My two-cents on the school bond election

Tina Haapala |

By now you’ve noticed the election coming up to decide whether or not the Wichita Falls ISD will issue $125 million in bonds to fund the construction and renovation of schools in the district. While the election is on Saturday, May 10, early voting begins tomorrow.

It’s time for you to think.

Before you accuse me of being biased about  the issue, let me admit to it. I do not like the current proposal. And I am voting for it.

How can I be against something and still vote for it? Simple: I know the difference between a solution and a perfect solution. Perfect is a fantasy. Solutions move us forward.

If I had my druthers we’d have one high school. Yes, I’ve heard that this will cause education to fail, lost students wandering aimlessly through campus, and gang warfare. Hogwash. A single campus would make the school not much larger than what I went to during the unenlightened days of my youth. Still I learned stuff, didn’t get too lost, and didn’t note an on-campus mafia.

But my choice isn’t one that the town is considering. There are the “Yes” folks who are proposing for this bond money two high schools: One big and one small. Then there are the “No” folks who want to keep three campuses running.

So how come I am voting for the bond? Because I have only one solution to choose from. I have patiently listened to both sides of the issue. They both skew the discussion. They both make statements that are a misleading. They both kowtow to certain interest groups in the city. But at least the “For” group has proposed an answer.

Yes I know that the “No” group has a proposal. But that proposal comes down to wanting three campuses and spending less money. How exactly they are going to do this will be decided later.

“No” have a lot of arguments in their favor. But that is to be expected. They have a target to criticize. The “Yes” group does not have a target to counter attack. After all, you need to propose something in order to have it argued against.  And that leaves the argument lopsided.

The “No” group points out that the “Yes” proposal is a compromise that spends more money and leads to lesser educational opportunities than it could. I contend that we could get a better education outcome—for MORE money. We could get a cheaper solution—with a WORSE education outcome. I will change my contention when the “No” groups shows me a solution that spends less money AND has a better education outcome.

Without that, I choose to vote for a solution that actually exists.

Dear reader: Whether you vote Yes or No doesn’t matter as much as you getting out there and voting. This involves your money (taxes), your family (the kids), and your community. It will be shameful for our city if only a handful of people made it to the polls to decide such an important issue.

Please vote. And please think before you do.


This article was published under the title "Go vote on school bond issue"

in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on (April 27, 2014.