$1.4B bond measure aims to ‘Energize Midland Schools’
Midland community members banded together this month in support of a single school bond proposition on the Nov. 7 ballot to “Energize Midland Schools” (EMS).
The group formed a political action committee (PAC) consisting of volunteers rallying support for a $1.4 billion school bond facing Midland voters this fall that does not include a tax rate increase. Bond Planning Committee leaders were driven to find a solution meeting the community’s long-term needs, according to spokesperson Austin Beam.
The group’s goals include building two new high school campuses, completing middle school renovations, implementing safety, security and accessibility upgrades, providing district-wide improvements to aging facilities and constructing a new elementary school, said Beam.
He said that a more “fractured approach” would cause delays and increasing expense to voters and taxpayers, while ultimately limiting student potential.
“The state of school facilities in Midland can be described as nothing short of an emergency and the time to act is now.”
Together with Bond Planning Committee members Aaron Erdwurm and Josh Ham, Beam presented the final proposal to district leadership. The Midland Independent School District (MISD) School Board approved the proposition and a PAC was officially formed: the aforementioned EMS, which advocates for and supports the advancement of education excellence through responsible, strategic and impactful investment in our school facilities, according to a statement.
Ham emphasized that the Midland community is suffering after decades of underinvestment. “For too long we’ve kicked this can down the road resulting in a failing infrastructure,” he said, noting that the only way to right the ship is to keep local money in Midland for its own future.
EMS Co-Chair Stan VanHoozer, a former high school principal, voiced support for investing in Midland schools now and said that—with nearly 30,000 students on campuses this month—the community can’t afford to wait any longer.
VanHoozer’s fellow EMS Co-Chair, Tina Ortez, emphasized that the group wanted a recognizable name for the community’s bilingual voters. She highlighted that EMS is synonymous with emergency services.
“The state of school facilities in Midland can be described as nothing short of an emergency and the time to act is now,” said Ortez. The group is appealing to voters to vote ‘yes’ for MISD schools.
Learn more about Energize Midland Schools here.