FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE for April 23, 2013
CONTACT: JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People
Cell: 903-360-2858 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grassroots America joins the No More Excuses, Tyler ISD! Coalition in urging voters to reject the $254.1 million Tyler ISD bond package on the May 11th ballot.
Grassroots America fully expected the Tyler Chamber, many elected officials, and the higher education officials to endorse the Tyler ISD bond election. They always do.
Grassroots America is not willing to overlook a mountain of evidence from both national and state education rating agencies that document Tyler ISD’s poor academic results.
Both high schools are rated academically unacceptable. Texas Education Agency ratings consistently show a majority of high school graduates are not college ready. Since 2004, Tyler ISD has always been below both the state and the region in college readiness in both math and English language arts. In most instances, our two high schools are several points below both the state and the region in college readiness.[Source:http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/index.html Texas Success Initiative (TSI) – Higher Education Readiness Component]
Tyler ISD also has declining academic ratings for a majority of the middle and elementary schools – even those elementary school with new buildings. Those are not opinions — those are facts easily discovered on the websites of the Texas Education Agency and Comptroller.
The bond package is a total of $254.1 million in principal and interest. This is not a “no cost” bond package. There is a cost to businesses and homeowners – another $254.1 million dollars in taxes and debt current and future taxpayers will have to pay. If we’re going to invest this much money, shouldn’t we have some assurance academics will dramatically improve? If this bond passes, we believe there will be no incentive for the District to do anything differently. It certainly has not improved since we built the last two rounds of elementary schools.
This bond election is not just about buildings. It should be about setting a higher standard in our community for what the school board and administration produce with our tax dollars. We don’t believe the Board and Administration supports teachers in a way that will help us get the high academic results students, teachers, and taxpayers deserve. The high rate of spending and poor results is something Grassroots America is not willing to overlook.