The Commerce Journal

Local News

January 23, 2013

School security, funding highlight CISD board meeting discussion

COMMERCE — In the past year, the Commerce Independent School District Board of Trustees supported the CISD iPad initiative to give iPads to every high school student, put in plans to have an Agricultural Learning Center for the high school and passed a resolution supporting Texas superintendents in their case against the state in school equity.

With January being National School Board Appreciation month, the board was recognized by students and staff during the Jan. 22 meeting.

“I go to a lot of meetings and I hear a lot of superintendents talk about their boards,” Blake Cooper, superintendent of CISD said. “I want to tell you that I am proud to be here with this board. You hold me accountable and you each are here because you care for kids.”

Willie Blow, president of the board, has been on the school board since 1999. According to him, the fellow board members make his job less difficult.

“It is easy to be on the school board here in Commerce,” he said.

Joe Venable, chief of police for the Commerce ISD Police Department, presented the board with his safety report for the previous year.

“In recent weeks we’ve had calls from parents about safety,” he said. “Every campus, compared to other districts, is safe. Every principal does a very good job with safety.”

Venable announced that the school is up to date and current on the safety audit, but with the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Venable said he will be looking at increasing the security even more beyond what is required by law.

“In recent weeks we have tweaked some of our security,” he said. “There is always room for improvement. We’ve done as much as we can do right now and still be able to function as a school.”

According to Cooper, the schools will be receiving another upgrade in the near future.

“All campuses have a shelter in place in case of a shooter situation,” he said. “And we are looking at putting up buzzer entries into campuses.”

The 82nd Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion in public school funding in 2011. Included in those cuts was funding for the Student Success Initiative (SSI), which is a program to help struggling students to be academically successful in reading and mathematics.

Since that funding was cut, the board passed a vote to move $12,000 from the general fund balance to hire a long-term substitute teacher to work with middle and high school students.

“The legislature cut the SSI, but it’s still a federally mandated program,” Cooper said. “And guess who that falls back on? Us.”

The Commerce Community Plaza (CCP) was formed in January of 2012 as part of an outreach program with the university, school district and community. According to Maria Garza, CCP coordinator, the program is going well.

“Our mission is to improve lives through education,” she said. “We have 25 GED prep students.”

The CCP meets every Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. inside the CISD building on Washington Street, and offers free childcare provided by the First Christian Church of Commerce. Since the program has grown, it now offers morning ESL classes from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Garza said many of her students were ready to take their GED’s, but were unable to because there was no room in the nearest testing site.

“Our students couldn’t get into the Garland center because it was full,” she said, adding that the center does not have a way for people to call in advance to schedule testing days. “The GED is $100 to register, $30 for each retest, and the students are losing out in lost wages when traveling to and from the center.”

According to Julia Robinson, director of curriculum for CISD, the ordeal had her outraged.

“It appalled me to see people not able to take a test to better themselves,” she said.

Texas A&M University-Commerce used to have a GED testing site in Commerce. Garza, along with Robinson, said they would like to see that re-instated.

“It would be a great service to our community,” Garza said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • A&M-Commerce announces guaranteed tuition plan

    Texas A&M University-Commerce will roll out a new guaranteed tuition plan called [in]tuition beginning in the fall semester of 2014. [in]tuition guarantees all students a set rate on tuition and mandatory fees for two or four years, depending on their classification.

    July 20, 2014

  • Muralupdate1.jpg Organizations come together to beautify Commerce

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Commerce have partnered to bring a new “Vintage” mural to Commerce, highlighting the city’s and iconic brand’s longstanding relationship and heritage.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canadian tour bus accident leaves one dead, 50 injured

    A teenage girl died and more than 50 people were injured when a Canadian tour bus skidded off Interstate 87, broke through a median guard rail and rolled on its side down a steep embankment in northeastern New York.

    July 19, 2014

  • Council approves members, passes glass bottle ordinance

    The Commerce Parks and Recreation Board is now fully staffed, following the approval of three members by the Commerce City Council.

    July 18, 2014

  • Dan_Flynn.jpg State lawmaker intends to re-file 10 Commandments legislation

    The Texas Department of Transportation initiated a fierce debate earlier this year after informing a Texas woman that she could no longer display a sign featuring the 10 Commandments.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gomery Michigan ex-prosecutor arrested in murder-for-hire plot

    A former Michigan prosecutor was charged Monday with soliciting a hitman to murder the attorney who represented a business partner in a contentious fraud and malpractice lawsuit over the ownership of a golf course.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • School tax rate increases

    Low property values and a decrease in enrollment caused a slight tax increase for Commerce Independent School District, according to Finance Director John Walker.

    July 14, 2014

  • g258000000000000000c4985ae14aba1b54c02044ccfe867384c3b14f48.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of an Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet new pastor Dr. Gregory Neal, enjoy FUMC Commerce ‘Jeopardy’

    “What is a fun way to meet the new pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce?”

    July 11, 2014

  • Hospital to open next spring

    Hospital officials and local politicians were in Commerce last week to mark the ground breaking of Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center at Commerce, an approximately $5 million facility that will be located on Highway 24 between Whitley Residence Hall and the President’s House.

    July 9, 2014

Featured Ads

Poll

How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide