FAST GROWTH SCHOOL DISTRICTS: TEXAS DISTRICTS PROVIDE EXTENSIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION, TRANSPARENCY IN BOND ELECTIONS
AUSTIN, TEXAS (Aug. 17, 2016)—The following statement on the August 15, 2016 Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee hearing may be attributed to Dr. Michelle Smith, Executive Director of the Fast Growth School Coalition.
“The Fast Growth School Coalition and our members wholeheartedly support meaningful transparency and voter education. In many ways, school districts are among some of the most transparent local entities and endeavor to educate and inform voters well ahead of any bond elections or ballot measures.
“We simply believe that the ballot is a point of decision, not a point of education. School districts spend many months holding public forums, presenting information in a variety of digital and print formats, on the web, by mail and through social media. Our members continue to look for ways to further refine and strengthen our track record of transparency and communication.
“During this week’s Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee interim hearing, incorrect information regarding the costs of an Alvin ISD middle school was provided by a panelist and member, citing a blog that incorrectly placed the cost of the facility at $42 million.
“In fact, according to the Comptroller’s own data, the campus discussed during the IGR hearing, Manvel Junior High School, was built at a cost of $17.8 million, and was recognized in a 2012 Comptroller report as one of the lowest cost junior high campuses in Texas.
“Texas’ population continues to skyrocket. Public schools in the fastest growing areas of our state struggle to keep pace with the increasing demand for new facilities to house these students. It’s time for state funding to reflect the inherent realities of a strong economy and invest in Texas’ basic education and infrastructure needs. Our state’s continued prosperity and competitiveness is at stake.”
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FGSC’s full testimony to the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, delivered by Daniel Combs of Alvin ISD, is also available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
The Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC) is a grassroots organization of school districts interested in finding legislative solutions that help districts cope with the financial and structural demands of their rapidly expanding populations. Learn more online at www.fastgrowthtexas.org or follow on Twitter, @FastGrowthTexas.
Media Contact: Jennifer Harris