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BISD brings up boundary adjustments

December 16, 2018

State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. said he would talk to parents of the families involved in any proposed boundary changes to make Brownsville Independent School District boundaries more closely correspond to Brownsville city limits.

The BISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday passed a resolution directing Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas to reach out to state legislators and adjoining school districts concerning possible adjustment of district boundaries to conform to Brownsville city limits.

The resolution passed by a 7-0 vote at the board’s meeting on Tuesday.

It directs Zendejas to work with state legislators and surrounding district superintendents whose boundaries overlap with the city of Brownsville “so that we can discuss a feasibility plan to either exchange or collapse boundaries to better serve Brownsville students.”

“ The first thing that comes to mind is to go out and talk to the parents involved,” Lucio, D-Brownsvile, said Friday. “It’s a money issue and the question is whether the parents care to move into the Brownsville district. I wonder if anyone has gone out and talked to them.”

Lucio sits on the Senate Education Committee and would carry any bill eventually proposed. He said a bill could be drafted between now and the end of the session and that he would work with all parties involved.

The impetus for the resolution stems from the fact that Brownsville north of Alton Gloor Boulevard, taking in The Woods subdivision, half of Rancho Viejo, Los Pinos., Rio Del Sol and Lakeway, belongs to the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District.

As well, the Point Isabel School District takes in parts of Brownsville along State Highway 4 on the way out to Boca Chica Beach.

Students in those areas can attend their zoned school, but if they choose to attend BISD schools, the district cannot provide transportation

BISD Trustee Philip T. Cowen said the absence of development on the northern fringe of Brownsville was the main reason he placed the boundaries issue on the agenda.

“ In no sense would it ever be hostile,” he said. “The main reason is that area of northern Brownsville is underdeveloped. We’re on the periphery of the San Benito and Los Fresnos districts.” If the boundaries were adjusted, “BISD would be there to build schools and promote development,” he said.

Cowen said he was bringing up the issue now because there is a window of about two weeks to file bills before the start of the 86th Texas Legislature.

“ We have to compete with the charters. If we do nothing that area over there will become charter land,” he said.

Zendejas said Friday she had reached out to her counterparts and would seek further direction from Cowen and board president Minerva M. Pena.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com

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