At their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday night, the Tyler ISD board of trustees will consider whether to add a $160.5 million bond proposal to the May ballot.
The proposal would include renovating Dixie and Rice elementary schools, building three new middle schools, and building a career and technology center for high school students, but one group of Tyler residents says the district needs to worry about other problems first.
The No More Excuses, Tyler ISD! Coalition says they are against a Tyler ISD bond proposal.
"I'm disappointed today that we have not been able to get people to pay attention to the problem," said Jo Ann Fleming, a member of the coalition. "If we build a round of new buildings and we put old problems in new buildings, we're just going to have a more expensive environment for the same problems."
The coalition believes those problems include low academic test scores, even in the district's new elementary school buildings, and major discipline problems in the schools.
Tyler Independent School District spokesperson Dawn Parnell says the district believes it can address those concerns while continuing on with its long-range plan.
"We do feel that one of our obligations to parents is that they have a safe and secure environment, and we feel like the newer facilities give us the opportunity to provide the latest technological advances, as well as security measures so that students can be in a 21st-century learning environment, to learn at the levels they deserve to learn at," said Parnell.
Another community group, Tyler Proud, says they share the coalition's concerns about discipline and academics, but say they're committed to working with the district to solve those problems.
"We know that we cannot provide the education that the young people of our community need without the proper facilities, and we know that our schools are overcrowded at this point and the need for space is just painfully obvious," said spokesperson Mike Starr.
No More Excuses, Tyler ISD! members say their opposition is about more than just new buildings.
"This is not about trying to deny people good facilities, that's not what it's about. It is about being for support for teachers and support for students all across this district to get a good education so that they can compete," Fleming said.
The Tyler ISD board meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Plyler Complex in Tyler.
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