Major changes could soon be underway for the Wichita Falls Independent School District. A $125 million bond is being proposed to consolidate the district’s three high schools into two, four junior highs into three along with other changes.
A group of passionate Wichita Falls residents are working
to get everyone on board with the bond proposal. For the Political Action Committee, also known as P.A.C., social media and the internet will play a big role in their efforts. They are spearheading the “Bond and Build” campaign, to educate residents about the bond.
“We see some savings in the maintenance and operations. The dollars that are turned over as part of that $125 million will turn over 5 to 7 times in the local community so it’s a big deal. We feel it is something that is needed in the secondary level,” said Kerry Maroney, Political Action Committee Co-Chair.
If the bond is passed, it will cost the average homeowner $10 per month. However, senior citizens over the age of 65 will not have to pay due to their school taxes being frozen. Maroney said this year is a great chance to approve the bond since the school district has some debt rolling off in August.
“We have a very unique opportunity here. With the debt
rolling off in August, we can maintain the current debt service which would finance about 35 percent or somewhere between $40 million to $50 million dollars of the $125 million. So it would really leave us about $75 million or $80 million that would be financed through the increase in taxes,” he said.
Maroney said another chance like this, will not come around for another 13 years.
Those in favor of the bond, believe the schools need to be upgraded and modernized; something they said will be achieved if the bond is passed.
“I think it’s a good idea even though it’s kind of costly. If they are re-doing the old building and things like that, I can see why they’d want to put the kids in better schools,” said Shelby Stansbury, mother of two children.
Those against the measure felt the money should be going towards other issues.
“All you’re going to have is a bunch of kids crammed in
one place. They’ve got enough problems with student to teacher ratio. One teacher for thirty something children, so are they going to make it worse?” said Wichita Falls resident Will Simmons.
“I don’t think it would be a good idea. There would be way too many children. How many teachers are you going to be able to keep there to make sure our children are safe?” said Amanda Lawson, mother of three children.
If the bond is passed, it could have a half a billion to three quarters of a billion dollar impact on the local economy.
For more information on the bond proposal, visit the W.F.I.S.D. website here
To get in contact with the Political Action Committee, visit their website by clicking here
or visit their facebook here
. They will answer any questions residents have about the bond proposal. Cynthia Kobayashi
, Newschannel 6.