SAN BENITO — The city doesn’t want some of its local students bused to Brownsville.
Earlier this week, city commissioners approved a resolution supporting the San Benito school district’s opposition to the Brownsville district’s drive to realign school boundary lines.
“We’d like to see that boundary protected,” City Manager Manuel De La Rosa told commissioners Tuesday night.
The city’s resolution calls on state lawmakers to oppose Brownsville’s proposal, arguing it would pose safety risks to local students bused to Brownsville schools.
In December, the Brownsville school board proposed redrawing its district’s boundaries to match up with extended city limit lines.
In response, the Los Fresnos school district called on area lawmakers to stop the drive.
North of Brownsville, the proposed realignment would shift millions of tax dollars.
“The city commission’s recognition of the safety of students as it relates to the longer times and greater distances our students would travel if part of BISD is important as we focus on the welfare of our students,” schools Superintendent Nate Carman stated yesterday.
The resolution also argues Brownsville’s plan irrationally aims to align its district’s boundaries with city limit lines extended about 18 years ago as part of a controversial strip annexation sweep.
“The commission’s statement regarding municipalities’ and school districts’ boundaries as unrelated and completely separate taxing entities is logical and further supports opposition to the BISD board of trustees’ proposal,” Carman stated.
For the district, Brownsville’s proposal would threaten to realign the area along U.S. 281, taking about 50 students from La Encantada Elementary School.
That would cost the district, for which the state pays $5,797 per student, a total of as much as $289,850.
Los Fresnos’ stakes
So far, the Los Fresnos school district has also approved a resolution calling on lawmakers to oppose Brownsville’s proposal.
For Los Fresnos, the stakes are far higher.
Brownsville’s proposal would realign district boundaries in an area north of Alton Gloor Boulevard and west of Interstate 69, taking in The Woods subdivision, half of Rancho Viejo, Los Pinos, Rio Del Sol and Lakeway, areas within the Los Fresnos district boundaries.
The plan would also redraw district lines south of the Port of Brownsville up to the Gulf of Mexico.
Brownsville’s resolution directs its superintendent to work with state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., state Rep. Alex Dominguez and area superintendents whose district boundaries overlap with Brownsville’s city limit lines.
The Brownsville school board wants its superintendent to “discuss a feasibility plan to either exchange or collapse boundaries to better serve Brownsville students.”
Lucio, who sits on the Senate Education Committee, would present lawmakers with any proposed legislation.
“At this time, I am not aware of any state legislator who is in support of the BISD proposal and, similarly, am not aware of any attempts to write such a bill for consideration,” Carman stated.
The Brownsville school board is pushing to realign its boundaries amid the district loss of students to charter schools.