4 Kids Future is no longer supporting the ECISD bond proposal.
A press conference was held Friday, September 29th.
At the conference, Collin Sewell with 4 kids future, spoke out about the miscommunication and misinformation they relieved.
This announcement coming just 5 weeks away from the election.
“The information is not that shocking. The absents of it, it what caused me to have concerns. Had I known this information in the beginning I feel confident we could have explained it to the community, and it could have logically made sense,” says Collin Sewell.
As the election is coming closer, Sewell felt they needed to be transparent with the community.
“I don’t think its fair to the tax payers or the community to not share that information with them,” says Sewell.
As 4 kids future pull their support for the bond, they share two points of misinformation they received. One, that all ECISD staff would receive a 2.5 percent pay increase. Secondly, that the TRE funds would go to operational costs of new staff of new schools.
In a statement released by 4 kids future, they address the issues more in depth.
First point of misinformation: If the TRE passes, the teachers would only receive a 1.5% pay increase, as they have already received a 1% pay increase.
Second point of misinformation: We were told the revenues generated from the passing of the TRE would pay for the operational costs of the new schools and staff pay increases. This too is not fully accurate. If passed, the money generated from the TRE would assist the district with its current operating budget until the new school construction is complete. Thereby a portion of our tax dollars would fund existing operations NOT future operations as I was told.
The statement continues to say “we will no longer be endorsing, advocating, or supporting this current bond election or TRE. We never want to be party to any mistruths or misunderstandings whether by accident or intentional. These are our tax payer dollars being invested on our behalf into the future of our students.”
Tom Crowe, superintended for Ector County ISD also released a statement addressing the issue.
It read in part “The reason that Mr. Sewell gave for the withdrawal of their support was due to what was characterized as “misinformation”. I am truly guilty of miscommunication but not misinformation. In the original TRE, I thought that the 2.5% for teachers was in total. In other words, it was 1.5% more than the 1% that teachers had already received.
“The Board and the PAC understood that it was 2.5% on top of the 1% the teachers had already received.As soon as I became aware of my error, I changed the distribution of the money in the TRE to reflect a 2.5% raise for everyone on top of whatever you are currently making.”
While 4 kids future, no longer supports the structure of the bond, they say they still stand behind the ECISD issues.
“That does not take away or negate the fact that ECISD has serious needs, it does not take away from the fact that there is over crowding, that building needs upkeep and everything that was in the proposal is still needed. I think from our perspective, its much more important that the information provided is completely accurate and transparent,” says Adrian Vega, 4 kids future.
Vega saying it was too late to take the bond off of the Novembers ballot.
“Yes the voters can still vote for the bond and for the tax rate election, I hope that people decide to do so,” says Sewell, “However given the information that I have received, we are no longer going to be advocating for this current bond or tax rate election the way its structured.”
“We felt that at this time it would be in the best interest, in terms of maintaining our credibility as well as ensuring that people still support the children of the district. That it would be in our best interest to step aside from leading the effort,” says Vega
Vega says if the bond is not passed in November and pending ECISD restructures the bond, they would consider supporting the initiative in the future .