyear tests Teachers have said parents are saying their children are tested Students in llth grade this year are the first to be required to pass the more difficult TAKS test in order to graduate from high school We have worked so diligently to get the TAKS to now change it It does not seem appropriate at this said Sen Florence Shapiro a Piano Republi can who cochaifs a jointpublkreduca tion committee We have a TAKS test that has been very well vetted that has been in the process for at least five years and its probably an inappropriate time to make that kind of change so it will not be in our The llthgraders took the test last week and results are expected by the end of this month About students are predicted to fail Instead of the TAKS the Texas Educa tion Agency would be required to have four new exams in science and three each in English math and social studies in place by the 200809 school year We need a more specific way of iden tifying what areas kids need additional help said Andrew Blifford legislative See FUNDING Page 3A BEGINNINGS CHRISTIAN CENTER Pastor Rick and Angis Jackson Nondenamin ational 80 Masting time 10 am Sundays Address 227 Courtyard Phone I Worship ayte charismatic I Mission state ment A healthy body of betevers that tranches out to bring healing of the soul mind and body to vwfl fcr a Church gives people new beginnings through healing By Leigh Staff Writer Pastor Rick Jackson teaches his con gregation at New Beginnings Christian Center to share their blessings with oth ers We dont just believe in giving people Jackson said in Last year Jackson imparted his hearing to Adrianjna Martinez 13 Martinez who suffered a significant hearing loss at age 4 prayed and fasted for seven days before approaching Jack son at the end of an evening service My daughter told me she wanted to participate in the prayer services because she was going to believe God for a said Adriannas mom Grace On the last night Jackson told ears and she would hear a i Grape said she was amazed when her e eyes opened wide It was scary in a Adrianna said I had no doubt at all that it would hap pen When I came back to school I told people Youll never believe what hap pened to After that night Grace said her daugh ter stopped needing her hearing aides and her grades improved In the last year Adrianna has moved out of special education classes at Smith son Valley Middle School and now is in the honor society Its a big Adrianna said Theres no denial that I did get healed Everything about my school work has changed The excitement of that night is still with Adriannas story is just one example of Jacksons hands on approach take things that happen in peoples lives totals community he said See Page 3A