The Sherman ISD bond is not a boondoggle at all. According to Thesaurus.com the verb boondoggle itself is synonymous to delay, dawdle, or put-off. Our community certainly can’t afford a boondoggle; we need to compel ourselves forward immediately. The bond package will enable this in the most necessary and reasonable ways possible in the year 2017. To me, the irony at the moment is that the greatest deception the voters have been exposed to is the less than accurate information at times, personal attacks, mangled history and pressure tactics employed by some opposed to the bond. The opposition to the bond has their right to do so; however, I trust the members of this community are wise enough to see through the motivation of some opposing voters and will go vote in favor of our future. Furthermore, it is absurd for anyone to think the SISD administration, the board of trustees, and the many citizens involved in this process would do anything but the right thing for this community.
On Nov. 7, voters in Sherman ISD are being asked to approve the construction of a new high school with expanded capacity and improved academic, vocational, athletic and arts facilities, as well as technology upgrades at all campuses. This proposal is for less money, requires a smaller tax rate increase, and will be completed sooner than the last bond proposal — all in response to citizen feedback after the last election.
The time to solidify Sherman’s future is now — and education is a large part of it. Looking back does not help our community.
When I ran for the board I believed strongly that my professional and personal experiences could be of help for the challenges that were to come our way. At the time I was concerned that we as a district had fallen behind in a number of ways. Sherman has always been blessed to have hard-working, committed employees, but funding challenges, as well as our lack of competitive compensation and contemporary facilities, were pulling us down. Recent planning processes have proved this slide to be a reality.
Much has been accomplished in the recent, five-year period. Now we must address our facilities, and the current bond package will give us the quickest way to address the capacity needs into the future. Anything short of passing this bond would be devastating in ways that are inconceivable at the moment. I say this in an effort to uphold the facts that have been established with thorough and detailed planning over a number of years.
This is a historic time in our community. Our existing companies are expanding and new ones are choosing Sherman at a rapid pace, bringing new families and new jobs to our region. The city of Sherman has issued 137 new residential permits year-to-date — a 69 percent increase over this time last year and our school district enrollment is up by 220 students over the end of last school year, with increases in grades 4-12 between 4 percent and 8 percent. Growth is here and new families are continuing to move to our area because we offer a supportive business climate, comprehensive city services, family-centered activities and, most importantly, a high-quality education in Sherman ISD.
Students in Sherman ISD have established a long history of academic success, both while enrolled in our schools and after graduation, with many returning to our community to raise the next generation of Bearcats. Now is the time to update and enlarge our facilities to address enrollment growth and ensure that our students have access to the most current technology.
Tim Millerick is the president of the Sherman Independent School District board of trustees. Email him TMillerick@austincollege.edu.