Texans may have heard that Texas Legislators are asking for $1.5 billion to build barriers across our border. It’s a lot of money, by any estimate, and opponents remind us of that at every turn. Meanwhile, the Conroe Independent School District is asking for a jaw-dropping $2 billion to expand their buildings and services. Let that sink in.

Texas has over 1000 Independent School Districts and some are floating bond proposals to their voters, but $2 billion?! It’s hard to say what pressing need makes this necessary, as CISD has not been forthcoming with all of the information that would help to explain.

Bond Committee members requested a copy or access to the long-term debt service analysis worksheet that would help them to understand the request and inform voters. While a PDF of the final document was posted on the CISD website, there is no way to check the calculations without access to the actual worksheet.

And what is the cause of this vast increase in CISD spending? Could it have anything to do with the flood of illegal aliens descending upon Texas? It’s hard to know. CISD has not provided data on those numbers either, saying that it is illegal to share that information.

It is, at best, disrespectful to local voters to refuse to provide the information needed to make informed decisions, but that is not all CISD has been up to.

You may have seen posters and literature all over town supporting the bond proposal and workers at the polls handing out literature and answering questions. But did you know that these signs and activities are provided by GPAC and primarily paid for by companies that do business with CISD? No conflict of interest there, right?

Further, did you know that CISD is setting up bond information booths at voting locations, staffed by CISD personnel at taxpayers expense? So, they are using your money to promote their interests. Isn’t that ‘Electioneering’ and prohibited under the Education Code?

Do you suppose anyone is doing anything similar in behalf of the voters who will bear the cost of any CISD bonds? Those of us who are working to obtain and analyze information to share with voters are doing so without funding, but with large, voluntary investments of time and effort.

Maybe CISD does have a legitimate need for an additional $2 billion of our money to do their jobs.  But, in our humble opinion, they should be sent back to the drawing board to come up with a better plan, a better explanation, and better manners.

Bonnie Lyons

Bonnie Lyons is the Montgomery County Republican Party’s legislative chair and has a background in journalism and political campaigns.