New Building and Economic Deficits: Schools Gets Some Changes


Students go in and out. Teachers begin their lesson plans for the year. The newly renovated building stands proudly in front of Klein Forest


It’s almost too good to be true.




The facility functions without air conditioning after 3:30 p.m.


And it’s not only the new building, it’s the whole school.


“Over the years,” Lance Alexander, principal of Klein Forest, said, “Property values went up along with taxes.”


In June 2018, Northwest Houston community members were asked to vote on a TRE or Tax Ratification Election.


According to the Houston Chronicle, this TRE was, “a plan to raise taxes… For a home valued at $200,000 with a $25,000 state homestead exemption, the tax increase would have amounted to about $13.13 more each month.”


The TRE or Tax Ratification Election didn’t pass.


“And the backside to the TRE not passing is that the state of Texas decreased money given to our school district, so now we rely more on taxpayer money,” Alexander said. “Not only did the tax increase, we had to cut $30 million,” he continued. “This included our grass not being cut regularly and our AC being turned off to save energy and $1.2 million. We also cut positions during the summer, but no personnel lost their job over this.”


Even if all faculty members kept their livelihoods, their benefits were no longer the same.


“We also had cutbacks toward teachers and employees directly,” Susan Murphy, associate principal for RTI and student performance, said. “Now, faculty has to pay more for healthcare. At the students’ benefit, teachers had to give,” Murphy said. “Everything goes back to the students.”


Regardless of the new building lacking air conditioning and the fire marshal not releasing the building until the evening of Thursday, August 16, “The CTE teachers did a phenomenal job,” Alexander said. “Since they only had one day to move in, their positive energy and attitude made the transition smoother and gives kids the opportunity to look into state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure.”