Foundation for academics

‘I think it’s, great, but I don’t think we’re stopping and taking the time to do the work ourselves. You really want to do it? Do the work yourselves.’

— Orlando Vasquez,,

BISD board trustee

BEEVILLE – There was no question from trustees that Beeville schools need a foundation to help academics — but who should pay for it to be formed?

Last week, trustees approved the initial steps to establish it — a nonprofit that could receive donations and grants for distribution back to the schools and teachers.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Puig said the approval was only for the process, not a company to consult and assist the district in the legal hurdles of its forming.

Trustee Orlando Vasquez expressed concern that the district would be paying a company to handle the forming of this foundation.

“It could be $10,000 to $15,000, which will be recovered with a grant,” Puig said. “This is a very common practice with school districts that don’t have the expertise to do it themselves.”

Vasquez interjected, “I think the foundation you are trying to come up with is great, but I think its wrong for us to pay for it. 

“So I strongly disagree from that aspect. 

“I don’t disagree with our forming the foundation.

“I think it’s, great, but I don’t think we’re stopping and taking the time to do the work ourselves. 

“You really want to do it? Do the work yourselves. 

“Why are we going to make the taxpayers pay up to $20,000 to get this foundation going? I don’t get it.”

“I think the expertise you’re speaking of, I certainly don’t have it,” Puig countered. “I don’t know of anybody else who has the expertise to start the process. 

“There’s a lot of legal areas to navigate.”

Puig said the district will exceed the amount in grants that it is contributing.

“The school district is going to make sure we exceed the seed grant,” Puig said.

Like Vasquez, Trustee Pete Martinez wanted to see the district form this foundation.

“I am in favor of doing it because it keeps us in line with others,” Martinez said. “What I feel strongly about is, it involves a lot of the academic side.”

However, that is where the agreement stopped as he voiced no opposition to paying a company to establish the foundation. 

“I think I will do anything to help (the schools) out,” Martinez said. “I believe the investment is well worth it.”

“At this point there will be no specific contribution amount,” Puig assured trustees.

“I think we need the foundation. I just don’t think we should pay for it,” Vasquez said after abstaining from the otherwise unanimous final vote which did not include Trustee Kevin Behr, who was absent from the meeting.