Today is municipal election day in Texas. Local races will decide council seats, school board seats, bond proposals and other miscellaneous matters of import to cities and towns in our state.
In my town, we have three seats on both council and school board that are contested, as well as a $45 million dollar school bond proposal. In typical big-politics fashion, the school board lumped together real needs with a whole lotta flashy pork, trying to strike a delicate balance between getting the things they want, by combining them with things people will vote for.
By their own calculations, 67% of the bond amount is for a new middle school. 5.96% is for new buses, technology upgrades and high school lab updates. The remaining 27.04% is sports related. And, included in that 67% for a middle school are THREE sports fields and a track.
The schools, you see, are getting crowded. Well, kinda. With last year's purchase of a dozen portable buildings, there is/was still considerable capacity, so to jack up the numbers, increase the state per student funding, and make it look good for a bond, the school allowed people outside the district to enroll on a space-available basis, adding over 130 kids. Adding to the confusion is a claim that the schools are statistically considered to be at 'full functional capacity' when they reach 85% capacity. So, 85% = 100%. Perhaps they should have included some money for the math department.
The narrow view that develops out here in the 'burbs astounds me. How have these parents convinced themselves that Little Johnnie and Jane simply won't get a good education if they have to attend class in a portable building, or that the football players and band members need an indoor practice facility to succeed?
The bond is an all-or-nothing proposition, and to hear the supporters tell it, if you don't vote for it, and take the hit to your property taxes, then you hate children.
On my way to vote soon, ready to earn my title as 'Child Hater'.