At a time when the state’s system of funding public education is under fire, one school district considered spending nearly $200,000 on something completely unrelated to educating students: a house for their new superintendent.
The Board of Trustees of Robstown ISD recently considered venturing into the real estate business, proposing to buy a house for their new superintendent. During the board’s October 8 meeting, Trustee Robert Tapia suggested buying a $150,000 to $200,000 house to encourage the district’s new superintendent to live within the school district.
Tapia’s justification? “All the other districts are doing this.”
Maybe that’s the same reason Robstown ISD is suing the State of Texas, claiming the public education system is underfunded.
To add to the audacity of Mr. Tapia’s proposed real estate grab, Robstown ISD bears a deplorable instructional spending rate of 41 percent. If the district possesses the extra cash to purchase a house, the money should be redirected to where it belongs—the classroom.
Luckily, Mr. Tapia’s motion failed to receive a second from another board member, and Trustee Eva Orona came to the defense of taxpayers by stating, “The school board shouldn’t be in the residential real estate business.” Precisely.
In light of the district’s pending lawsuit and lackluster instructional spending rate, Mr. Tapia’s proposal stands as an insult to taxpayers and students of Robstown ISD.
Mr. Tapia’s claim that other districts are purchasing houses for their superintendents holds some water, but, to echo the sentiments of Trustee Orona, school boards do not belong in the business of real estate. School boards need to be solely invested in the business of educating students.