Humble ISD's former superintendent, Dr. Guy Sconzo, has accepted a job with a statewide advocacy group of Texas’ fastest growing school districts. Sconzo has joined the Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC) as its new executive director, effective Sept 1.
A fast-growth school district, said Sconzo, is a district that has grown more than 10 percent in student enrollment over the past five years.
There are currently almost four dozen Texas districts that are members, with several dozen that qualify.
“With a new school year fast approaching and the legislative session just five months away, we’re enhancing the breadth and depth of the Fast Growth School Coalition’s leadership and advocacy efforts with the addition of Dr. Sconzo to our team,” said FGSC Board President Dr. Randy Reid of Keller ISD.
“With Dr. Sconzo as executive director, fast-growth schools have a respected leader who brings four decades of award-winning experience in public education. Guy is an administrator who understands firsthand the challenges Texas public schools face in keeping pace with the increasing demands for new facilities and maintenance as our population skyrockets,” added FGSC Board Vice-President Dr. Jamie Wilson of Denton ISD.
This May, Sconzo retired from Humble ISD after 15 years of service as its superintendent. During his tenure at Humble ISD, Sconzo was recognized as Superintendent of the Year by Region 4 and H-E-B Excellence in Education named Humble ISD the best large district in Texas.
“It’s a privilege to take on the reins of FGSC at such a critically important time for Texas public schools, our students and the larger communities we serve,” said Sconzo. “It’s time for state funding to reflect the inherent realities and impact of our state’s tremendous population growth, especially as it relates to meeting basic education and infrastructure needs. Our state’s continued prosperity and competitiveness is at stake.”
Sconzo has been working with the FGSC for several years.
“Humble ISD has been a member of the Fast Growth School Coalition for nearly 20 years, and most recently, I served as treasurer for the organization. The main purpose of the coalition is to educate and advocate for state solutions to the demands and challenges faced by fast- growth districts. Additionally, the Coalition provides shared knowledge, best practices and support among members,” he said.
The coalition is basically a lobbying association, one that actively works to get legislators thinking in terms of the needs of districts that struggle with adequate facilities and funding as a result of large numbers of student enrollment.
“We are very much about very actively being a part of the state policy making process. It’s important for policy makers to understand the unique needs of fast-growth districts, especially since all of the significant student growth in Texas, 70 percent of those students are served by 75 fast-growth districts,” Sconzo explained.
“The biggest need of fast growth districts is getting adequate state assistance for the construction of new schools, and on the operating funding side of state assistance, as local property values and rolls grow, the additional local property tax revenue is offset by a reduction in state funding. So, the districts that experience the fastest growth do not realize the increase in local property tax yields. An increase in state funding for fast- growing districts, in fact, would be a very real avoidance of increased local property taxes,” he said.
Sconzo expects to bring his personal experience as the superintendent of a large suburban Houston-area district to the new job.
“My responsibilities essentially involve overseeing all of the activities and events for the Coalition. I work very closely with member superintendents and chief financial officers to ensure that collectively, we are addressing current needs and concerns. While my role is technically not full-time, I suspect there will be many times when it actually will be more than full-time,” he said while in Austin, already at work ahead of his official start date.
“As an organization of 75 districts, we are able to be very responsive and personal in working with and serving our member districts.”
Sconzo spent considerable time in Austin while superintendent of Humble ISD, testifying to committees of the Texas Legislature on various issues.
“I’m very excited to be able to serve in this capacity. It keeps me very connected to trying to make a positive difference for districts experiencing exactly what we continue to experience in Humble ISD, and I get to do that in the state policy arena, which I personally enjoy,” he said.