Second political action committee forms to support Fort Worth school district bond

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FWISD Bond Referendum On Nov. 5, voters will decide whether the district should move forward with $490 million worth of projects for schools. Early voting begins on Oct. 21 and ends on Nov.1. Voters will be able to decide on three propositions: Proposition 1: About $386.6 million to pay for 82 preschool classrooms, new classrooms to ease overcrowding, high-tech devices for students and security and technology upgrades. Proposition 2: A Performing & Fine Arts Academy and an academy that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math are included in this measure. The district would spend an estimated $73.3 million on the two specialized schools. Proposition 3: Much of the $30 million proposition will be used to replace aging buses. The funds will also maintain buses, repair vehicles, replace desks, band uniforms and music instruments. SOURCE: Fort Worth school district

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A political action committee called FWISD Parents for Kids hopes to build grassroots support for an estimated $490 million bond program for schools.

“I’m a strong supporter of public schools and I am a strong supporter of FWISD,” said Keith Annis, former executive director of the Tarrant County Democratic Party.

Annis, who organized the group and is listed as its campaign treasurer, filed paperwork Monday with the Fort Worth school district documenting the creation of the specific-purpose committee for the Nov. 5 bond election.

The district is asking voters to approve a $490 million bond plan that would pay for classroom additions, security and technology upgrades. The bond program also includes two specialized campuses — a performing/fine arts academy and a science, technology, engineering and math campus.

Some trustees said the new PAC reflects parent support of the measure.

“I think the key will be parents getting out to vote,” school board President Christene Moss said.

Moss said parents have told her they support the program. She will be speaking to more parents this weekend in the Como neighborhood.

Tobi Jackson, District 2 trustee, also reacted positively to the PAC’s creation.

“No. 1, we always want parent involvement — community involvement — this is great,” Jackson said.

Annis has two youngsters — a 4-year-old and a 3-month old — who will attend Fort Worth schools. He said he supports the investments the bond package makes in universal preschool and the specialized campuses.

Annis said he also supports security and technology upgrades listed in the plan.

“To me, this bond package is very important and deserves as much positive support as can possibly be generated,” he said.

Annis said his group will meet soon to organize and set up a political strategy. The window for a voter registration drive is too small since the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 7.

Still, there are other ways parents can get involved in the group, he said. He has created a Facebook page, and a website is being developed.

Annis said he wants to meet with parents to find out what parts of the bond program they support.

“We don’t have very much time,” he said. “The election is Nov. 5.”

The group is the second political action committee created to support the bond proposal. In August, the Star-Telegram reported that Fort Worth business leaders created Citizens Supporting Classroom Excellence.

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s website lists ways supporters can contribute to that political action committee. The group is asking large and medium-size businesses to consider contributions of $15,000, $10,000, $5,000 or $2,500.

The first campaign finance reports related to the bond election are due Oct. 7, according to the school district.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1

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