Sunday, May 26, 2024

Letter-Roger Deeds

Taking care of our teachers

Posted

Maybe you are wondering why a sheriff is writing letters about the school bond proposals. It is because successful schools have a direct impact on a community’s crime rate.

Recent studies have shown that a community’s investment in public schools reduces adult crime (https://record.umich.edu/articles/public-school-investment-reduces-adult-crime-study-shows/).

Students in better-funded schools were 15% less likely to be arrested. Having strong, involved families raising good kids in good schools is a superb formula to prevent future crime. In Hood County, we are blessed with an active ISD with great leadership, lots of academic and career options, and a heavy emphasis on citizenship.

Our teachers and staff are critically under-compensated, resulting in a talent drain where neighboring ISDs are hiring our best and brightest away. This, along with overcrowding, is hindering our community’s ability to produce capable adults who will contribute to our community in constructive ways.

After a resounding “no” on last year’s costly bond proposal, GISD listened to the community’s concerns and has presented fiscally responsible proposals. This will give us many needed upgrades while keeping our tax rate the same. 

Proposition A is a Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) that will provide a 10% permanent salary increase for teachers and staff, improving our ability to attract and keep talented teachers. Smaller class sizes and skilled instructors lead to better academic outcomes and future success for our students. This benefits everyone, whether we have children in school or not. 

Proposition B is a $151.7M bond that provides for a new elementary school on the north side of Granbury behind HEB and the expansion of Acton Middle School. This reduces reliance on portable buildings, improves safety, and addresses student growth. This makes my job easier and minimizes dangerous situations in the future. The bond also includes renovation of all lower schools to enhance the learning environment, provides a new northern bus hub, and 30 new buses. This will shorten runs, improve maintenance and safety, and reduce traffic.

Taking care of our teachers and the schools that serve our children should be at the top of our concern list. Nobody likes taxes but we must understand the balance between taxes, their direct impact on our personal budgets and the quality of life our community provides for our children. By reducing adult crime, communities create social savings greater than the costs of increased school funding. That being said, our trustees are presenting a bond that not only addresses the needs of our growing community but does so with a school tax rate that actually goes down 6 cents per $100 of valuation. This makes good common sense and is a concept we all should embrace. Please do your own research and I am confident you will all see why propositions A and B are necessary.

Remember, better schools produce better citizens and better citizens avoid criminal situations. Join me in voting YES to Propositions A and B!

Roger Deeds

Hood County Sheriff