FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – School buildings, stadiums and auditoriums were on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 2 for Fort Worth ISD which had pitched its largest bond package ever: $1.5 billion.
The bulk of the money, $115 million meant for improving aging middle schools and building new elementary schools, and late Tuesday night, that proposition was too close to call with 50% for and 50% against.READ MORE: Tanker Truck Full Of Fuel Hangs Over Bridge After Collision At Loop 12, Shady Grove
But the goal of remodeling auditoriums, building three new stadiums and improving gyms and current athletic fields was failing.
The proposition to spend $98.3 million for fine arts facilities was failing 54% to 46%.
The proposition to spend $104.9 for stadiums was failing 66% to 34%.
And the proposition to spend $76.2 million on recreation facilities was failing 58% to 42%.
Proponents of passing the entire bond package said it was necessary and long overdue to provide the best educational experience for nearly 75,000 students.READ MORE: In Shadow Of Texas Gas Drilling Sites, Health Fears Escalate
“This is not a referendum on our students performance academically,” said Rev. Charles Johnson on Monday, who led 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, were signs urging a “no” vote.
Opponents questioned the timing due to a still-recovering economy, inflation and supply chain problems.
District spending had 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 day before the election.
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.MORE NEWS: Public Health Experts Say Dallas Cowboys COVID Outbreak Shows Pandemic Far From Over