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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Early P-B-T enrollment shows 3 percent drop

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 20, 2003 -- Once again early enrollment figures for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD have shown a decline from the previous year, but school officials are hoping the number will go up a little.

Enrollment was down about three percent from the start of school last year, and enrollment overall has dropped by nearly 25 percent in the past decade, with the closing or severe cutbacks at several of the area's largest employers.

"After Labor Day, that number sometimes changes," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love. "We're hoping to get a few more kids in here."

Enrollment figures for the second day of school in the district showed that Pecos High School had 620 students; DAEP-Lamar Discipline, has 16; Crockett Middle School showed 373 students; Bessie Haynes (which now includes sixth grade) had 537 students enrolled; Austin Elementary School (grades 1-3) has 513 and Pecos Kindergarten has 211 students enrolled at that campus.

The total number of students in the district is at 2,270, down 69 students for second day of school last year.

"If we got 2,400 or better we'd be in pretty good shape," said Love. "When we really get good numbers is after Labor Day, that's when we find out for sure," said Love, during the last monthly board meeting.

"We had budgeted on 100 less kids," said Love.

Last year there was a drop of about 8 percent in enrollment for P-B-T ISD from last year. Part of the state's funding plan for Texas school districts is based on the number of students enrolled.

Enrollment a decade ago was around 3,000 students for the district, but the closing of the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine, the Smithers Tire Testing Center and the Anchor Foods plant in Pecos during that time resulted in the loss of about 1,000 jobs within the community.

At the start of the 2002-03 school year, Pecos High School reported 695 students on the first day of school.

DAEP "Lamar AEP" reported that they had 22 students last year.

Crockett Middle School had 367 register last year; Zavala Middle School reported 180, but contained only 6th grade; while this year 6th grade is included at the Bessie Haynes Campus; Bessie Haynes had 358 fourth and fifth graders on the first day of school last year; Austin Elementary had 522 last year and 629 the year before and Pecos Kindergarten had a total of 194 last year and 280 the year before that.

The total number of students on the first day of school was set at 2,291 last year, a number pretty close to this year's and less than the year before that.

"We're hoping some more will trickle in every day," said Love. "And we're definitely hoping some more will show up after the Labor Day holiday," which is something that happens sometimes," he added.

Enrollment figures at Pecos High School in October will be used by the University Interscholastic League to calculate district realignments, which will be released at the end of January, 2004. The loss of students in recent years dropped Pecos to the Class 3A level in 2002, after the district had been at the Class 4A level for the previous 22 years.

Farm housing board to hear USDA report

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 20, 2003 -- The Pecos Housing Authority/Farm Labor Housing Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday at 5 p.m., at the Administration Office to hear from Community Development Specialist John Perkins on the USDA Rural Development.

In other business under the FLH the board will be presented with three letters, one from Perkins discussing the approval of the 2003 proposed budget, a second also from Perkins in regards to the Supervisory visit/compliance review held on August 5 and the third to Perkins from Chairman Frank Perea regarding the 2003 Migrant Season update and requesting assistance in drawing up an agreement for the future operation of the Farm Labor Housing Project.

Unfinished business will consist of the resolution and approval of the 2003 budget, an update on the occupancy/vacancies, management, applications maintenance and repairs and the receipt of a check for $4,895 form 143 Judicial District Community and Corrections Department for restitution paid by probationer Vanessa Hernandez.

Under new business the board will discuss and approve the action on items listed on Communications and the monthly reports for the month of May, June and July.

The agenda for the PHA will consist of the notification of 2003 capital funds, the public housing authority ETHICS reference Manual prepared by Office of General Council and Office of Public Housing and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

PHA unfinished business to be discussed and approved will be the 2002 capital funds project and the CFP amendment/budget/projects.

For new business the board will discuss and approve the PHA updated personnel policies, the updated signature cards for bank accounts and the monthly reports for the month of August.

Softball tournament planned by Balmorhea FD

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 20, 2003 -- The First Annual Balmorhea Fire Department Softball Tournament will be held the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31, during the city's annual Labor Day weekend festival.

Games will start at 8 a.m., with a 55-minute limit per game.

Fees will be $120 per 13 man teams and USSAA guidelines will be implemented.

First and second places prizes will be awarded.

For more information contact the City of Balmorhea at 432-375-2307; Luis at 448-0056 or Antonio at 448-2802.


PECOS, Wed., Aug. 20, 2003 -- High Tuesday 107. Low this morning 73. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated evening thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 90s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Friday: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 90s. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs 90 to 95.

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Pecos Enterprise
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