Tyler ISD board unanimously approves $160.5M bond for ballot

Tyler ISD board unanimously approves $160.5M bond for ballot

UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - The Tyler ISD school board unanimously approved a $160.5 million bond proposal to be placed on the election ballot.


"... state laws have changed ... our children deserve better."

The $160 million bond calls for renovations at Dixie and Rice elementaries, three new middle schools and a career technology center to be built.

The last bond election in 2010 failed to receive enough public votes to pass.


Supporters of a Tyler ISD bond proposal  rallied before Thursday night's school board meeting outside the Player complex.

The members of the group call themselves "Tyler Proud."  They're standing proudly behind their school district in support of a bond that would pay for news schools and technology in the classroom. 

But on the other side of the issue is another group that says you can't put old problems in new buildings.

"The high price this community is paying for low expectations needs to come an end," said JoAnn Fleming.

JoAnn Fleming and her group say they are parents, community members and former teachers who do not support the bond proposal.

If you ask them why, they'll all give you the same reason.

"As we talk to the district and the school board and the administrators, there's always excuses," said Cedrick Granberry.

How fitting that they wear the name "No more excuses Tyler ISD."  They think this big bond proposal is a band-aid on a problem that will not heal anytime soon if changes aren't made.

"You will probably not find any teacher that is willing to go on the record about what they're experiencing, because they are afraid for their jobs," said Fleming.

This group accuses the Tyler school district of not addressing discipline problems in the classrooms and poor academic results.

"Here in Tyler, our school district is simply ignoring the request, the statistics," said Granberry.

Parent Cedrick Granberry is referring to the Texas Comptrollers report. 

The Tyler School District received two and a half stars out of five for high spending per student with mediocre academic results. 

The total cost of a student in the school district is $8,740.
However, the state ranks the district in the 50th percentile when it comes to academics.   The school district says they are working to fix those problems.

"We feel the new facilities would help provide that safe and secure learning environment as well as give us the chance to offered enhanced curriculum," said Dawn Parnell, TISD Spokesperson.

This is what TISD is putting on the table: They want to remodel Rice and Dixie elementary schools, build three new middle schools and a career and technology education center to serve students at both high schools.

"So students can learn at their highest level while they're at school," added Parnell.
But for the people who sit in this room.

"If that's the problem, we need to deal with that first before we look at building new schools," said Granberry.
They say the district can build a new school, but if they don't make changes within the old walls, it was all in vain.

"The taxpayers lose, the teacher lose, but you know what the worst part is?  The students lose," said Fleming.  

Watch video to see live interview with "Tyler Proud" President Mark Randall


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