FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – School buildings, stadiums and auditoriums are on the line Tuesday, Nov. 2 as voters will decide if the Fort Worth Independent School District should receive approval for a $1.5 billion bond package, the largest in district history.
The bulk of the money is slated for improving aging middle schools and building new elementary schools.READ MORE: Mesquite Officer Dies After Shooting Outside Grocery Store
The rest would remodel auditoriums, build three new stadiums and improve gyms and current athletic fields.
Proponents say it’s necessary and long overdue to provide the best educational experience for nearly 75,000 students.
“This is not a referendum on our students performance academically,” said Rev. Charles Johnson, who is leading a committee pushing the bond. “This is what we should do for our children. This is an investment in our community.”
Next to campaign signs across the city in support, however, are signs urging a “no” vote.READ MORE: Fort Worth ISD Hopes To Hire Teachers 'On The Spot,' Offering Huge Incentives
Opponents question the timing due to a still-recovering economy, inflation and supply chain problems.
District spending has also come under scrutiny with FWISD involved in legal battles with Governor Greg Abbott this year and parents.
“We believe that with a budget that approaches one billion dollars, the district should have the ability to address these needs with the revenue they currently receive,” said Joe Palmer, a resident who opposes the bond.
The issue also was also part of a tense discussion between FWISD board trustees last week, when they hesitated to approve a recommended financial advisor firm ahead of the vote.
“If we come back with a second recommendation and it is who I think it is, I’m going to blow this thing up,” said Jacinto Ramos, Jr. “I’m going to post everything I’ve been collecting, watching, trying to trust this board wasn’t going to go this route.”MORE NEWS: Delivery Drones Buzzing Over Some North Texas Cities
Voters approved the last bond request from the district in 2017, for $750 million.