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Birdville Bond – Vote AGAINST

May 6, 2013

You probably already know I’m against this.  I’m against the socialistic funding of education and I think anything and everything that can be done to get EVERY level of government intrusion in education out should be done so with all the speed that we can muster.

Until that time, stopping stupid bond issuances for things like this that represent poor management of the worst kind is likely the best that we can do.

 

For BetterBirdville.org Website

Birdville ISD claims that a bond is ESSENTIAL to continue to operate and maintain our schools. Many citizens believe that a bond which raises taxes on the residents and places the district in $679 million dollars of long-term debt is not the answer. There IS a better way to provide the quality education our students need to achieve academic excellence.

Their claim – Eliminate more than 50 portable classrooms across the district.

We believe – The 1996 and 2006 bonds promised to eliminate the district’s portable buildings .There were 136 portables in 1996, we have 138 portables today.

Why should we believe they will actually keep their word THIS time around?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim- Consolidate four of the oldest and smallest elementary schools into two new schools, which would save approximately $15 million in operating costs over the next 10 years.

Another claim – Replace facilities that are between 50 and 65 years old with modern facilities that require less money to operate and maintain.

We believe – According to the District’s own cost analysis, refurbishing the four elementary schools would cost approximately $7.2 million dollars. The proposed construction of 2 mega schools would cost $33.6 million dollars. It is $26.4 million dollars less expensive to refurbish the existing 4 schools.

Why should we pay $26.4 million dollars now in order to only save $15 million dollars over the next 10 years?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim– Major renovations such as replacing aging roofs, HVAC systems and plumbing as well as adding energy management systems throughout the district.

We Believe – These projects should be planned and managed as ongoing maintenance. Most of these maintenance issues could be funded from the unrestricted $50,000,000 dollar reserve fund. This is a strategic management and long-term policy issue.

Why should our students and teachers have to wait for, and depend upon, the passage of a bond in order to have well-maintained and functional structures?

They should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim – New computers and mobile devices, internet connectivity for wireless devices and provide all students access to technology used in the classroom.

We believe – The 2006 bond funded $12 million dollars for computer and Infrastructure upgrades recently completed in 2010. Birdville’s network installer claims it is, “…the fastest education network in Texas”.

The district’s goal is to have one IPad for every 3 students, replacing textbooks and other educational materials. Which student will be able to use the IPad? Which one will be able to take it home to study and do homework? WILL they be able to take them home at all?

Why raise taxes to replace the $12M dollars of recently installed first-class technology and buy quickly-outdated shared IPads with 25 year bond funds?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim– Additional safety and security measures throughout the district

We believe – This urgent $2.8M dollar need should already have been funded from the excessive reserves. Security is a priority – the Trustees should have already addressed this critical need.

Why should we pay for security with a bond, these upgrades should be installed now?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim– New or upgraded science labs throughout the district

We believe – The bond should not have been presented as an “all or nothing” proposal. The district should be upgrading the laboratories through responsible short-term financing.

Why should we accept the “all or nothing” format of this proposed bond?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Their claim – Relocate the Horticulture and Animal Science program from Richland High School to the Birdville Center of Technology and Advanced Learning to serve students from all three high schools in the district.

We believe –Although a fancy new Horticulture and Animal Science building is a nice luxury, is it worth the expense when students and teachers from all 3 high schools will still have to spend time traveling to an off-site location?

Why should we have to pay for a new and fancy facility when students and staff will STILL have to travel off-site to attend?

We should not – Vote AGAINST the bond.

Birdville ISD claims the proposed bond will enable the district to continue a quality education for our students. We believe the district must provide a quality education from available funding through prudent fiscally responsible financing.

Their claim – A quality environment contributes to enhanced student performance

We believe – A quality education is dependent upon the teachers and the educational programs within a school, not simply the school structure itself. Student performance is dependent on a low teacher/student ratio, staff/student ratio, parental involvement, enhanced early childhood education and experiences, curriculum targeted toward established educational outcomes, and caring teachers that are committed to educating each and every student. The State scores in Birdville ISD show no correlation between age of the school and the academic achievement of the students.

Their claim – Quality facilities help attract and retain top educators.

We believe – Although teacher pay increases with years of experience, most teachers choose their teaching locations based on where they live, travel time and distance, and job satisfaction. A teacher’s job satisfaction generally is dependent upon the level of support from the administration, their perceived freedom to teach to their best ability, and the satisfaction of knowing they have had a positive influence on a young person and was able to help that child achieve to their maximum potential.

Their claim– Creating cost savings will allow more money to be available to educate students district-wide.

We believe – Prudent financial management on a daily basis with a focus on the real educational needs of students will eliminate the need for a bond.

Their claim – Quality facilities are safe facilities

We believe – Solid, well-built buildings can be upgraded with modern security devices. There is no need to build a new school building for it to be safe.

Birdville ISD claims there is no better investment.

We believe it is a long-term tax burden on the residents

Their claim – If BISD voters approve this bond package, it will increase property taxes approximately $4.35 per month on a house valued at one hundred thousand dollars.

We believe – There simply is no NEED for this bond package!

Their claim – Quality schools protect our property values and improve our communities

We believe – It is the quality EDUCATION within the school structures, not the structures themselves that are an asset to a community and protect property values.

Their claim – Citizens 65 years of age and older will see no increase above their capped level as a result of this bond

We believe – The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be the ones paying off this proposed bond for many years into the future.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Don Bates permalink
    May 8, 2013 10:00 pm

    While I only agree with you on about 50% of your views and you come across as a tremendous ass sometimes (your blog your right), it’s nice that SOMEONE is actually bringing us news of what is going on in our city. Nice analysis on the Birdville bond (I live North of the Birdville district demarcation, but still appreciate it).

    So what’s up with this Senior Citizen mafia? Sounds like they are looking for a new bingo hall. Must have missed the discussion in the city council notes.

    • May 9, 2013 7:47 am

      Thank you for your comment. And thank you for respecting my right to be a “tremendous ass”. While usually I would write that with great sarcasm, I actually mean that I am grateful that you can recognize my right to free speech and that we can disagree and I can still have my say. Frankly, I wish there were more of that.
      Thank you also for your appreciation of my attempt to help create a more informed City of Watauga voter. I actually put a lot of effort into it and I do appreciate that it’s noticed.
      I would like to thank you for your kind words on my analysis on the Birdville bond, but the work was not mine. I simply copied what was on a website and republished it. I’d like to point that out so that I’m not plagiarizing.
      I’m not sure what’s driving the “Senior Citizen mafia” except that they’ve got the time to advocate, there is such a dearth of voters that they can get their way and they have no respect for property rights at all. I’m sad to say that these create a perfect storm for more taxes and less transparency. I suspect you’d already anticipate that I’d be against it, so I’ll not belabor the point.
      Thank you again for reading and for commenting.

  2. May 9, 2013 9:06 am

    Reblogged this on Jo Lynn Haussmann and commented:
    VOTE AGAINST the BISD Bond!!!

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