Last year, many parents criticized the current board for a lack of openness in the way our new superintendent was selected. Well, things haven’t gotten much better. My next ad discusses other issues that need to be debated publicly now, such as alarming new school ratings.
But another big concern is this. Why is the board waiting until AFTER the election to discuss the cost of new school construction and how it will affect other priorities? Consultants have been working on a study for almost a year; surely, they must have some idea of costs by now!
Elections are intended to give YOU a say in how YOUR money will be spent. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with this board.
Read all about it here.
I’m not the only one talking about openness, especially relating to school bonds. Check out these articles by Watchdog.org, a non-profit journalism group.
“Shining a light on Texas’ pile of debt — and shadowy bond votes” by Kenric Ward, September 23, 2016. Some key quotes from the article:
- “Alarming levels” of local government debt are nudging Texas lawmakers to bring more transparency and accountability to bond elections.
- Using opaque ballot language, incomplete disclosure and electoral gimmicks like “rolling polling,” local governments – including school districts – have turned an ostensibly democratic process into a rubber-stamping exercise in Texas.
- The Legislature would do well to reform this practice so that major capital improvements above a certain cost threshold are put before the voters in a separate fashion. This will allow voters to better decide which items are in the community’s best interest instead of being forced to accept a ‘take it or leave it’ approach.
“‘Bonds equal taxes’ message opposed by schools” by Jon Cassidy, August 16, 2016. Key quotes from this article:
- Texans are swimming in $338 billion of local debt
- A fiscally illiterate school board turned $1 billion borrowed into $3.3 billion to be repaid [thankfully, not the Humble ISD]
- The problem…is increasingly that we’ve been allowing…local governments to incur debt without going to the voters