The time for talking about better schools is over and one group in Midlothian has rolled up its sleeves to make it happen.
SEE (Supporters of Excellence in Education) is meeting regularly and hammering out ways to encourage voters to cast a ballot for the $103 million Midlothian Independent School District bond referendum set for Nov. 6.
“We’re a diverse group, made up of people of various ages and backgrounds, who live in the Midlothian school district, both inside and outside the city limits,” said Don Hogg, SEE chairman. “Some of our members were active on the district’s Bond Steering Committee, but others were not.”
SEE is a grassroots organization dedicated to taking a close look at MISD’s bond proposals with the goal of achieving proper educational needs and appropriate use of taxpayer funds.
After its review, SEE has recommended approval for all three proposals in the upcoming November bond election.
“Our main concern is obtaining top-quality education for our students, but we also want to have the ‘the best bang for our buck,’ when it comes to spending taxpayer funds wisely,” said SEE member, Mike Marshall.
Marshall pointed out the school board, administration and Bond Steering Committee spent a lot of time and reviewed numerous statistics, projections and plans for the district.
SEE has based its support for the bond proposals on two points:
Rapid growth in the district leads SEE to understand the need for more classrooms and educational facilities. The board, administration and Steering Committee repeatedly trimmed the size of the bond, in order to insure that the proposals dealt only with real, immediate educational needs.
The three bond propositions to be presented to voters this fall are:
Proposition 1: $98,800,000 High School Number 2.
SEE said the current high school will be full in 2010 and approval for the first phase of a second high school is necessary now.
Proposition 2: $2,500,000 Agricultural Science Facility.
SEE pointed out MISD has the third largest FFA chapter in Texas, has won many state awards, yet the chapter is the only one in Ellis County that offers ag science courses without an ag science facility.
Proposition 3: $1,700,000 Land Purchases for Future School Sites.
SEE contends the district has a plan for new schools that will be needed in the next ten years. They also contend it will save taxpayer money to buy some school sites now, before land costs increase.
“We want the voters to understand that these proposals don’t represent high-dollar items that are just nice to have,” said Hogg. “For the sake of our kids’ education, the district needs approval on all three of these propositions in November. Voters expect appropriate spending by MISD and these proposals deliver just that.”
SEE points out that, due to changes pertaining to school taxation in the state legislature, school tax rates will decrease, even after the approval and selling of these bonds. SEE also pointed out citizens 65 and over, who have registered for the MISD senior citizens exemption with the county, have their tax rate frozen.
Early voting begins Oct. 22 and continues through Nov. 2. Those who have recently moved into the school district are reminded they must be register to vote by Oct. 9 to be eligible to vote on the Nov. 6 bond referendum.
SEE is not affiliated with MISD but would like to point out that citizens may get detailed information from the district. The school district is issuing bond fact information to the voters prior to the election.
MISD bond information is available online at www.midlothian-isd.net. Questions may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the MISD administration building at (972) 775-8296.