Wait for the final school bond plan

Posted Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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This would be a good time for residents of the Fort Worth school district to remain calm, at least until Superintendent Walter Dansby has a chance next week to give trustees a pared-down list of projects for a possible November bond election.

Rumors have been flying since a group of consultants hired to assess the district’s needs presented a $785 million project list to the school board on July 29.

The board initially was scheduled to finalize the list and decide next week whether to call a Nov. 5 election.

Dansby says he expects board members to take a little more time with that decision, which can be as late as Aug. 26.

The Tanglewood Neighborhood Association called an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss plans for Tanglewood Elementary School. Neighbors want to see the school expanded but to remain an elementary.

Bill Campbell, the association’s president, told reporters Jessamy Brown and Diane Smith that the neighbors want to know the district’s plans.

“We don’t know how to react right now,” he said. “We just want to know what’s going on. Then we can make some plans as to what to do.”

Good attitude. Dansby says he will attend the meeting to “clear up all the rumors” and assure the neighbors the focus of the district’s actions will be on “what Tanglewood needs.”

Contrast that with the position taken by trustee Ann Sutherland, whose District 6 includes part of the attendance zones of Tanglewood and the McLean Sixth Grade Center.

“I will vote against moving forward with any proposal at this time,” she said. “Constituent comments are at the core of my decision to oppose this tax increase.”

Really? Before she knows how Dansby will pare down the project list or what the cost and its tax impact will be, with almost three weeks to go before the board has to make a decision, she says she’ll vote no?

That sounds more like a temper tantrum than a reasoned decision.

Dansby says his list will include additions to schools to alleviate overcrowding, safety and security upgrades, accommodations for expanded pre-kindergarten classes and a new performing arts school.

That’s not the whole package, but it’s a pretty good start.

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