Preparing your School Board vote: Focus on the Facts

The GCISD School Board election seasons officially begins on the candidate filing deadline of February 17, view details here. But we can assure you plenty of planning and communications are already taking place.

Here’s a few options for citizens of Grapevine and Colleyville to get plugged into the conversations and to hear how the candidates will be addressing key concerns from our community.

Upcoming events: Continue to get the facts so your vote helps take back GCISD

We also wanted to outline a few priority areas to be looking for when you talk with your friends, or if you get a chance to directly speak with a candidate.

Three things to consider when preparing a vote for School Board positions:

We need TRANSPARENCY in how the school board runs GCISD

  • Will we be able to follow Trustee actions and contribute to decision making through an open, transparent process?
    • Many concerned citizens of Grapevine and Colleyville question the legitimacy of the “balanced” budget. The New School Board Majority knowing not all expenses were reflected, has repeatedly claimed the budget was balanced, even though it is now being adjusted monthly. 
    • Watch the January School Board meeting (starting at 2 hrs 21 minutes) to hear the Interim CFO, describe the challenges and changes needed to manage the current GCISD budget.

We need to KEEP OUR TEACHERS because they are the key to an excellent education

  • Will leadership make choices and support programs to keep our teachers, so we maintain our track record of excellence in education?
    • Keeping teachers through appropriate raises, professional development supports and a healthy work environment is an option, to avoid the costs of hiring and recruiting and training a new generation of teachers.
    • Since the New Board Majority assumed control, we have lost 175 EDUCATORS AND COUNTING. These spots have been replaced with 140 new hires on one-year probationary contracts.

      View the tracker and see the truth for yourself.

We need public education to be first priority, including giving students choice within programs

  • What can we do to maintain the differentiated learning programs that bring value for being known as a Destination District?
    • Hasty actions will negatively impact the specialized learning options students and their families current have.
    • Ensure we continue to uphold LEAD 2.0 plans, originally called LEAD 2021. And make sure School Board Trustees keep student success as a primary goal. You can find the full plan here.
      • Students are prepared and informed to participate in programs and activities that align to their interests. Students are supported in growing their potential and making choices about their future. Students feel confident in selecting from our variety of programs and activities.

Message to young voters: Please vote!

Parents of school-aged kids need to get out and vote for pro-public education candidates at the state level Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (early voting ends Friday!) between 7am and 7pm if they want any chance that the “schools they moved here for” will look anything like they envisioned. Right now the people showing up to vote have not been in a school for a very long time.

Source: Texans for Public Education:

Inside the Secret Plan to Bring Private School Vouchers to Texas

INSIDE THE SECRET PLAN TO BRING PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS TO TEXAS: Political operatives descended on the Hill Country town of Wimberley with a scheme to send taxpayer dollars to private schools. Now they’re shopping the same blueprint elsewhere.

***

The same players involved in Wimberley are actively involved in GCISD:

1. AARON HARRIS ($15,000 donor to Casey Ford’s election PAC)

2. MONTY BENNETT (Dallas Express owner/publisher, and donor to Tammy Nakamura)

3. KALESE WHITEHURST(met with Mayor Newton and presented the plan for a Responsive Ed charter campus in Colleyville)

Seems like those sounding the alarm on the plan to destroy GCISD and bring in charter schools have been right to be worried.

***

From the Article:

“In a document obtained by Texas Monthly, stamped “Confidential” and dated May 3 … a Republican political operative and a politically connected charter-school executive laid out an explosive proposal for [Wimberley] ISD. Apparently, the plan had been in the works for months and had been vetted by the outgoing superintendent. … One of the authors of the plan was Aaron Harris, a Fort Worth–based GOP consultant who has made a name for himself by stoking—with scant evidence—fears of widespread voter fraud. In June, he cofounded a nonprofit called Texans for Education Rights Institute, along with Monty Bennett, a wealthy Dallas hotelier who dabbles in what he regards as education reform. The other author was Kalese Whitehurst, an executive with the charter school chain Responsive Education Solutions, based in Lewisville, a half hour north of Dallas.” Read more