Weatherford Democrat

April 25, 2013

Letters to the Editor – April 25, 2013


Weatherford Democrat

Facts why voters should support WISD bond proposal

Dear Editor,

The people at Citizens Against the WISD Bond have quite the storytellers on their side of the fence. They have crafted a masterful tale – one where the administration of WISD overspends, is overpaid, and has earmarked tax payer money for useless spending with no oversight. To hear them tell it they are the only ones being reasonable, just average citizens looking out for the everyday interests of taxpaying residents. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Fact – athletic and career components to the bill are primarily for safety concerns. Four hundred students travel from campus to campus every day for activities related to the points in this budget – travel that is unnecessary and outside of a safe-school zone.

Fact – the over-65 tax exemption will not suddenly disappear because of this bond. Regardless of what the folks on the “No” side want to claim, the homestead exemption for folks over 65 is solid and not going anywhere.

Fact – Weatherford ISD teachers are underpaid. All teachers are underpaid. Bonds cannot increase teacher salaries though – it is both impossible and illegal. What bonds can do is make the environment that teachers are working in safer, roomier, and more technologically advanced so they can continue providing exceptional education to students in the district.

I encourage you to read more about the above issues and what else is included in the bond at facebook.com/wisdbondpac.

Fact – The main opposition that coalesced to fight this bond is not a faceless group of concerned citizens. They are people who think that money is above the law, and more valuable than the livelihood of the next generation. They are people comfortable in anonymity but afraid to show their faces and subject their real motivation to scrutiny. The problem here isn’t oversight, or administrative pay, but the value of their dollar in their pocket at the end of the day. Bullies and greed should not determine the fate of our students, and misinformation and propaganda belongs in Washington, not in Weatherford.

These are improvements that are sorely desired and will be exponentially more needed as Weatherford continues its rapid growth. If you have children now or plan to have children soon they will benefit from this bond, and if your kids are grown and gone you can take comfort in the fact that these are tax dollars that are going to a good cause for the right reasons.

Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, refused to patent a vaccine in which he would have gained millions. When asked what drove him he replied that “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.” I again implore my friends to do just that, to see beyond a minor tax increase and strive for a better tomorrow, starting today.



Toby Schoonover, Weatherford



Vote yes to WISD bond proposal

Dear Editor,

Please join me in voting YES for the school bond.

Our community is growing and our schools must also grow. We need to add facilities to make the district more efficient while providing programs to prepare our future workforce.

Consolidation of athletics at the high school is a small piece of the bond that pays for itself in day-to-day savings. The bond is the right answer to fix overcrowded elementary schools and deal with our community’s growth.

Please vote YES with me!

Thank you,

Donna Dickinson, Weatherford



Opposers of school bond lack facts



Dear Editor,

Last Sunday (April 21) the Democrat published two letters that both opposed the upcoming Weatherford ISD school bond proposal. By printing opposing views in the same edition, a more informative, balanced discussion would have been presented.

What is most striking in these two columns is the total lack of verifiable facts. The idea that spending on public schools will somehow injure the Weatherford economy and decease the tax base is absolute fabrication. Education spending actually improves the local economy, tax base and employment.

Every national or local evaluation of education spending indicates about four dollars are locally gained for every dollar spent on public education. Furthermore, because of the extremely low bond interest rates now available, the return is even greater. We would be really penny wise and dollar foolish to pass up these historically low financing rates.

Mr. Williams’ often-stated opinion that only property-owning taxpayers should have to pay school taxes is without supporting facts. Firstly, every person living in Weatherford pays school taxes, either directly or indirectly. He apparently still believes landlords don’t pass property tax on to their tenants. If he talked to any landlord, realtor or rental agent in town he would stop voicing his beliefs as facts.

Mr. Williams also states high school graduation rates and academic achievement are falling. This is simply not true! Every survey, nationally or by state, show both improving. The greatest improvements have been in school districts, which have increased academic spending and promoted parental involvement.

I always laugh when I hear people point to the superior results in private schools, but omit that private schools charge parents about twice as much per school year as public schools receive. Ask any superintendent what they could achieve with twice as many dollars as the state provides.

You might also ask public school principals and boards of education how much further they could stretch every dollar if they must only accept students with no economic and learning disadvantages and only those that have better educated parents, who are devoted to their children’s education? The claim that school funding and educational achievement are unrelated is one of the greatest intentional lies in education.

The exceptional educational achievement in other countries is based on entirely different school systems. School years and days are longer. Not to mention the most successful systems do not include students, from all levels of society. For example, in China about 300 million of the country’s 1.5 billion citizens can attend, and are counted, in the most successful urban schools. With the exception of senior communist party members children, all higher education is based on competitive national exams and not on their parents’ ability to pay.

What people like the authors of last Sunday’s columns miss is that we are all educated with public money, either taxes or parental. Whether we have children presently in public schools is absolutely and totally immaterial. The great American middle class was created by public education. The GI Bill, student loans and tax-supported schools made this country what it is today. I strongly support the passage of the upcoming Weatherford ISD school bond proposal. It is the smart thing to do!

Bonds are loans and the last resort of all public enterprises. If you want to know why we must borrow to educate our young people, write a letter to our governor, state senator and representative and ask why they fail term after term to finance schools at the state level, as our state constitution demands. I bet you do not get a reply.

Respectfully,

Dennis Tilly, Weatherford