I have been working up at the school lately helping out on the set of Hairspray. I had been posting on Facebook about the theater group needing some help catching up since they lost valuable time building the set due to the ice storm. Since I am friends with the Superintendent, and he loves my son, he offered to help. Dr. Vinson came with his kiddos and I was able to hear bits and pieces of some interesting conversation between two hunky men that I adore.
The theater teacher and Dr. Vinson were discussing the need for replacement lights for the theater as well as how there is no heat and we were warming up using the stage lights. Then I heard one comment made that stirred me. A comment was made about how people want their tax bill low but they don't realize how much the schools suffer. Suffice to say I bit my tongue because the theater was no place for me to school them.
First, Wylie ISD has the 2nd highest tax rate in Collin County. We are no longer a ruralish back country town with major growth needs. We have shops and restaurants and our homes are nearing build out. I understand that WISD is growing, but from what I gather, those numbers are mostly coming from the Sachse bit of land that dumps into Wylie schools and for every new household that moves in, they gain additional tax dollars. Oh and lets not forget to mention the increased property values and how much more money they will bring in this year. So I find it concerning when the prevailing attitude of teacher and administrator is that taxpayers should open their pocketbooks a little more. I'm more of the mindset that the hole in the dam needs to be plugged.
I voted for every bond that came up in the first half of my residency here, but when bonds came up over and over again to replace fairly new astroturf with newer astroturf and move old astroturf to the Jr. High football stadium and then a year later ask for new astroturf, it got a little annoying. Granted, those foibled bonds were not the fault of Dr. Vinson, he can thank his predecessor for that, but he inherited a no-confidence vote from the citizens.
Dr. Vinson has gone a long way in improving public opinion, but still, I bristle at how high our tax rate is. I could move elsewhere and pay much less and get generally the same education for my sons. So you can imagine that as I am faced with having no more students in school, I am pondering why I would continue to pour thousands of dollars into WISD?
To be honest, the district has been great for our sons. The schools are the reason we moved to Wylie, but now that Wylie has stretched nearly about as far as it's going to, I'm tired of not getting any financial breaks. If our City tax dollars weren't out of control (one of the highest in all of North Texas), I would probably not give the WISD tax roll another thought. So perhaps my teacher and Superintendent friends might consider leaning on the City to do something about their out of control spending problem.
At the end of the day, people move to a community for the schools, but with the double trouble of two incredibly high taxing authorities, I feel as though I am being a little fleeced.