I received this From Mona Bailey. She is a Precinct Chair from the area that I have grown to respect a lot. It is a reply to my position on the upcoming BISD bond proposal from Jack Knowles who has some inside information. In fact he was able to correct what I was told on the phone by a BISD representative in a push-poll. Simply put, my position was and remains that the BISD bond contains some things that are very much needed surrounded by a very expensive “wish list.” It should therefore be opposed. Mr. Knowles does not agree with my opposition. He expresses his position well so I am forwarding it to you. I believe it is important that voters understand both sides of an issue to make an informed vote. I will be replying to this in greater detail as soon as I am able.
I received the following from a good friend of mine, who used to teach in BISD and went on to become head of Accounting for all BISD schools for many years, before his retirement a couple of years ago. He and his wife are in the same Sunday School class as my husband and me; he is a good Republican; and usually works for me as an Election Clerk during the major elections. Everything from here on are his words. I did, as you can probably tell, share your e-mail as well as the one you had forwarded to me, with my friend Jack. And he has given me permission to share this with you and others…….Mona
A couple of interesting financial facts. 1) comparing 13 suburban DFW school districts similar to BISD (including HEB, GCISD, Keller, Eagle Mtn-Saginaw, Irving, Duncanville and others) BISD has the lowest debt per student of any at $9,024; 2) BISD’s tax rate has declined 11.3% over the last seven years. I believe the facts support the statement that, historically, BISD has been a good steward of the taxpayers’ dollars.
Concerning the bond package, I served on the bond committee and even though it did not come out exactly as I would have crafted it, I support the package and believe it is better presented as one proposal rather than multiple ones. I think all parts are important to providing quality education across the district. Anyone could make a case for why something might have a greater need than another, but for some of these its just a matter of having to wait until the next bond package…the need will still be there.
Addressing each component briefly:
Security: This addresses the need to make entry into all schools more controlled and monitored. Such measures as re-designing entryways, adding remote locking devices and cameras to monitor rear or side entries, many of which lead to portable buildings. In many case this is an attempt to at least detect an intruder as soon as possible and call for the cavalry quicker.
Science Labs: Every campus but Richland High needs additional science labs to better comply with TEA science requirements.
Technology: Every campus would receive upgrades to technology infrastructure. Much of this is due to operating in campuses that are ageing and not built for today’s needs. Wi-fi access would be expanded, new classroom devices would be added. Much of this is to enable students to use the technology they now have on their smart phones…to access the cloud!
Facility Needs: to repair, replace, restore HVAC, plumbing, electrical infrastructure, roofing, paving, fire alarms, tracks, etc. as most needed on certain campuses. This will not address all the needs, but will address the most pressing ones. This also includes removing some portables and adding permanent classrooms at some campuses.
Replacing some schools with new schools as it is determined to be a better investment to do that than to repair or expanded. At some point you get rid of the old car or house when it becomes too expensive to continue to operate or no longer meets your needs.
Combining four schools into two is the toughest call as it is highly emotional for many citizens and communities. These schools are all older schools that need replacing rather than repairing and because of their size and projected slow growth, it is more economical to combine them and save money for years to come.
Concerning Mr. Konderla’s statement about “rebuilding Richland High”, it would get money for technology, security, a new track, and some door and HVAC updates. Remember, parts of RHS still date back to 1989; these are the areas getting attention…none are being “rebuilt”. The track is used by athletics, PE and the community. It has been in use for quite some time and they do wear out.
AS far as the trustee election, one race is contested, Ralph Kunkel has an opponent, but I support Ralph. He has been on the board quite a while, even before retired and he is conservative, thoughtful, deliberate and I never thought he had any ulterior motive or agenda other than what was best for students and citizens.
Hope this helps.