Months of strategizing and planning for the proposal of a district-wide bond election culminated into a final moment at Monday night’s regular school board meeting of the Aransas Pass Independent School District. After reviewing the recommendations of the bond election committee, named the 21st Century Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee, the school board unanimously voted in favor of calling a bond election on May 12, 2012.
During the public comment section, a few citizens who spoke against the bond initiative at the bond committee’s public meeting last Thursday night reiterated their thoughts before the school board.
Tencha Keiser, a retired first grade teacher who had also spoken at Thursday’s meeting, cited local schools that were comparable in age that were still operating.
“Incarnate Word Academy is still using their school, Roy Miller High is still using their school,” Keiser said.
Another commenter from Thursday’s meeting, Nancy Moore, disagreed with the initiative’s notion that building new schools would draw families to Aransas Pass.
“Why would anyone come when there is no industry here?” Moore asked. “I don’t believe it will attract new people.”
Committee chairman Aaron Jayne reviewed the plans, timeline and effects of the proposed tax increase before recommending the bond election to the school board. Jayne also interjected his own personal experience with APISD.
“I have seven children across this school district,” Jayne said. “I have every campus covered except A.C. Blunt. If this bond is passed, personally I know that some of my children will not be able to benefit from the new school being built. But this is bigger than my own family; there is a greater issue at hand.”
Jayne continued, arguing that the district will be taking a risk to be overlooked in an educationally competitive environment if facility needs are not addressed.
“Even if the bond doesn’t pass, these items will still need to be done.” Jayne said. “If not now, then when? If not us, then who? This is far much greater than us. Shouldn’t we be willing to pay the price?”
The call for a bond election will allow the committee to move forward in organize informational town hall meeting regarding the details of the bond initiative. These meetings will allow the public to review and comment on the proposal, as well as address any questions or concerns from citizens.
“At this time, we do not have any town hall meetings planned,” chairman Jayne said. “But we are meeting next week to set meeting dates. We are planning on having two a month. We have three months until the election, so there will be approximately six meetings.”
Jayne also encourages citizens to register to vote if they are not currently registered.
“If you are for or against it, we want to make sure your voice is heard,” Jayne said.