"The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth."-Erasmus
In that case, we're doomed. In our current public education system, we are consistently teaching to a standardized test and that's what we are going to be left with; a population doomed to fail because all they know how to do is to take a test. There wasn't enough time for critical thinking skills or problem solving, we just need to get passing scores on that *&%^$ test!
So, how do we remedy that problem? Back off on TAKS and TEKS and STAAR? No, we just throw money at it. Money solves everything, right? WRONG! Sadly, you can't teach parents and administrators and teachers new tricks. It's a full blown epidemic here in Texas; spending like drunken sailors to ensure the proper education of our children. This election cycle is no different, and neither are the folks at the Cy-Fair Independent School District. Cy-Fair is proposing it's largest bond in the history of the school district this May, a bond for a cool $1.2 Billion.
I have a problem with that. Thankfully, I'm not the only one who has keyed in on the spending problem that local school boards, MUD boards and other local municipalities have. This article written by a contributor to Empower Texans writes this: Local Debt: Few Vote, Everyone Pays. Author Ross Keceg has this to say:"...your decision to vote in May will directly affect your family’s finances."
Texas' local debt is comparable to California, even bankrupt Detroit. Even Breitbart is picking up on it in this article titled, Texas Cities Should Learn from Bankrupt, Spendthrift Detroit. Jess Fields says, "Texans must work to ensure that our localities do not rack up enormous
debt and waste money on pet projects we cannot afford. Taxpayers should
demand that local governments spend money on priorities, like good
public safety and sound infrastructure."
I know what you're thinking, Republicans/Conservatives are ALWAYS railing against bonds and are screaming for a 'no' vote on everything bond related. I can see how that might be perceived, but it's simply not true. This issue is simple and our position is reasonable: why would you want to spend so much of the taxpayer money simply to accommodate growth? The amount being allocated for growth, minus the natatorium is only 11% of the total asking price.
What some of us who are not in favor of this bond are asking is that the district reevaluate some of the things that are being requested. Like $20 million for a new and upgraded phone system for the teachers and staff? We would like to see it broken up into smaller pieces so that the voters are not being asked to pass such a large debt package in one up or down vote. We even have a PAC that we've formed in an effort to defeat the bond, called Citizens For Fair Bond Elections. We have organized to change the tactics of
school boards that want to push through enormous debt commitments on the
community that they serve.
One of the other problems that we have, other than the enormous asking price is the way the election is being held and the timing of it. It's being held on a weekend in May, when most of the voters aren't paying attention to such things. When challenged as to why the district didn't hold the election in November, they responded that they would save $60,000 dollars. Hmm, saving $60,000 to spend $1.2 billion? That doesn't really add up.
Almost as egregious as the timing of the election is the location of the polling places. The polling places are none other than public schools. Not only are they being held at schools, they are changing the locations of the schools from day to day. How many of the average voting population are going to try and find their location to vote? You guessed it, not many. Not enough to defeat the bond, and the school district and the pro-bond PAC that was created is counting on that very fact as well.
The aforementioned PAC has amassed $55,000 in donations. From concerned citizens? Some, maybe, but mostly from vendors that will benefit from the passage of this bond. Who do you suppose would benefit most from the opportunity to build new schools? Architectural firms and you can bet that they have donated to the pro-bond side to the tune of $10,000. That leaves a little question if this is in fact 'for they children' as the school districts and pro-bond folks always like to shove down our throats.
So, let's get out and vote this thing down! Here are the locations of early voting and election day polling places. Click on the link and share it far and wide. Ross Keceg says, "A few loud, informed voices can make a tangible difference."