The following article was written by local realtor Jerri Glover in favor of the Amarillo Independent School District bond election taking place this November. The Amarillo Pioneer plans to bring you opinions from both supporters and opponents of the bond election to help you make an informed decision on November 7th.
While an investment in toilets and auditorium infrastructure may not seem like it directly affects the acquisition of knowledge for our school-age kids, I would assert that it does. If you do not have reliable infrastructure in a place where you spend several hours every day, would it be a distraction? Sure it would.
If your workplace or home had unreliable infrastructure—infrastructure that was over 50 years old, would you want to have that upgraded, brought up to modern standards and be something you could count on when you need it? Absolutely. Why would we want anything less for our kids?
Here is what you consider when you are deciding to vote FOR the $100 million dollar bond.
1. 78% of Amarillo schools are over 50 years old.
2. The property taxes you pay don’t stay in the county in which you pay them. They are sent to Austin. Austin then returns a portion of the taxes based on the number of children that attend school, special needs children and a number of other criteria, but it is not near the amount collected.
3. While they are not allowed to speak out on it in a public forum, the educators I have talked with are in favor of this bond and understand its necessity. These are the folks in the trenches with these kids using the same aged infrastructure the Board is trying to replace.
4. The Board took the time to put together a focus group to provide input on the priorities for upgrade and help them decide how to best spend any bond money. I also know people who served in this group and they too are in favor of the bond and the projects selected for the expenditures.
My sincere hope is that the citizens of Amarillo first of all GET OUT AND VOTE! Secondly, I hope that they do not punish AISD Board and Faculty for what the City of Amarillo has done and tried to with previously bond elections. They are separate entities with separate agendas.
I hear all the time how proud we are in Amarillo of the fact that we have one of the lowest (if not the lowest) tax rate in the State of Texas. That is nothing to be proud of if our infrastructure in our schools are not up to modern standards.
Don’t like the way the Board is spending money? When was the last time you attended a School Board Meeting or took time to write a School Board Member to offer your opinion rather than splattering the pages of social media with complaints and rants?
I implore you to please consider this issue carefully and to avoid voting against the Bond measure because you hear the words “raising taxes”. Please consider the true merits of this issue. Please vote. Please vote YES.