PolitiJim readers will remember the retired, 30 year school teacher who began to expose a “fake” school district in Houston that collects millions of tax payer dollars but has no official students. She hasn’t stopped her crusade against waste and, in fact, has nearly single handedly taken this $100 million monstrosity on by herself which should be a lesson to all T.E.A. Party patriots everywhere. By attending meetings, filing Freedom of Information Act requests and publicizing her findings through TexasTrashTalk.com, she has begun to get the attention of the State Attorney General and others.
Sarah P: Here is your power of one.
The back story summary is this: When INDEPENDENT School Districts (ISDs) began to take the place of COUNTY school districts back in the 1950’s – the COUNTY districts either were merged into the new ISD’s or just shut down. Through Texas political hijinks, payoffs and manipulation, the power brokers kept their “fake school” long after students were no longer enrolled, and kept their taxing authority in place to fleece Houston area residents. This obsolete district, does take children for services from other schools, but taxpayers are ALREADY paying state taxes for these exact same services performed by regional service centers. Meanwhile they spend $100K for the mayor of nearby towns, lavish dinners and hundreds of thousands on liberal lobbyists to get more Federal money. In other words, tax payers are paying for bureaucrats to find ways to be taxed more.
When this “fake” school district (the Harris County Board of Education, or HCDE) failed to report their redistricting boundary changes, HCDE sued the county to cover up their mistake. And that may not have been very smart. The combination of picking a fight with the Harris County (Houston) Commissioners while voting to put Harris County taxpayers at risk for an additional $1 Million to start a for-profit business that will compete with other Harris County, and Texas businesses, may finally be the heap of hubris that will halt this decades long scam.
TexasTrashTalk.com (TTT) has peeled layer after stinking layer of fraud and abuse, but has finally figured out what they’ve been hiding all this time. Namely, they either ignore the laws that keep them in operation – or simply rewrite them without the knowledge of the State of Texas.
TTT has outlined three areas that explain how HCDE has hidden their tax payer theft.
- By law,the $18 million HCDE collects from county property owners is to be distributed to the REAL schools (ISD’s) in Harris County. But not a single penny has made it to a single ISD. HCDE simply ignores the law.
- Another law dictates that these collected taxes ONLY be used in Harris County. But HCDE underwrites infrastructure and administration costs for servicing 400 other schools – many in places like Minnesota and Massachusetts! Again, HCDE simply ignores the law.
- In another case when HCDE didn’t ignore the law – THEY SIMPLY REWROTE IT in their own literature. They changed language in a bill that told them to provide information to the Commissioner of Education into language to perform any functions conferred on them by the Commissioner of Education.
AND this hidden little bureaucracy has been doing it for DECADES! How? Because no citizen until to now has taken the responsibility to truly ask what they are doing. Or to persistently find out what LAW gives them the right to take our money.
T.E.A. Party patriots, THIS is how you do it. You show up, ask questions and research. And unchecked, government only grows and grows and grows until there are too many greedy pigs feeding at the trough to fight to remove it.
Likely if you don’t do it – no one will.
Just as the corrupt politicians get their “experience” and track record to run for higher office from these little entry level government entities – so too can we cultivate good government watchdogs. Please read the entire article here. It can serve as a format of how to start policing your own LOCAL school districts, city councils, public library or park committees to find out how money is spent. And as we educate and elect REALLY prudent stewards of our tax dollars – these are the folks who will eventually rise to take on bigger and bigger fish.