Po­lice foun­da­tion hold­ing char­ity gala

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - — LAKE TRAVIS VIEW — MARY ANN ROSER, AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN STAFF By Kate Alexan­der kalexan­der@states­man.com

The Lake­way Po­lice Foun­da­tion and the Lake­way Po­lice De­part­ment will hold their third an­nual Christ­mas Gala from 6 to 11 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Lake­way Re­sort and Spa, 101 Lake­way Drive.

The evening will rec­og­nize po­lice de­part­ment of­fi­cers and civil­ians with awards and fea­ture a seated din­ner, silent and live auc­tion and a casino event.

The foun­da­tion ac­cepts do­na­tions to sup­port em­ploy­ees, fam­i­lies and friends of the po­lice de­part­ment in the case of emer­gency or mis­for­tune. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to lpmbf.org. To pur­chase tick­ets go to the Lake­way Po­lice De­part­ment, 104 Cross Creek.

Frank Rodriguez, who has served on the Cen­tral Health board since vot­ers cre­ated the hospi­tal district in 2004, has asked the Travis County Com­mis­sion­ers Court not to reap­point him to an­other four-year term. He will serve un­til com­mis­sion­ers name a re­place­ment.

Cur­rently vice chair­man of the nine-mem­ber board, Rodriguez said he has ac­com­plished his goals and wants to be more en­gaged in grass­roots health care is­sues. He helped cre­ate the Latino Health­care Fo­rum, a non­profit that will doc­u­ment health dis­par­i­ties among His­pan­ics and mount projects to im­prove their health sta­tus.

Rodriguez noted that with the re­cent pas­sage of a prop­erty tax to fund health projects, some of Cen­tral Health’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will likely shift to the non­profit it will cre­ate to co­or­di­nate health care ser­vices to low-in­come peo­ple with chronic con­di­tions.

“I want to ap­ply what I have learned as a board mem­ber and use it to the com­mu­nity’s ben­e­fit,” Rodriguez said.

Charles Dupre, Pflugerville school su­per­in­ten­dent for the past six years, took the stand in Texas’ on­go­ing school fi­nance trial on Tues­day to high­light fund­ing dis­par­i­ties that some say are ar­bi­trary and vi­o­late the state con­sti­tu­tion.

Pflugerville has the low­est per stu­dent fund­ing of 13 Cen­tral Texas school dis­tricts while levy­ing the same prop­erty tax rate as most of its neigh­bors. Nearby Hutto is the sec­ond low­est but gets $315 more per stu­dent than Pflugerville while Jarrell, in Wil­liamson County, has $1,417 more.

Pflugerville is a fast­grow­ing school district with a stu­dent pop­u­la­tion that is largely mi­nor­ity and low­in­come. Stu­dents speak 65 to 70 dif­fer­ent lan­guages, the su­per­in­ten­dent said.

“We’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in this lit­i­ga­tion be­cause school fund­ing in the state of Texas is not eq­ui­table and it is not ad­e­quate. … Our chil­dren are worth the same amount as ev­ery other stu­dent in Cen­tral Texas and in the state of Texas,” Dupre tes­ti­fied.

“What really drove us over the edge is that the sys­tem it­self is random and capri­cious. It is not even log­i­cal,” Dupre added.

Dupre said his district would not con­sider rais­ing its tax rate to the $1.17 max­i­mum — up from the cur­rent $1.04 — be­cause the ex­tra rev­enue would only re­place

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