Brian Argabright

Brian Argabright

If past responses are any indication, the idea of a new school in the San Felipe Del Rio CISD is long overdue, but only if it serves MY kids.

Let me clarify what I mean by that.

The idea of “MY kids” is that it’s a good idea as long as it benefits its supporters and not the general good. In other words, while a new school in Del Rio is welcome, and maybe long overdue, the general populace won’t support it because it doesn’t suit their needs. That’s why a bond project that would have brought two new schools to Del Rio was squashed by voters just a few years ago. Then, when schools were threatened this year with closure, people got all up in arms.

The school district has approved plans to go after another bond, this one for $19 million, to construct a new school on the Northside of town. Why there? Most thoughts would be because the district already has land there or there is land available for purchase there. Oftentimes, the land is the biggest piece of the overall price tag.

The announcement of the planned bond was met with several reactions – positive, negative and confusion. There were also some conspiracy theories floated, but that’s to be expected when people don’t bother to do any research and instead rely on gossip.

Most of the people who reacted to the news of a new school wanted it to be a new high school. I wouldn’t be against that, but I have a feeling that $19 million wouldn’t be enough for a new high school. Infrastructure costs associated with a new high school seem greater than that, especially with the need for technology that wasn’t there when many of us were in high school. Add to that possible new safety and security measures that are almost mandatory in today’s day and age and you can see just how quickly the bill adds up to house a population of more than 3,000 students and teachers.

The district issued a release in the wake of its decision that helped to clarify things and answer immediate questions the public may have had. Cardwell’s Head Start Program moves to North Heights, North Heights gets a bit of a facelift, and a new school serves to take care of a growing student populace and lower the student-to-teacher classroom ratios in some schools.

I don’t expect things to go that smoothly because first you have to sell the bond to a community that prides itself on shooting down progress for the sake of tradition.

There are lots of people who are in support of progress, but their voices are often drowned out by voter apathy or misinformation. I’m not afraid to say I’ll support the bond because I want Del Rio to move forward.

I wrote this before, but it bears repeating: “And that’s why it’s important to get out there, learn about the issues, and make an educated decision. Don’t listen to people who don’t know how government works. Don’t listen to people who refuse to read up on the topics or attend meetings or even ask questions of their representatives. Get up, get out and do it yourself.”

I didn’t attend Monday’s school board meeting, but it’s my understanding from folks who did attend was that the number of parents from the schools that were in danger of closure or relocation earlier this year in the audience was zero.

Nearly 40 people attended the meeting, and most of them were affiliated with the school district. I hope I’m wrong about that number, but past experiences tell me I’m not.

(1) comment

RGoverfelt

You stated it all very well, Brian. If the community had supported the first bond proposal, so many current problems would have been alleviated. I hope the community will support the system that educates our children. This district has many outstanding educators that give support our children.

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