New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 1, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
• SPORTS, 6
Astros, Rangers start campaigns
Grit and Groove Festival Saturday
Miller resigns from CISD board
FRIDAY, APRIL 1,2011Zeitung
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
504NBISD to nearly 120: Resign or be fired
By Will Wright
New Braunfels Independent School District on Thursday gave nearly 120 probationary professionals the option of resigning rather than face contractual termination.
Principals met with those professionals at NBISD’s 11 campuses, explaining that the district's project
ed 2011-12 budget shortfall of at least $7.6 million — and not knowing the exact future of state public school funding—have led to a decision not to extend to them contracts for the upcoming school year.
“We wanted our probationary contract employees to know that it would be recommended at the special school board meeting on April 7 that their contracts would be terminat
ed at this time,” NBISD public information officer Stephanie Ferguson said. "This meeting was scheduled because the Texas Education Code requires that teachers know whether they have a contract 45 days prior to the last day of school.
“Under current law, April 12 would be the last day to notify teachers they would not have a position.”
Those employees were told they
had the right to resign or be terminated. Because there is no resume distinction regarding termination for cause and termination because of a school district’s financial emergency, there understandably is some concern.
"While it’s a personal decision for each person, some did not want the “termination” on their records,” Ferguson said.
Resignations will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The NBISD board will meet in a special budget workshop session April 7, when Superintendent Randy Moczygemba will formally recommend not extending contracts to those probationary employees who haven’t resigned.
► KRUEGER DAM
County hires firm to start project
By Greg Bowen
Work on Krueger Canyon Dam will begin soon under a $4.8 million contract approved Thursday by Comal County commissioners, who must have the dam built in 16 months or face losing millions in federal funds.
The contract calls for Maryland-headquartered Hayward Baker Geotechni-cal Construction to build a “deep wall” that will reach in places as far as 100 feet into the earth to ensure stability of the planned dam.
“We’ll give Hayward Baker a notice to proceed and they’ll begin mobilizing immediately,” County Engineer Tom Hornseth said.
Plans are for the deep wall to be completed in early August, Hornseth said. As Hayward Baker is wrapping up its work, a yet-to-be-hired contractor will move in to begin construction of the actual dam, which is scheduled for completion in July 2012.
County officials must have the dam finished by the end of July 2012 or risk forfeiting $12.2 million in federal funds allocated for the $16.3 million project.
“It’s a tight schedule. There’s no doubt about it. But, according to our engineer, that is an achievable date,” Hornseth said.
The Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols engineering firm was hired earlier this year to engineer the flood-control structure planned for west of New Braunfels.
Hayward Baker will bring in special machinery that will not only dig the trench for the deep wall but will simultaneously mix concrete with materials excavated from the dam site in the trenching process to form the deep wall. It’s a proprietary, patented method, officials say.
Officials have said the dam, had it been in place, could have reduced the June 2010 flooding by a foot or two, according to a county study done to determine how much the dam, working in conjunction with existing flood-control structures, would reduce peak flood flows in New Braunfels.
MOCK WRECK TEACHES REAL-LIFE LESSONS
Emergency responders transport a teenage "victim" ofThursday's mock accident to a waiting AirLIFE helicopter as the Smithson Valley High School student body looks on.
Smithson Valley High students observe consequences of drunken driving
By Will Wright
When metal and glass collide, the consequences can be disastrous. i
Smithson Valley High School juniors and seniors got to see it firsthand Thursday morning, as Bul-verde, Spring Branch and Comal County emergency services personnel —and talented high school actors — demonstrated what can happen when people drink and
View Laura McKenzie's photo gallery exclusively online
The simulation, entitled “Shattered Dreams,” was staged at the high school parking lot. It featured two tom-up vehicles—a Ford pickup truck with a smashed-in front
end and broken windshield and an upside-down Toyota Corolla—and screaming and injured teens.
About 1,000 students watched as EMS ambulances, fire trucks and sheriff’s deputies arrived. As one student, dressed up as the Grim Reaper and holding a giant scythe looked on, emergency services personnel brought out the Jaws of Life to get to a bloodied boy and girl trapped inside the Toyota.
See SHATTERED, Page 5
Christus CEO: Protect health care funding
By Greg Bowen
While school districts have been doing a great job of explaining just how badly state budget cuts would hurt schools, the health care industry hasn’t been as vocal in getting out its own message about what cuts could mean to hospitals and their patients. That’s why Patrick
Carrier, president/CEO of Christus Santa Rosa Health System, and other
hospital industry leaders went before the public on Thursday.
Carrier and other health care CEOs had a press conference in San Antonio Thursday morning, and Carrier visited New Braunfels’ Chrisms Santa Rosa facility to spread the word later in the day.
He said schools and health care face the biggest cuts under state budget proposals.
“Right now, as the state budget cuts are presented, we could lose up to $200 million in funding over the budget biennium for health care services in the San Antonio area,”
“Cuts of that magnitude could be absolutely devastating. Our hopes are we can change that before it’s passed into law.”
Put that kind of financial strain on any business, he said, and things would have to change.
For hospitals like Christus Santa Rosa-New Braunfels, the cuts would result in a reduction in health care services and longer waiting times.
“Certainly, loss of jobs would also be a high potential,” he said.
See FUNDING, Page 5
See NBISD, Page 5
► 13 TEACHERS RESIGN
CISD OKs contracts
By Will Wright
The Comal Independent School District board of trustees unanimously approved extending contracts for most of its term-contracted and probationary employees for 2011-12 during Thursday’s board meeting.
Of the 65 probationary positions slated for elimination, early retirements and resignations took care of most of them. Thirteen probationary teachers opted to resign, and four contracts were not offered — on die recommendation of Superintendent Marc Walker, who is awaiting further word on state school funding.
“We don’t at this point intend on rehiring any teachers,” Walker said. “And most likely we won’t rehire anyone who has resigned or retired.”
Comal ISD is preparing for $16.8 million budget shortfall for 2011-12. Depending on which of several bills now before the Legislature pass, that hole could expand to as much as $30 million — according to estimates published this week by an Austin-based school finance firm.
See COMAL ISD, Page 5
HOUSE OKS USING S3.1B FROM RAINY DAY FUND
AUSTIN (AP)—The Texas House tentatively agreed to use more than $3.1 billion from the Rainy Day Fund Thursday as part of a package of legislation intended to help pay the state's bills for the remaining five months of the 3)11 budget
Both Democrats and Republicans agreed to tap the fund in the 142-2 vote, though Democrats made repeated pleas to use more.
Democrats did not support a bill that was approved earlier in the day, which made spending cuts to help balance the 2011 budget They urged using more of the reserve fund to pay for education, nursing homes and other programs that are expected to get slashed.
“What we are using from the Rainy Day Fund right now will not keep the nursing homes open. They will close,“ said Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, estimating five out of six nursing homes in Harris County will close because of cuts to state funding. “Teachers will be laid off. There will not be new textbooks."
Vol. 158, No. 121 12 pages, 1 section
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