MIDLAND, Texas (BIG2/FOX24) – With the November elections fast approaching, parents and administration on both sides of the Midland Independent School District’s bond issue are speaking out.
“Some of the decisions just don’t make sense,” said concerned voter, Brian Quinonez. “They don’t add up, and I think this bond actually brings more questions than answers.”
Quinonez says he has no choice but to say no.
“It feels non-transparent. Once again, it feels like a rushed decision, and now, we’re having to force a vote quickly. If this thing gets even close to passing, it’s 51 to 49, and that doesn’t leave a good taste in anyone’s mouth.”
He says this facilities bond focuses on tackling the wrong issues. He wants to see his taxpayer money go towards teacher retention, salary raises, improved academic curriculums, and giving power back to the teachers.
“The 2012 bond that we passed for a hundred and sixty-something million – 33% of those schools that got new facilities are failing. Any business that’s asking for a billion dollars should have a great business proposal and a track record of success.”
But Co-chair of “We Choose Our Future” political action committee, Dave Joyner, says schools in the district are outdated, overcrowded, and unsafe.
“There’s no reason not to do these things in concert. The idea that you’re demanding that the school district fix the other problem before you’re willing to pay for new schools is backwards to me. We owe our kids quality, safe places to go to school.”
He says the most recent school facility dates back at least 30 years, and the district sees an additional 500 kids annually.
“There is a lot of overcrowding,” explained mother, Olivia Ortiz. “When I’ve gone to teacher-parent open houses with all four of my children, I’ve seen the conditions of the schools that my children go to school in. And, I really feel like the classrooms need to be expanded and updated – especially in the portables.”
Quinonez says he hopes for more transparency from the school district. “I think we can take a little more time and propose a bond that everyone feels good about.”
However, Joyner says the bond has been long time coming.
“The process started two years ago. There’s no way that they could’ve known we’d be in this situation.”