Birdville trustees put off discussion of any future bond package

Posted Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Birdville school district trustees said Thursday that they wanted to wait before making any decisions about a bond package, although a consultant recommended that they call an election for May 2014.

Trustees heard recommendations from consultant Linda Pavlik, who had been asked to compile information for the district, during a specially called meeting Thursday.

Pavlik told the school board that May is a better time for a school election because November elections are often partisan with many items on the ballot.

“The community must understand the urgency of a BISD package,” she said.

“Those who voted against [the May 11 bond package that failed] might not think your needs are real if you don’t take action soon,” Pavlik said.

Pavlik praised the district for its strong academics and outstanding teachers, but reminded trustees that the May 11 bond package failed by a “significant margin.”

When Pavlik wanted to discuss her findings about why the bond issue failed, board President Brad Greene stopped her, saying, “We want to move on to the future.”

Last May, voters turned down a $183.2 million bond package 57.1 percent to 42.9 percent. The package would have funded districtwide technology upgrades, security improvements, new science labs, and campus renovations.

A proposal to consolidate four elementary schools drew the ire of some Richland Hills residents who didn’t want to lose Richland Elementary, their neighborhood school.

But district officials said it was difficult and costly to maintain the older buildings and to outfit them with the latest technology for WiFi and computers.

Mark Thomas, a spokesman for the district, said the school board decided to go forward with purchasing “educational” technology for the classrooms and door buzzer systems for the elementary and middle school campuses with funds from the 2013-2014 budget.

The district has gotten feedback from the community on why the May bond package failed, he said.

Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz

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