Image: Bribing someone to vote a certain way is against the law, even if the briber happens to be the Conroe Independent School District.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, November 1 – As a part of the overall extortion and threats against employees of Conroe Independent School District (CISD) to get the $677.3 Million bond package passed “or else,” the two top managers in the school district’s Custodial Maintenance Department, Director John Marshall Schroeder and Assistant Director Dwight Martin, have threatened the custodial maintenance employees repeatedly according to three current employees and one former employee of CISD who spoke to The Golden Hammer on the condition of anonymity.
“CISD is telling their employees ‘if the bond passes, then they will get a Christmas bonus and a pay increase,'” one of the employees explained to this newspaper. “Marshall Schroeder, our boss, has told us that several times. So has Mr. Martin, our assistant director of maintenance.”
Additionally Schroeder and Martin have threatened the custodial employees with the falsity that the school district can determine how an individual votes when they vote in the bond election. That echoes a consistent threat which Moorhead Junior High School Principal Robert Garcia made both during the current bond referendum and during the May 4, 2019, $807 Million bond referendum, which voters soundly defeated.
When The Golden Hammer spoke with Schroder yesterday afternoon, the denial seemed worse than the accusation. Schroeder said, “That’s absolutely not true. You should speak to our Communications Department and they’ll filter the information to you.”
“That’s absolutely not true. You should speak to our Communications Department and they’ll filter the information to you.” – – Marshall Schroeder, Director, Custodial Maintenance, Conroe Independent School District.
Dwight Martin, the assistant director of maintenance, perhaps took the wiser approach than mouthing off like Schroeder. Martin declined comment.
The offer of payments in return for passing the $677.3 Million bond package would seem to constitute a bribe under Texas law, specifically Section 36.02 of the Texas Penal Code, which provides:
Sec. 36.02. BRIBERY. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:
(1) any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter…
The administration of CISD has made clear to teachers that they will implement a carefully-planned retaliation against teachers, parents, and students, if the $677 million bond package doesn’t pass. Feeding the hungry lawyers, engineers, architects, and contractors the $206 million-plus profit they’ll enjoy from the bond package (based upon a calculation using the Null Multiplier) clearly is the top priority for the administration which shoved the bond package down the throats of the ever-compliant – and always sleeping – Board of Trustees which summarily approved the bond package after a PowerPoint presentation but no Facilities Planning Committee study.
There are three major groups who are under threat from the school district’s plans with respect to this bond package: parents and students, teachers, and taxpayers.
Parents and students
The $677 million bond package has nothing whatsoever to do with educational outcomes. CISD’s administration has confirmed to The Golden Hammer that the bond package has nothing whatsoever to do with improving education for the students of CISD. They’ve admitted there are no metrics with respect to improved education outcomes, because the bond merely focuses upon a needs list of facilities.
The administration has threatened parents and their children, however. The threat is simple: if you don’t pass the bond package we’ll retaliate against you by rezoning schools. Of course, some rezoning should have already occurred. The PASA demographic study, dated January 1, 2019, specifically recommended some rezoning of schools in order to reduce overcapacity problems which exist.
Schools in The Woodlands are rapidly dwindling in enrollment, while schools in Conroe and in the Caney Creek Feeder Zone are growing in student population. The PASA study didn’t recommend any sort of radical rezoning, as CISD’s administration is now implying, if the bond package fails, but rather minimal lateral shifting of student assignments in order to resolve the entirety of the problems.
Under the CISD-commissioned PASA demographic study, CISD won’t face overcapacity problems until approximately 2026. That’s a fact, however, that the administration doesn’t make available to the public or on its so-called “get the facts” website, because those facts suggest a “NO” vote on the bond.
Meanwhile, the administration is spending a fortune of tax dollars dedicated to maintenance and operations of the schools to the school district’s political campaign to trick voters into supporting this terrible TAX RATE INCREASE bond. The administration has already spent over $200,000 on the political campaign in the form of advertising in local publications, signs, flyers, stickers, and a giant mailer. The administration has used campus resources to send e-blasts to parents, over the email accounts reserved for parent-teacher interaction, to advertise in favor of passage of the bond.
What’s important to remember, however, is that every penny the school district spends on political propaganda, the CISD is taking money away from what should be intended for provide children with education.
Former Moorhead Junior High School teacher Sarah Greenmyer has made her opinions against the $677 million well known on Facebook. Teachers, who remain on CISD’s payroll, have made clear they fear retaliation from CISD, if they’re outspoken about their concerns about the proposed bond package.
During the past five days, twenty-six (26) teachers in CISD have contacted this newspaper to complain about the school district and the bond. All of them have requested anonymity, because CISD principals, the Superintendent, and others have made clear teachers will suffer reprisal if they speak the truth.
Teacher concerns about the school district fall into two primary areas.
First, teachers believe Superintendent Null and the top administration of CISD have become obsessed with passing a bond package. They took the failure of the $807 million, 3 cent tax increase, bond package on May 4, 2019, very hard, according to the teachers who spoke with this newspaper. “It’s political for Null and his top lieutenants,” one teacher told The Golden Hammer. “Nulls fears the aura of defeat.”
Greenmyer, who didn’t return telephone calls from this newspaper, obviously agrees when she has referred to “Curtis Null’s lack of professionalism and unwillingness to protect his students. Greenmyer and many parents remain deeply concerned about the school district’s terribly slow handling of school closures on Thursday, September 19, 2019, because the school district clearly knew of the flooding in the Caney Creek Feeder Zone and in Conroe long before 6:48 a.m. when Null finally decided to close the schools.
One parent posted on social media, ” I call BULL, Dr. Null, your words are null and void.”
Nevertheless, teachers have begun to see right through Null, Chief Financial Officer Darren Rice, and their top administration lieutenants. “They’re all about money,” one teacher said. “They were seriously reluctant to close the school district last Thursday, because they didn’t want to lose state funds for one day of school.
The furious anger (Ezekiel 25:17) of teachers towards the administration has grown geometrically during the past week, after the administration has made clear that it’s holding $1,000 of state-funded teacher pay raises back unless and until the $677 million bond package passes.
The CISD administration is also treating taxpayers roughly.
Under the failed $807 million bond, CISD made clear its intent to impose a 3 cent Debt Service tax rate increase, if the voters approved it.
Under the new $677 million bond, CISD has already imposed a 4 cent Debt Service tax rate increase and never gave the voters the opportunity to approve it.
Clearly, that’s because for CISD, the school district is all about the money. Objective truth, educational outcomes for children, and protecting the safety of children and their parents, as well as teachers, during a major storm are simply much lower priorities than gathering as much money as possible through the school bond.
If the bond fails, the administration intends to retaliate. In truth, the retaliation has already begun.