Reporting Joel Thomas
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Fort Worth’s school board decided to go ahead with plans to put nearly half a billion dollars worth of projects on a ballot in November.
Voters will have several choices to make — not only about how much they’ll spend but what they’ll spend it on.
The ballot will have three propositions on it. The first is for $386.6 million. That would pay for new construction, technology, security and Pre-K classes. Voters can say yes or no to that. The second asks for $73 million for schools specializing in performing and fine arts and science and math. And finally they’ll ask for a yes or no vote for $30 million to buy new school buses and equipment.
It’s an approach some say is not well thought out.
“The poor and incomplete communication and seemingly chaotic decision making process surrounding this bond have caused many parents to question whether the district and the board truly have a long-term vision for the district’s future,” Jonathon Scott, a parent with children in the district, told the school board during public comments prior to their decision to go forward with the vote.
The Fort Worth School Board started with a wish list of almost $800 million. They pared that down to just under $400 million worth of ‘essential projects’ for one ballot proposition and two packages of extras the district would like to have.
Some parents want to postpone the bond for a year to study it further. “There has been zero community discussion in most areas of town,” Molly Hyrt told the board. “The bond was introduced with a mumble while looking down at the floor and we’ve been told, ‘we will discuss this later. We don’t have time right no.’”
FWISD parent Jill Black defended the package when she made her public comments. “I do no support delaying the bond off for a year as Fort Worth isd is already behind surrounding districts and we need to work together now to move forward.”
Why the controversy about whether or not to hold vote?
“Part of it may be communication,” said Superintindent Walter Dansby. “But also as we push this out that’s when the communication really starts. That’s what’s going to happen with each and every school and each and every package.”
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