EPISD Bonds–teachers divided

It appears that one of our local teacher unions has endorsed the issuing of the school bonds.

According to an article in the Times their support comes with some self serving strings:

  1.  Savings from closing schools must be returned to teachers in salaries.
  2. Closed facilities cannot be sold to charter schools.
  3. The list of bond-funded projects cannot change.
  4. The Forma Group cannot be involved with the bond.

Evidently their vote will not be “all about the kids”.

Faint praise

The Times article did not tell us what the teacher vote tally was.  Instead it told us that a majority of the union members were in favor of selling the bonds–as long as their four conditions were met.

The article did not tell us that there was a formal vote.  Surely they would not issue their endorsement based on an informal poll taken by the union leaders, so let’s proceed thinking that there was a vote.

We don’t know how many of the teachers participated.

We also don’t know how many teachers voted no.  If the facilities that they teach in were truly in bad shape one would expect that the vote would have been nearly unanimous, not a simple majority of those that voted.

We deserve better


8 Responses to EPISD Bonds–teachers divided

  1. A better question might be, “How many teachers currently on staff with the district are even members of the union?” I suspect the real number is very low.


  2. Casual Observer says:

    So EPISD bought and paid for the endorsement of the union and its members partly with savings (money) that should inure to the benefit of taxpayers.

    Illegal? Maybe. Unethical and corrupt. Definitely.

    That one trick is all the reason I need to vote against anything recommended by the current EPISD board and administration.


  3. abandon hope says:

    All the more reason to vote no. Encourage friends and family to vote no.


  4. Hmm.... says:

    My my! Looks like Forma Group isn’t the bond PR group after all!! Looks like EPISD just hired Edvantage Strategy Group for a four month period with an option to extend to FOUR YEARS. How much does FOUR MONTHS cost? How about $25,000 a month!

    Here’s the link for RFP#17-013: https://www.episd.org/departments/procurement_services/tab.php?id=17-013

    Looks like Google says this company doesn’t have any presence on the web. However, their contact person is someone named Ronna Johnson who appears to be the Chief Executive of a company named Outreach Strategists who manage bond campaigns. She is also apparently a sitting Board Member of Georgetown ISD. Her company statement, also at the link, claims to be responsible for over $3 billion in wins including $1 billion in the May 2016 ballot in Texas alone.

    Must be good to earn $25,000 a month from September 7, 2016 to November, 2016!

    Looks like a campaign firm hired with public money…


    • Fed Up says:

      Follow the money. Once again the money is leaving town when EPISD could have utilized a local firm like Burton, which knows the community and has done a lot for the community.

      It looks like someone at EPISD wants to set Ronna Johnson up in her own business. Her LinkedIn page makes no mention of Edvantage Strategy Group and the EPISD form shows her using a gmail address, which means her firm is so new that it doesn’t even have a website or email domain.

      The media should jump all over this story.


      • Wondering says:

        May the firm is not new but rather that the gmail address is hiding information that that Johnson does not want public — such as a web site. Edvantage may be a branch of a larger group.


  5. Vote No says:

    The Unions conditions are so awful and self serving as to be funny. Is there anyway to embarrass this group?


  6. A further thought or two: Maybe the Union formulated their conditions as they did simply to point out and/or underscore the absurdity of the district trying to claim that it needs more money due to dwindling enrollment and to pay for some imaginary costs associated with the closing of some campuses? I mean, how can they need more money for fewer students and fewer campuses?!


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