Sunday , 20 August 2017

MISD Bonds Needed Now More Than Ever

MISD Bonds Needed Now More Than Ever

MISD Bonds Needed Now More Than Ever

MISD Bonds Needed Now More Than Ever

On May 14, the MISD will hold a bond election to ask your support for your local schools. I’m voting “yes,” and I’m asking each of you to take the time to learn about the details of this bond package and vote “yes” as well.

This bond package was recommended by a group of local taxpayers including business leaders, PTA moms, civic volunteers and parents who spent 18 months honing this package. This was probably the least political, most knowledgeable and thoughtful committee I’ve ever worked on. Committee members asked some tough questions; did a lot of homework and listened to input from the public with open consideration. In the end, we arrived at a bond package that strikes the right balance between providing the facilities and tools necessary to teach a growing student population while respecting the need to be conservative in a time of tough budget choices.

This is a largely nuts and bolts package for necessities like roofs, new classrooms, air conditioners and upgrades to fire alarms, security and technology. It plans for expanding existing schools to accommodate growth instead of building new ones. It keeps our schools up-to-date and gives our kiddos everything they need without the higher costs of building new campuses.

Some of the specific projects of the $191 million package include:
• Renovations to McKinney High School (now 25 years old)
• Expansions to McKinney High School and McKinney North High School to reach 3,000 student capacity
• Security vestibules at elementary schools for stricter control on who enters the schools
• Expansions to Reuben Johnson and Malvern elementaries
• Expansions to Dowell and Faubion middle schools
• Expanded career and technology programs at the high schools
• District-wide safety and security improvements
• District-wide technology upgrades
• Purchase of land for future schools
• Renovations across the district such as roofs, air conditioners, etc.
• For a complete description, please visit http://bond.mckinneyisd.net/.

The issue that drew the most discussion was the choice between building a fourth high school vs. expanding McKinney High and McKinney North. I was impressed with the open-minded consideration given to this issue by Dr. Kennedy, MISD staff and the committee. We reviewed the proposed costs and discussed ramifications of both options. In the end, it was apparent that a fourth high school was simply not economically feasible. The increase in high school enrollment can be accommodated more efficiently by expanding the existing campuses. This single decision will save local taxpayers $30 million in construction costs plus $5 million every year in added operating expenses for a new school – a savings of $80 million over 10 years. If you are a parent who favors smaller high schools, please know many of us on the committee agree. Your input was respected and thoroughly considered. The money just isn’t there.

Education is vital to all of us, regardless of whether you have school-age children. The MISD’s strong reputation is the cornerstone of our economic development, and it is educating tomorrow’s business leaders, military leaders, political leaders, citizens and workforce. There are 24,000 children who walk in the door of an MISD school every day. Their future will affect each of us.

Consider the earning potential of those 24,000 citizens: [Click here for chart on value of education] • No high school diploma: 14.6 % unemployment rate; average weekly salary $454
• High School Diploma: 9.7 % unemployment rate; average weekly salary $626
• Bachelor’s degree: 5.2% unemployment; $1,025 weekly salary
(from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, 2009)

Who will renew America back to financial strength, support tomorrow’s economy and pay your Social Security? Invest well, my friends. The Medicare you save may be your own.

Please vote “yes” on the MISD bond package. Election Day is May 14, and early voting is May 2-10.


 

Vote Yes for the MISD Bond Package on May 14.

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