May 26, 2003
A Follow Up to The Community Scholars Article
Thanks for posting my "e-letter to editor." You are free to post my name at the end. Just please don't use my e-mail address -- as I don't want any of that spam crap. Also, the "H" was deleted on the introductory "Hi" of the article.
Your article Number II was MORE DETAILED -- and DID ASK some pretty interesting questions. So just PUT IN a simple Texas Open Records Request to the three school districts -- asking for the number of students funded; amount provided per year; number of years participating, and total cost to date.
In addition, the Community Scholars used to have a WEB-SITE. Senator Shapleigh's office may be able to help you as this info simply isn't hidden. Take some time and examine the quality of their reports. SADLY, if you elect to concentrate only on that "Access To Capital Report" -- you really end-up looking like AGENTS for the banks. From the banks stand point -- it would also help if folks took some time and re-examined that UTEP Access To Capital Report. Believe it cost the LRC about $75K, plus there was some "good poop" in it.
Believe one of the things the students do each year -- after they issue a report -- is go to AUSTIN and give their results to legislators. Therefore, it should be easy to determine if they help bring money back to El Paso. One report that I examined involved higher education. Believe they were really trying to HELP UTEP get MORE FUNDING. Wasn't very impressed with that report -- because it looked like it had a pre-determined conclusion. Felt the narrative discussion/argument was poor, plus they tried "to wow" you with all the charts. In my MBA business writing course I likely would have gotten a C grade. But that's the supervisor's fault -- not the students -- who are eager to learn and do a good job! So in fairness to the students -- that and the "Access Report" are the only two reports than I've taken the time to examine.
As an ANKLE-BITER, I didn't get all "bent out of shape" when they approached YISD -- because it was done in an open, public manner! The press was there -- plus believe I may have even seen a news article reporting the approach. In addition, didn't even fault the trustees -- because I knew the students went to Austin on the community's behalf. Their basic concern was to help El Paso get ITS FAIR SHARE -- so really not sure that I would fault them for that! Since state and school districts' "economic times" have now changed -- plus this program has apparently been in place for some time -- a simple RE-examination/RE-evaluation may be in order. In short, you ask some good OVERSIGHT questions -- therefore, if you keep them on a PROFESSIONAL LEVEL -- all may benefit.
Thank you, Mike Rooney.
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