QUESTION: James Brewer is the principal of Longview High School and he was named interim CEO of East Texas Advanced Academies (after the resignation of Dr. Cynthia Wise). How much does he get paid in these positions?
ANSWER: Documents provided to me by Longview ISD show that Brewer’s annual salary for the 2021-22 school year is $202,453 as a high school principal and assistant superintendent. He also received a $7,200 travel allowance and a $1,000 allowance because he has a master’s degree. As interim CEO, he will receive $100,000 per year or $8,333.33 per month, regardless of how many months he is interim CEO. (For those just logging in, East Texas Advanced Academies is a charter school that operates six campuses within LISD. Wise, its first CEO, resigned earlier this year and walked away with a lump sum payment of $350,000. and a letter of recommendation. Since this time, we have learned that multiple agencies are investigating allegations of test security violations and abuse of special education students within the ETAA.)
Some of you have been asking for this information for some time, and I wanted to tell you about the process to get it. Brewer was named interim CEO in February, at which time his compensation as interim CEO was still under negotiation. The documents that LISD provided me show that an amendment was signed on March 21 to his initial contract with LISD which also allows him to be at the head of the ETAA. On May 10, when I inquired verbally about the status of his contract, Board Chairman Jud Murray told me he was not sure if it had been finalized. I submitted a public information request to LISD on May 16th. I inquired about my application on Tuesday and learned that the documents were available.
Our state’s public information laws give government entities such as school districts 10 business days to seek an opinion from the state attorney general on whether to release information, subject to certain exceptions permitted by state law. The district did not in this case.
A district’s employment contracts and financial information, such as salaries, are generally considered public information. State law states that government agencies “shall promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both at the request of any person…. In this paragraph, “promptly” means as soon as possible under the circumstances. , that is to say within a reasonable time, without delay.”
Q: Is there such a thing as the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey? I got this weird questionnaire in the mail asking for information they don’t need. He says I am bound by law to answer. Is it real?
A: Yes, it’s real, and yes, the law requires you to respond. I don’t know how many times this happens, but you can be fined if you don’t.
Here is some information from the United States Census Bureau website, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/about/top-questions-about-the-survey.html:
“Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau contacts more than 3.5 million households across the country to participate in the American Community Survey. When you complete the survey, you are doing your part to ensure that decisions about your community can be taken using the best data available. ….. If your address was selected for the American Community Survey, you are legally obligated to answer all questions, as accurately as possible. Relevant laws are the Title 18 USC Section 3571 and Section 3559, which amends Title 13 USC Section 221,” the website reads.
“Your responses are important. The American Community Survey is sent to a small percentage of our population on a rotating basis. As part of a sample, you represent many other people…Survey response is required by law because the American Community Survey is part of the decennial census, replacing the “long form” which was previously sent to a percentage of households once every 10 years….. Community survey data help your community.The information the Census Bureau collects helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is spent each year on infrastructure and services.Thanks to ACS, we know more about jobs and occupations, level of education, veterans, whether people own or rent their homes, and many other topics Government officials, planners, and contractors use these information to assess the past and plan for the future.”
— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email your questions to [email protected], leave a message at (903) 232-7208, or write to PO Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.