As a GISD graduate several years ago, I credit the teachers, facilities, and programs for my success as a good citizen, community contributor, and individual who tries to “give back.” GISD, a large and integral component of our community, protects and nurtures our children. Children are our future. We must embrace their needs and provide a great learning environment for their individual growth. This election’s propositions for enhanced teacher and staff salaries and much-needed lower school renovations, capacity increases, and transportation improvements do a lot to address GISD’s increased enrollment.
I truly love Cresson, Hood County, and our way of life. Our population continues to grow, and it is not possible to slow or stop it. A better solution is to proactively provide infrastructure with the capacity to support projected student growth. Today, we are behind; our schools are over capacity, affecting our children's learning. Our buses are old with significant maintenance requirements. The salaries that our teachers and staff receive are not competitive with surrounding communities. We must understand the issues and vote to support the children of our community.
Cresson, at the north end of the GISD boundary, has been deeply impacted by the growing student population. We see this every day as we drive down Highway 377. Our community expects 7,500 new citizens within the next 10 years, and we need to make sure we are ready to welcome them to our neighborhoods and schools.
Let me address the two school propositions and express my reasons for recommending that we all vote “yes” in support. First, GISD continues to lose teachers and staff to surrounding communities due to pay inequities. Proposition A is a Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) which will permanently deliver a 10% raise to bring our teachers and staff to a competitive market position. Proposition B addresses our capacity issues by adding a new elementary school, the first since 1996, off Old Granbury Road behind HEB. This location will take pressure off Oakwood and the growth to the north. Acton middle school will also be expanded to manage the middle school growth. All lower schools will be renovated to improve conditions and their critical learning environments. A new bus hub and 30 new buses will be added on the district’s north side to shorten travel time, decrease maintenance issues, and make student commutes shorter.
Taxes are always important, and we must make sure we get value for our investment. If VATRE and Prop B pass, the school tax will decrease by 6 cents per $100 and allow the district to give raises to all teachers and staff as well as add classrooms and bus services. GISD continues to show their sound stewardship of our tax dollars by delivering one of the lowest school tax rates in North Texas.
Join me in voting “yes” for Prop A and B and show your support for our students and our community! Help Cresson lead the way!
Teena Putteet Conway