Voters in the Fort Worth school district have overwhelmingly approved two school funding propositions. Both items got more than 70 percent of the vote.
Voters authorized a so-called two-penny swap. It lets the district swap two cents out of its debt service fund and into the maintenance and operations fund. In addition, the state will chip in money. That will bring the district an extra $23 million a year for the next 10 years.
Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner was pleased by the strong support at the polls.
“There was a great deal of hard work,” he told KERA. “And we’re extremely grateful for the support in this community. Fort Worth has put its arms around our schools and recognizes important investment that we’re making.”
Voters also approved a $750 million bond program, the largest in Tarrant County history. Scribner says the money will be used to buy land and pay for new schools. Money will also help improve old schools -- some built in the 1930s – and fund special programs including single-gender academies and campuses with breakfast, lunch, after-school programs and dinner.
Scribner says he wants to hit the ground running.
“We’re going to hire architects and engineers and designers to start immediately,” he said. “Texas law requires 90 days before bonds can be sold. And it’s my goal that this be one of the most transparent implementations of a bond in North Texas.”
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce backed both school propositions. In a statement, President Bill Thornton said the group is delighted that voters are investing in students. He said to remain competitive in business, Fort Worth needs a well-educated and skilled workforce.