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HIGHLAND PARK (CBS11) – Anonymous emails sent to voters about Highland Park ISD’s upcoming $361 bond election are causing a stir.
The emails express concern in this wealthy Dallas suburb about potential low-income housing and students coming to the district.
In one anonymous email, bond package opponents ask, “Is section eight housing within the district more likely if the bond passes?”
The answer, “Yes.”
In another email titled “The Plan To Turn Highland Park Into Dallas ISD, opponents say in part, “…Diversity is an innocuous sounding method of diluting excellence…”
Highland Park ISD resident Eddy Moore chairs the Foundations for the Future political action committee, which supports the bond package.
Moore says, “It was very upsetting to me because I knew they were false. In some cases, they’re just absurd. I think they’re preying on the fears of a few who would be concerned about their property values or a change in the character of the community.”
He disagrees with Russell Fish, a Highland Park ISD voter who says he’s not behind the anonymous emails.
But he says he still worries about the district’s fifth elementary school if the the bond passes.
It would become the district’s fifth elementary school, and the first one in Dallas.
Fish is also concerned the North Park condominiums along Northwest Highway, could potentially become low-income housing. “Right across the street from this proposed elementary school is a potential site for use of those section 8 projects.”
Some of the condos are in the Dallas ISD, but some are in Highland Park ISD.
But Moore says the condos are privately owned, and too expensive to become low income housing. “It’s just not possible to build the kind of housing they claim is going to be built with that kind of economic reality.”
Fish believes if a new school is built, the district will have to reallocate money to educate poor students. “You would probably have to have 40 new Spanish-speaking teachers just for that school and the money’s got to come from some place.”
But supporters say the bond package is also needed to rebuild and renovate existing schools and to accommodate an additional 1100 students projected to arrive in the district in eight years.
Moore says, “This is exactly the way to keep the Highland Park education standards high as they can possibly be held.”
Fish says he’s also concerned the bond package would significantly increase the district’s debt.
Moore acknowledges that, but says the district must take advantage of low interest rates while it can.
The bond election will be held November 3rd.
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