Nyet!  Nein!  Non!

The citizens of Keller spoke loudly this past Saturday, telling the Keller ISD that the ride on the gravy train is over.  All three bond proposals (worth a total of $152.3 million) were soundly defeated. 

The failure of all three bond proposals in a record turnout surprised even the package’s most vocal critics. Many had expected a close or failing vote on the third proposal, which would have authorized spending $23.1 million to add onto or refurbish existing schools and install athletic turf at Fossil Ridge and Central high schools.

A $129.2 million proposal to build six schools also failed, as did a measure that would have allowed the district to issue bonds without decreasing the portion of the tax rate used to operate schools.

Trustee David Farmer said the results were a clear message that residents feel overtaxed.

“If they were only against proposition three, only proposition three would have failed. They all three failed,” Farmer said. “That’s a much greater statement. It takes a lot for people to vote against things that would have been good for their kids.”

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing how the influx of new students means we have to pony up more money each year.  If schools were funded fairly (that is if we have to fund schools, which I would dispute, but I don’t want to get off on a tangent here), the people using the service would be paying for it.  If our taxes go up every time someone moves into the district, it would seem that the schools aren’t being funded in a fair way.  Someone, somewhere, is getting a free ride.  Yes, I’m a heartless bastard, but if someone can’t afford the costs their children generate they shouldn’t have had them.

Anyhow, I think the thing that pissed me off the most about this bond proposal is summed up in point four from this article by Dave Lieber.

4. Don’t let academic dreams get hijacked by the sports crowd. Never again make the mistake of mixing athletic needs and academic needs in bond questions. Don’t let your pro-bond community spokesmen be the same people who persuaded the board to give backdoor approval to install artificial turf for the district’s stadium this summer—even though bond voters previously rejected this.

Academics first! Some Realtors brag to prospective home buyers that the district is “exemplary,” when it is rated as “recognized.” As school board President Richard Walker candidly admits: “I want the Keller school district to be what the real estate agents are advertising.”

At a time when we’re hearing horror stories about teachers having to buy their own copy paper because the schools don’t have any, the school district spent over $400,000 on artificial turf.  Then, they have the nerve to shove even more money for artificial turf in this bond proposal (bond item #3), along with a bunch of vague (and seemingly high) costs for new schools.  The whole thing had the feel of a free-money scam about it.  That inspired me to make sure I got out to vote against the bond proposal.  If I’m going to be taxed at such a high rate, I’m going to demand that they at least have the decency to spend the money on academics.

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