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Ferris ISD residents aim for de-annexation

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Red Oak ISD set to vote June 9 (Corrected date)


The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – Residents of Red Oak who reside in the Ferris Independent School District have been attempting to annex themselves into the Red Oak Independent School District.

          Chris Moses, a property owner on Stainback Court, has previously tried to move the area on Stainback - which stretches from the west side of Nokomis on towards Red Oak and the north side of Batchler - into the ROISD jurisdiction, without success.

A petition was given to the FISD Superintendent Mike Bodine, with 109 signatures on it.

According to Moses, this is approximately 86 percent of all registered voters in the area.

          But Ferris supporter Eston Masterson said, “He has 109 signatures but there are only 32 kids in this area who attend Ferris ISD.

“It’s not only affecting 32 kids,” Masterson said. “Ferris will lose $300,000 a year because of the tax cut. It affects everybody”

“We would lose three percent of our annual revenue, which is approximately $453,000 annually. Our tax base is approximately $313,000,000 and the property in question is valued at approximately $11,000,000. That is 3.5 percent of our tax base,” Bodine said. “If we lose revenue, we will ultimately have to cut people or cut programs such as UIL, athletics, band and teachers. This will have a negative impact on learning.”

Though FISD trustees voted to keep the residents, Moses said ROISD’s lawyers instructed a 21-day notice be published in the newspaper before a public hearing could be held on the matter.

Moses said he’s researching into whether FISD published a 21-day notice.

“If you compare both Ferris and Red Oak, both schools have been academically acceptable and both are public schools, which means the economic impact does not change,” Bodine said.

To contradict that, Moses said, “Ferris and Red Oak have similar TAKS scores in the elementary level of education but the eighth grade level and above are different, with Red Oak having higher scores.”

 Another supporter of Ferris schools, Dwayne Sprabary, said ROISD has numerous problems to take care of before he would support de-annexation.

“Red Oak schools have several problems,” he said. “A teacher recently got arrested for possession of marijuana. A bus driver was fired for buying alcohol on a school trip. They can’t even keep their superintendent.”

Sprabary alleges several neighbors witnessed Moses saying the Red Oak school board said they would pass this before a meeting took place.

Through this, several neighbors are pointing fingers at others for the theft of the support signs which read “Yes to Red Oak Schools.”

The Red Oak Police Department has had to answer multiple calls concerning stolen property, the most recent being Saturday, May 11.

“Eighteen signs got stolen Saturday night at around 12:30 a.m. from Tom Driver, Crump Circle, Stainback and Stainback Court,” Moses said. “This is the second time this has happened.”

The first incident dated back a couple of weeks ago when all but two were either recovered or returned.

          As of press time, no signs have been returned.

Due to the 21-day notice, ROISD Superintendent Scott Niven said he would clarify de-annexation issues after the June 9 meeting.


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