New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 10, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung □ Thursday, July 10,1997 □ 5A
carry IDs in foil
By DENISE DZIUK
Canyon High School students will be issued new identification badges at registration this year as part of a pilot program aimed at increasing efficiency and safety of the campus.
On Tuesday, Comal Independent School District board of trustees approved implementing an identification system at CHS, with the possibility of expanding it throughout the district.
CHS assistant principal Charles Adams said the students already get badges that the
‘We’re getting so big we dont know every student by name and taco.... Wo just think it will improve safety and overall efficiency of the school.’
— Charles Adams . CHS assistant principal
school makes. The badges are issued at the time of registration and are used to issue text books.
Under the new system, Adams explained, the potential uses of the badge were numerous. He said badges could be coded to simplify basic operations such as issuing text books, knowing which bus a young child shouId.be on and keeping track of which students ate in the cafeteria. In addition, administrators could print out a class roster with names and pictures for substitute teachers or chaperones on field trips. They also would be able to tell which students belonged on campus.
“If they don’t have one on, they’re not supposed to be in there,” said Adams. “We’re
getting so big we don’t know every student by name and face. ... We just think it will improve safety and overall efficiency of the school.”
The machine that makes the badges will cost about $15,000 and the machine will be able to make cards for anyone in the district. The cards will cost about 48 cents each. The money to fund the system will come out of the current budget.
Adams said the new cards would be available for CHS students at registration. Initially they will be used for issuing text books, keeping track of cafeteria users,
keeping track of bus riders and gaining Internet authorization.
“Right off the bat, we’re going to give it a try,” he said. “If it works, we’ll expand to other campuses and expand what we’re doing.”
The new system would require revisions to the handbook, Adams explained, and a policy would have to be developed to determine how to deal with students who did not have their badges. He said after talking to other schools with similar systems, such as Judsoni Northeast and Northsi.de, he did not expect any major problems. ;
Comal ISD buys more portables
By DENISE DZIUK
The typical response to deal with overcrowding is to find additional space, and Comal Independent School District, which cannot build schools fast enough, is having to find that space in portable classrooms.
CISD currently has 25 two-classroom portable buildings on IO campuses. Principals requested an additional 14, and on Tuesday, the board of trustees approved purchasing six more.
CISD Superintendent Jerry Major said despite the recent opening of new schools, the original 25 portable buildings are still in use. He said teachers who previously did not have classrooms are now using those rooms, and additional space was needed.
“We’re never going to get out of die portable business,” Major said.
“I thought at one time we might, but I don’t think we ever will.”
The board plans to meet with a committee that has developed a plan to deal with future growth. That committee is recommending more new schools. However, Major said, the district is still faced with the crowding problem. He said without the extra portable buildings, it would mean “larger classes and classes in every nook and cranny.”
“These are to house the kids that are on the campuses right now, not any extras,” he said.
The buildings will cost about $300,000. The only other option was to lease them at $40,000 a year for each, which Major said would cost more. The funds to pay for the buildings will come out of the district’s savings account, or the fund balance.
“This is one of those one-shot deals we feel comfortable using
fund balance on,” he said.
At the same time the boatd approved the portable buildings, it approved the construction of a 1,500-square-foot storage facility for text books. The building vrill cost a maximum of $25,000, Major said.
In another item related to increased student population, the board reviewed the additional 33 personnel positions the administration requested. Board members expressed concern regarding the tight budget and the amount of money it would take to fill those positions. Personnel director Caroline Wemli could not give the district a firm figure on the impact to the budget but said the positions were needed to staff the new school opening later this year while safely and efficiently running existing schools.
The board will consider the personnel items later this month.
—Schertz Elementary gets grant
SCHERTZ — The Lower Colorado River Authority and the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative have awarded a grant of $8,480 for a project that will benefit school children and other residents of Guadalupe County.
Schertz Elementary School received the grant to help buy and install fitness station equipment and landscaping for a walking and fitness trail behind the school gymnasium. The fitness stations will include chinning bars, pushup bars and other exercise equipment that will be available for use by the school as well as other residents of the community.
The grants are among the 30,
totaling $352,125, that were awarded in June through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, now in its second year. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other non-profit organizations in LCRA’s 58-county electric and water service area.
Ann 11-member board made up of LCRA’s general manager, three board members and seven water and electric customers awards the grants. LCRA’s board of directors set aside $1 million for grants made in 1997. The Guadalupe Valley Electric
Cooperative is one of LCRA’s 44 wholesale electric customers and a participant in the Community Development Partnership Program.
TLU offers second term courses
SEGUIN — A variety of extended learning opportunities will be offered through Texas Lutheran University’s Extended LEaming Department later in July.
A flier describing courses is available at the TLU Extended Learning office in Beck Center.
For more information, call 830-372-8047.
Fewer blacks, Hispanics attend universities after Hopwood
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DALLAS (AP) — Ron Kirk has no problem looking past race. As Dallas’ first black mayor, he routinely notes that he represents all ethnic groups in city affairs.
Race, however, has become a big deal for Kirk and others who are finding it difficult to accept a court ruling that apparently will leave the •University of Texas Law School with its smallest minority enrollment since the 1970s.
“I find it incomprehensible that in less than 40 years, we would go from the state of Texas saying that you cannot come to our law school for the sole reason of the color of your skin ... from that type of sanctioned discrimination to saying we won’t
~tt» 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down tho University of Taxas School of Law** admissions policy, which was meant to boost enrollment of blacks and Mexican-AmsricEiHi_
even take into account race to address that evil and legally sanctioned practice of apartheid and segregation in the South,” said Kirk, who attended the Texas law school from 1976 to 1979.
Joe Jamail was one of the whites who attended classes in the early 1950s with the Texas law school’s first group of black students Jamail, best known for the $10.5 billion verdict he won for Pennzoil against Texaco and giver of about $50 million to Texas universities, says he is “sick” over declining enrollment figures for blacks and Hispanics.
I think it was a slap in the face to all minorities,” Jamail said.
The slap that shook Jamail and Kirk was delivered by a federal appeals court ruling that abolished the use of race as a factor in deciding who should get into school.
In the case named after lead
plaintiff Cheryl Hopwood, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the University of Texas School of Law’s admissions policy, which was meant to boost enrollment of blacks and Mexican-Americans.
The appeals court said the policy discriminated against whites, and the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the ruling, which applies to Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, to stand.
Texas Attorney General Dan Morales issued an opinion after the ruling stating that no Texas college or university can use race in admissions and financial aid decisions unless the Legislature determines that there are remaining effects of past discrimination.
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White House considers higher Medicare premiums for affluent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is welcoming word that President Clinton now will consider raising premiums on the most affluent Medicare recipients, one of the highest-profile proposals in the bipartisan drive to balance the budget.
The administration shift represents an important concession in its efforts to reach compromise this month with Republicans on legislation aimed at eliminating budget deficits by 2002. The Senate's budget-outting legislation would boost monthly premiums on the highest-earning elderly, but until now Clinton opposed including the idea in the current budget-balancing effort. He has only favored it as part of broader attempts to overhaul health-care programs.
Lott, R-Miss., said Tuesday that White House officials had not told him of their change of heart. But he said, “That would be a really important move on their part. That would make our job a lot easier.”
Clinton’s change does not ensure that the proposal will be approved. Administration officials said Clinton still opposed the Senate version of the plan and would not accept it if it endangered passage of the overall budget-cutting legislation.
“The president is open to a higher-income premium but has not made up his mind” because of
his concerns. Gene Sperling, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said Tuesday.
“We’re going to be talking about that over the next couple of days,” White House chief of staff Erskinc Bowles said as he entered a meeting with congressional leaders.
Under the Senate-aproved plan, the premium would be raised for the highest-earning 5 percent of seniors — individuals earning $50,000 annually and couples earning $75,000.
The premium would increase according to income, hitting a maximum $180 a month next year for individuals earning $100,000 and couples making $125,000. The monthly premium currently is $43.80.
Clinton still opposed another part of the Senate measure that would increase the eligibility age for the program from 65 to 67, said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Opponents say the proposal could force people age 63 and 66 to purchase expensive, private health insurance if they retire before they become eligible for Social Security. The Senate proposal would gradually raise the Medicare eligibility age on the same schedule as increases in the Social Security retirement age already put in place.
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