by Tom Fabry, Chairman 
Grassroots America’s Local Gov’t Watchdog Committee 

Tyler ISD: $500 Reward for Employees Taking C-19 Shot 
On 8/23, the Tyler ISD school board listed two Covid-19 related items on the meeting Agenda. 1) Give employees who take or have taken a gov’t-approved C-19 shot(s) a $500 stipend (prize).  2) Give an extra 10 days of paid sick leave if they take the shot and become ill or are later diagnosed with C-19.

These items, which could run well over $1 million, were inexplicably placed on the “Consent Agenda,” meaning these issues were to be considered “uncontroversial” or like a routine expense grouped with numerous other items and passed as a group without debate.  Had several concerned citizens not spoken up, the Board may have simply glossed over the Administration’s resolutions and approved them – without any debate!

Despite citizen objections, the Board passed the stipend unanimously.  The extra sick leave resolution was correctly tabled for more study.

Public Statement Delivered to the Tyler ISD Board
Grassroots America’s Local Watchdog Chairman Tom Fabry made the following public comments to the Tyler ISD Board AGAINST both resolutions:

“Nowhere in TISD’s five stated core beliefs is there a single word about delving into staff’s private medical decisions.  So NOT only are these $500 stipends NOT part of TISD’s Core Mission, but they are also NOT a prudent use of taxpayer funds.

“The stipend is a retroactive policy!  But it only applies to those getting the shot – what about those people that have natural immunity or have recovered from a C-19 infection? These folks have antibodies that are reportedly much better and longer lasting than the shot.  Add that to conscientious objections for closely held religious beliefs and the program is discriminatory.

“The same discriminatory problems apply to extended sick leave for those opting-in to the stipend (bribe) and who take the shot.  Again, those who have natural immunity often should NOT get the shot – why are they not protected by your largesse?   Or what about getting the booster which some now are advocating?  Does that qualify for another stipend?  How about booster #2, or 3 or X??

“Then there is the financial exposure to the taxpayers.  The stipend is over $1 million at full opt-in!  Has there been an analysis of the cost of extra paid leave?   No, because there is no hard data.  So, this would be like signing a blank check and planning to have a lot of substitute teachers on retainer.

“Moreover, various studies have shown massive numbers of so-called Covid-19 cases that have been incorrectly classified as actual Covid cases versus “Having ‘X’ illness WITH Covid.”  Again, what is the financial exposure? And how do you manage and subsidize who has a “real” Covid illness?

“But the final and only argument that matters is this:  Health decisions are a PERSONAL and PRIVATE matter.  You have no idea whether there are mitigating health reasons that warn of potentially fatal side effects. And you have no business questioning a person’s deeply held religious beliefs.

“I’ve read the Board Goals that you have listed on the web site.  I applaud you for publishing quantifiable metrics actually focused on the mission of this school District.  So, I encourage you to stick to your mission – increase the achievement of TISD students in the core competencies of reading, math, and graduation rates.    If you are going to give stipends – do it for exemplary student achievement gains!   Thank you.”

ACTION You Can Take!
Pay property taxes to Tyler ISD? Don’t like this use of your tax dollars?  Call the school board!

Find the Tyler ISD Board contact information by clicking this link and then clicking each name on the list. Note the District Map to the right of each name.  This will help you determine which elected Trustee represents you on the Board by simply clicking on the district links in the District Maps column. Having trouble locating the information? Email Watchdog Committee Chairman Tom Fabry:

Live in Another School District?
This is happening in other school districts across Texas.  Click here to look up your school district by County. When you locate the school districts in your county, then you can select the school district information that will give a link for your School District’s website.  On your School District’s website, you can find your elected school board members and their contact information.  Having trouble locating the information? Email Watchdog Committee Chairman Tom Fabry:

Stern reminder
If you pay property taxes on a home and/or business, you have every right to question what these School Board Trustees do with your tax dollars!  It does NOT matter if you do not have kids in public school – YOU pay for everything the School Board approves to spend money on!  You have a fundamental right to ask questions.

I guarantee if you start asking questions and observing what is going on in your school district, you will begin to see that you need to pay attention to the School Board races that come up on your May ballot.

Don’t just sit there and stew about it, say something! As JoAnn always says, your silence to an elected official = your approval!

Encouraging you to engage your elected officials,

Tom Fabry
Chairman, Grassroots America’s Local Gov’t Watchdog Committee