WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - While many groups are pushing to vote “yes” on the Wichita Falls ISD proposed school bond, one group wants voters to consider a few details before passing the $290 million bond.
Bill Franklin joined the Wichita Falls ISD school board in 2014, right after the proposed bond election that year failed.
He says this time around is no different.
“What we are doing in my opinion is using a Cadillac approach to something which is based on a new education philosophy which is unproven,” said Franklin.
Franklin is not against the ideas of new schools in the district but is against the current bond proposal to do it.
One reason he is voting no is that it could hurt students on an academic level.
“We lose a valedictorian and a salutatorian from that third school,” said Franklin. “Then you compact the top 10% of students in Wichita Falls schools so therefore some students lose the opportunity to qualify for that automatic admission to schools in Texas.”
He is also concerned about the financial hardship a tax increase could put on some families.
“The number of people that can least afford it outnumber the people that can,” said Franklin.
He is also concerned about the location.
The school district says the board picked the two potential locations because they fit the district’s criteria of at least 100 acres for each school that could be seen from the freeway.
“Both sides of Kell Freeway is where our most dense population,” said WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt. “These two ends of town one at 287 and one at Seymour Highway, Southwest Parkway, and 369. These two locations make sense.”
“We will have to go in and rehabilitate our neighborhoods,” said Franklin. “If we pull schools out it will just be much much harder to do because sooner or later we will run out of land on the southwest part of town.”
When Franklin served on the school board from 2014-2018, he proposed an idea that would allow the district to renovate the current schools while building new ones for a cheaper cost.
“We can do this,” said Franklin. “If we had proceeded with the plan that I thought was in place in 2018, we would already have a new school on the ground if we do this. We can do it in steps and have it done in the same amount of time.”
The Vote No WFISD group has a Facebook page with more information about their opposition to the bond.
You can read more about the WFISD school bond by clicking here.