Voters overwhelmingly gave the Fort Worth school district the go-ahead Tuesday to borrow $490 million to improve, expand and build schools.
All three bond questions passed with the support of 72 percent of those voting.
“Improvement of the schools is what brought me out to vote,” said Beth Miller, who lives in the 109. “I thought all three propositions were needed and worth the money.”
School board president Christene Moss said the bond program is part the board’s strategic plan. “We can start improving student achievement by providing universal Pre-K,” she said. “By starting schooling early, students will be less likely to drop out later in their educational career and parents will be able to actually see where their money is going.”
Art Cavazos, chief director of operations for the district, hiring a project manager will be among the first steps to launch the bond program. “I’m really excited about the Fine Arts and S.T.E.M. Academies,” he said. “I believe they will thrust Fort Worth into a new era.”
Trustee Norman Robbins said the board’s focus is on student achievement. “More than 180 diverse citizens met with the FWISD School Board to help us determine the goals we needed to set, using this information we then created a strategic plan,” he said. “We receive reports on our progress, which keeps us committed and transparent to this plan and the bond program fits right in.”
Many in Fort Worth’s business community supported the bond program. “The School Board did great with the last bond program, so I’m optimistic about this year,” said Bob Pence, CEO of Freese and Nichols and active member of many FWISD committees. “They are asking for exactly what our students need, nothing more.”
Keith Annis, treasurer of a special PAC in favor of the bond, said he thought thinks the main reason residents voted in favor of the bond is because of their concern for schools in every aspect.
“School is where children learn and become adults,” he said. “It can play a negative or positive role in their lives and this program is allowing parents to be more engaged in the schooling process.”
Superintendent Walter Dansby thanked voters for turning out to support the bond question. “I appreciate the support of the voters in the 109. We’re staying transparent and committed to our program,” said Dansby. “If citizens have any concerns about the bond program I encourage them to reach out and contact our bond office.”