Opponents speak out against HISD bond proposal

October 15, 2012 3:09:03 PM PDT
For the first time we're hearing from community leaders who do not approve of HISD's nearly $2 billion bond proposal to rebuild or renovate dozens of schools. Taxpayers are set to vote on the proposal next month, but up until now we've really only heard support for the measure.

Even as Lamar High School's principal and HISD's superintendent led a tour through the crowded school, pointing out such deficiencies as a single physics lab for 3,000 students, across town a separate group of people gathered for the first time showing organized support opposing HISD's $1.9 billion bond proposal.

Bond opponent Dave Wilson said, "There hasn't been transparency. There is no accountability. So with this present bond election, there's no way anyone can vote for it."

Wilson, a frequent opponent to many of the city's politicians and their initiatives, brought together a group of concerned citizens. All said they think the bond is just a way to spend money with no proof it will improve education.

Bond opponent Charles White asked, "What's the priority? Is it good education or new buildings? Good education and accountability is what we're talking about."

HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier bristled at the criticism, pointing out that, for example, Lamar High School just wasn't built for today's demanding educational requirements.

He said, "The facility built in 1936 cannot prepare kids for the 21st century."

The district says basic power supply is Even an issue at Lamar.

"There's not enough electricity in these rooms to support what's needed for giving our kids what they need to be to be competitive in the science world and colleges and universities," explained Lamar Principal Dr. James McSwain.

But Wilson's group says it's heard all those complaints before. They just don't trust HISD with any more of taxpayers' money.

"We're talking about whether we're getting our dollar's worth and whether we're getting accountability," Wilson said.

Dr. Grier says he doesn't have time to worry about the critics. He says he's focused on the best plan to educate the district's kids.

Both sides will be working hard to get their messages out before Election Day.


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