College & university leaders unite to show support for TISD bond - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

College & university leaders unite to show support for TISD bond

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TYLER (KYTX) - Presidents of four Tyler colleges and universities are voicing their support for the $160.5 million TISD school bond.

They're putting their support behind this bond, because they say, if it passes, students will only have a chance at a better education and a better life.

 "I grew up in a poor, African American neighborhood in Chicago and what allowed me to become a physician, a professor of medicine, a president of an academic medical center was that there were people in my community who cared about me and my brothers and others receiving a quality education," said Dr. Kirk Calhoun, President of UT Health Northeast.

Tyler Proud is the group in support of the bond.

If passed, they believe school safety, overcrowding, and the addition of a new career and technology center can better prepare their students for the future.

They said this can all be done without raising the tax rate, because of early payoffs and lower than anticipated interest rates for previous bonds.

East Texas leaders of higher education said having a strong public school system benefits everyone.

"The stronger they can be, the farther they can move students along, the greater their retention rates in keeping students in school, all that helps the university. But mostly, it helps this region," said Dr. Rod Mabry, President of UT Tyler.

But, there's opposition to the $160.5 million dollar school bond.

Grassroots America and the "No More Excuses, Tyler ISD" coalition said spending more money is not the solution for poor academic results.

They say they are not against new buildings if academics within the district will improve.

However, they say, they have not seen any evidence from the state that new schools bring better academic results, especially within TISD.

"We have two high schools that are rated unacceptable, that's an "F" if you want to put it on a report card. We have high school graduates, a majority of which who have been shown not to be college ready, and we have a bunch of new buildings in place already," said Rick Eisenbach, Grassroots America.

Grassroots America is calling this bond package a $254.1 million dollar package.

They're saying that number, because they say, that's how much will be in principal and interest.

While taxes will not be raised, they say more money is being invested in results that have not been promised.

 

If approved, the money would fund the renovation of Rice and Dixie elementary schools.

-The construction of three middle schools: Boulter, Moore and one in Southwest Tyler

-The construction of a career and technology center.

Early voting starts April 29th, with election day on May 11th.

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