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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 13, 2003     Hays Free Press
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February 13, 2003
 

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Page 4 The Free Press |J6dal 00ge Fe-b00ruaf000013, 20000" Which Category Are You? Bond Electiq)n Februa]:y 22 BY LAURZE CROMWELL School Board President t ou are faced with a very important vote concern- ing this bond election. The process began in 2000 with a task force formed to evaluate the needs of this school dis- trict. It was determined to ask voters for their support in 2001 and return in 2003 for support to complete the pro- jects. Vote "YES" if you are any of these categories: PARENT: If you have children attending Hays CISD ., schools, you know the quality " education being offered. You : are also aware of worn out or - overcrowded campuses partic- , ularly. Successful voting of this proposal includes two ele- - mentary schools and a middle - school to relieve overcrowd- " ing for the next three years as " well as improvements/addi- ' tions at every campus. It will " keep .the neighborhood school concept instead of "busing" students from one end of the district to the other or placing them in costly temporary portable buildings. 2001 BOND SUPPORT- ER: Voters in 2001 over- whelmingly stated their desire for a new high school, ele- mentary school and major improvements. All 2001 bond projects are being built as rep- resented to voters, on-time and under budget, saving much needed dollars for addi- tional projects and reserve contingencies. The process has been replicated for this bond package including a citi- zen's advisory committee reviewing all projects, time- lines and costs. BUSINESS LEADER: Education drives the work- force in a community. Economic development is greatly needed to offset the residential tax burden. Without quality programs and facilities that enhance the edu- i cational system, our commu- nity will be less attractive to businesses. Business leaders support this bond and the commitment to education through quality schools. SENIOR CITIZEN: Per state law, school district prop- erty taxes are frozen when you turn 65 years of age. That means this bond will not cost senior citizens more money in school taxes. TAXPAYER: Nobody likes taxes, but in 1999 the tax rate was $1.8769. The tax rate today is $1.68. The cost to sell bonds is the lowest in 40 years. We can approve build- ing permanent facilities now or delay the inevitable and pay for permanent solutions later. In the interim, taxes will be heeded to pay for temporary solutions. We should make decisions based on the most for our money. FORMER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: All cur- rent and previous board mem- bers receive training to learn that Maintenance and Operations funds are used for teacher salaries and opera- tional costs imperative to the school district. Interest and Sinking funds are allocated towards debt. A vote for this bond will NOT take money away from instruction. In fact, the opposite could be true. Board members should champion this cause as a mat- ter of fiscal responsibility. STUDENT/TEACHER: Teaching in overcrowded classrooms does not lend itself to the best environment for teachers. Students who are wet, cold, and uninterested in learning create low morale and make teaching more diffi- cult. This proposal creates a "main street" concept where students and teachers walk the campus protected from the elements. Security for stu- dents and teachers will be enhancedt/y the i,0pr, ments funded by this bond. BAND BOOSTER AND ATHLETIC BOOSTER: At the overwhelming request of the community, the 2001 bond referendum included a separate proposal for a peffomling arts center and expansion to the football stadium. By law funds must be spent on those projects as approved by voters. The community supported the need for extra-curricular facilities then and now needs to support the curricular and instructional enhancements provided in this bond. NEW RESIDENT: Most people moved here for the community environment and schools. Growth in Hays CISD continues on an average of 47-50 new students per month. From now until 2006, an absolute minimum of 4,000 additional students will enroll. This projection includes approved subdivisions and not those in the planning and per- mitting stage. New residents should support this effort to keep the community and edu- cational system that attracted them to move to our district. EMPTY NESTER: For those who had children; grand- children; nieces/ nephews; or neighbors attend public schools in Hays CISD, past bond referendums allowed educational facilities. Better schools make a better and safer community. We need your help to pass this proposal. Funds will only be spent as needed. All solu- tions to our fast growth require money and this is the most log- ical and affordable solution. Please be informed and vote "YF_'inthis election,.,,,..=..- ;,, For or 00tgainst? Wondering which way the Free Press is going to jump on the school bond election? There's been no endorsement to date because the editorial board and the newspaper owners -- about 10 people in all can't reach consensus themselves, with some lean- ing for, some against, and some in between. In next week's issue, two stockholders -- from the same family, no less -- take different tacks on the debate. The debate; continues Concerns about the School Bond BY WILLIAM 'VIOE ' JOHNSON Former HCISD Superintendent geeasolieve that there are three basic ns to question the timing of this bond issue. Reason #1: The Uncertainty of State Funding A banner headline in the San Antonio Express News last week read "Robin Hood Faces Death" What does this mean to Hays CISD and other low property wealth school districts in the State that are receiving Robin Hood Funds? No one really knows the answer at this time. The State Legislature is currently wrestling with the school funding question while facing a funding deficit of some ten billion dollars and declining state revenue. It appears that school funding will not be increased and there is a possibili- ty of reductions in state schools funds. Our district may need every available dollar for current programs and salaries. It would seem prudent not to incur addi- tional debt until we have answers to the question of funding. Certainly, we will have a better picture of School Funding when the legislature finishes its work this summer. Reason #2: Student Growth and Current Facilities Certainly, Hays will experi- ence student growth. The question is how much and how quick? The 2001 bond issue allowed the school district to construct Tobias Elementary School (800 stu- dents); a new academic building at Hays High School that Can serve 12(X)--1400 students; Lehman High School (Phase I) should handle an additional 1200 students; additions to Fuentes, Hemphill and Elm Grove Elementary Schools have provid-  sp for 200new students on i,, ' Gff'cims. e= "lve So .... been additions to both the Dahlstrom and the Wallace mid- die school campuses that will increase available facilities. These additions should pro- vide space for student growth for the next two to three years. The data presented to school district patrons for the 2001 bond propos- al projected a district enrollment of 9,524 students in this school year (2002 2003). On January 21, 2003 the enrollment was 8612 students---912 students short of the projection. Reason #3: Bond Debt/Declining Economy If this bond is passed and bonds are sold, Hays CISD will have a total bond debt of approxi- mately $243 million, one of the highest bond debts per student in the state. Excessive debt can destroy an individual, a business or a school district. This means that a large part of every dollar the school district spends will go to retire debt, leaving fewer dollars for instruction (teacher salaries) and general school operations. It should be understood that school bond funds are for the purpose of construction of school facilities and the purchase of equipment for those facilities. They are not for general school operation costs (salaries, maintenance, utilities, programs, supplies, etc.). All around us are the ugly signs of a down economy. A Kyle area constable recently reported that he had served 143 eviction notices in the past year--and 14 in January of this year. We have a lot of people and students leaving the district. People are hurting and higher taxes will only add to their pain. If our taxes become excessive, it may well discourage new busi- ness and commercial firms from locating to Hays CISD We need new firms to increase our tax base and relieve the pressure on home owners and small businesses. The location of the Toyota plant in San Antonio will add billions of dol- lars to the Bexar County tax rolls as well as thousands of jobs for citizens. This is what we need in the Hays district-----during this downturn in the economy, proper- ty owners do not need the added burden of new and higher taxes. Summary: The Hays C.I.S.D. has always been an excellent school dis- trict a source of pride to our community. I do not believe any- one wants sub-standard schools and overcrowded classrooms. Hafts has always and now has some Of the finest and most dedi- cated teachers in the country, and TEACHERS make good schools. I have spent my entire profes- sional life as an advocate for bet- ter schools and education for every child. My opposition to this bond does not mean I am against schools. It does mean I believe we should be prudent and wait until we have clear answers to all the questions presented. When we have these answers I believe peo- ple would be willing to support a bond election to meet our school district's facility needs and at the proper time, I will be one of those people. William "Moe" Johnson, the founding superintendent of Hays CISD, retired in 1984. ACROSS 1 El Paso!s first woman mayor Suzy 5 world peace organ. 6 TXism: "he sleeps fast" (active) 7 sweet taters 8 __ Campo, IX 9 Pres. "lke" who was born in Denlson (init.) 12 "ragtime' Joplin who was TX-born 17 Texans can carry it concealed legally 20 Port __, TX 22 Rockport has largest live in TX 23 Dallas sports card co.: Pro __, __ 24 TX grad academic cap: board 29 TX Oatmeal Festival race: -_-Then 30 TXism: "gave him a __ of his own medicine" 31 cattle breed intro- duced in TX in 1895 32 Jimmy coached hare after Dallas 36 TXism: "parental plague" 37 this Texan co-wrote "Urban Cowboy" 51 ox-SMU pres. Kenneth 52 TXism: "could walk under a turtle wearin' _ __ gallon hat" (short) 53 Grand Prairie exhibit: Ripley's Believe It _ 54 TXIsm: "write slow cause he can't __ fast" 55 USS Texas supported Omaha Beach on - 56 shoe of choice for many TX athletes 58 arrest an outlaw 43" 45 Moses, Joshua and 47 exotic antelope or TX energy co. 48 apple variety from the TX Hill Country 50 Houston astronaut Carter who died in John Tower crash The Original TEXAS CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison t 2ooa , Oean ar. ;"Tg- 2 13 0 3 41 59 TXlsm: "it'll do __ _ pinch' 60 TXism: 'table graze" DOWN 1 TX rancher Chuck Norris film based on aBible phrase 14 this Preminger I 2 in Angelina Nat. directed TX Tlerne 38 TX Pride's "My Eyes Forest on hwy, 69 15 Can Only See __ 3 TXIsm: "up and __ all __ I can stand" __ As You" '_._ juice" (coffee) 16 TXism: "1 can dance to 39 Mlchaet Irvln ran 4 TX Tarzan Ely, at al. that _.__" (agree) this on the gridiron 9 Dallas people- 18 film studio of TX 40 Houston's moving company Ginger Rogers Barbara Land __ __ Laredo" 10 TX Hagman was 19 DFW arrival guess 41 metal mixture Capt. Nelson in TV 21 sx*Aggie Slocum 28 TXism: "gentle as a 42 TX Relays is a "1 " 24 this Brando heads horse on _  track 11 TX-Mex mafia: for TX in "The go-rotmd" 44 former mate "El __ Chase" (init.) 33 Alamo's Travls drew 46 TXism: "run it _ 12 San Antonio shos 25 TXism:'lt's root aline _ thedlrt a lawyer" company hog  die" 34 Rangers league 49 birth state of TX 13 what you can't use 26 rodents 35 Gov." Ferguson outlaw Sam Bass to buy TX lottery 27 TXism: 'cream rises 37 TXism: 'tall hog 50 pie ale ticket (2 wds.) to __ __7 (quality) _ the trough" 57 Midland FM radio 4' 2003 School Bond Issue Ballot Proposition The issuance of $104,500,000 of bonds for the construction and equip- ment of school buildings (new ele- mentary and middle schools, renova- tion and improvement of existing school facilities, including Hays and Lehman high schools and district- wide technology) and levying the tax in payment thereof. Election day is February 22, 2003 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. polling places ale: Hays Central Admin. Office Kyle Elementary School Hemphill Elementary School Buda Elementary School Tom Green Elementary School Buda Primary School Hays High School Driftwood Community Center