To the Editor:

I appreciate the planning, effort and transparency from KISD represented in the multiple Bond Steering Committee Meeting presentations and follow-up research. Steering Committee participants represented a broad and diverse swath of the community to include community leaders, activists and concerned citizens. To attach any label to this committee is disingenuous and a disservice to the diligence and sincere service they provided our community

A core responsibility of KISD is planning for the future. We would accept no less and be very judgmental if the requisite planning did not occur. The Steering Committee was presented with the realities of future growth confronting the district and the Central Texas region. Planning for that growth included eliminating portable classrooms, qualitative learning facilities, and up-designed campus based athletic structures and was presented to the Steering Committee as recommendations. Over the course of the multiple Steering Committee meetings the rationale for these recommendations was addressed and re-addressed, with BSC members posing a multitude of questions. Each question was answered with specificity and opportunity for follow-up.

The question posed to the BSC was never “what should we do”? Nor should it have been. That planning task falls to KISD staff. The committee was presented recommendations based on quantifiable projections and asked to evaluate and prioritize them.

To facilitate the evaluation at each committee meeting there was a detailed presentation by district staff and individual discussion at the individual tables. The findings of a 400 person community survey conducted by the district was included to give the committee the benefit of community perspective of the discussion topics.

The committee had a broad mandate in the consideration of the range of recommendations. Their charge was as follows:

• Assess and prioritize the district’s current and long-term facility needs, including, but not limited to:

• Building safety

• District growth and capacity

• Building age and condition

• Student and program equity

• Evolving educational delivery and programs

• Develop and prioritize potential projects, including new construction, renovations/additions, and other areas that may arise from community input

• Consider the educational needs of all students and align recommendations with the district’s mission, vision and goals

• Represent the entire school district community, values and perceptions, and seek input from other residents

• Consider the district’s current financial position and funding methods to develop a recommendation that is fiscally sound

• To bring forward a plan to the KISD Board of Trustees that will include recommendations based on a simple majority vote as to what should be included and how much money should be requested in a possible bond election

At the final committee meeting, following a summary presentation and recap of previous meetings, a vote on the recommendations was taken. That vote included the opportunity to say “no.” The conclusion of the committee is represented by a majority vote of the committee members and has been sufficiently reported in this news source.

There has also been a sufficient reporting of negative sentiments of some of the BSC participants.

I needn’t belabor that these accounts represent a minority of those present and voting on the information presented and well clarified over the course of BSC meetings.

The BSC participants constituted a cross-section of our community. Some native to our community. Some introduced to our community and found a reason to remain.

All have an investment in our community. That investment is financial as well as emotional. When given the choice and provided with sound and compelling information we choose to display the pride we have for our community and the willingness to invest in our children, their safety and the quality of their opportunity.

Hal Schiffman

Bond Steering Committee

co-chair

Harker Heights

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