Conroe ISD’s Fraudulent $807 Million Bond Package: Williams’ mis-information about rezoning, the threat for which we’ve all waited, Part Three Of Five Lies And Threats

Conroe ISD’s Fraudulent $807 Million Bond Package: Williams’ mis-information about rezoning, the threat for which we’ve all waited, Part Three Of Five Lies And Threats

Image: Conroe Independent School District (CISD) Board President Datren Williams unleashed a threat against The Woodlands if the citizens dare vote down the $807 million CISD bond package and tax hike: CISD will implement a massive rezoning. Of course, Williams didn’t disclose that the rezoning will occur regardless of the outcome of the bond referendum or that the rezoning will likely not involve children in The Woodlands.

Conroe and The Woodlands, March 25 – It’s the threat everyone has expected: “either pass the $807 million bond or CISD will implement a massive rezoning.” It’s the specific reason that Conroe Independent School District hasn’t divulged the fact that they’re planning to implement a massive rezoning of the school district right after the $807 million bond election and tax hike regardless of the outcome.

On Thursday, March 21, 2019, CISD’s President Datren Williams unleashed the threatened rezoning and also lied about some other critical facts during a comment he made to the Woodlands Township Board of Directors.

Here’s what Williams told the Board of the Township last Thursday:

  • “My wife and I moved here for the educational system.” [Publisher’s Note: Williams’ wife works for CISD!]
  • “There’s a bond that will be presented to the voters in April.” [Publisher’s Note: Williams was only one month off.]
  • “Now let’s assume the bond doesn’t get passed. The district has to make some tough decisions, as Dr. Snyder knows and some of you other folks that are actively being engaged with the district. That potentially is moving some of the Township kids to other schools.” [Publisher’s Note: There’s the contra-factual threat!]

Williams’ threat about rezoning, if the $807 million bond doesn’t pass, is a false threat on at least two levels. First, CISD intends to do a rezoning right after the bond election either way. Second, the demographic study, which CISD commissioned and which the school district is attempting to use to support the $807 million bond (but which actually supports the fact that the bond is unnecessary), reveals that any rezoning would move children outside of the Woodlands Township into Woodlands schools due to project declines in the enrollment of schools in The Woodlands.

It’s another example of the fact that Superintendent Curtis Null, Williams, and a few other CISD Board members are willing to say anything to threaten citizens within the CISD to vote for the $807 million bond and tax hike.

The word in Sanskrit sthagati, of course, comes to mind, meaning “he covers or conceals.”

What did Williams and CISD conceal when Williams made the threat of rezoning at the Woodlands Township Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2019?

CISD’s careful control of communication

Soon after the CISD Board rubber-stamped the bond, which Null and the CISD administration had given them through the so-called Facilities Planning Committee, which Null led, Null began to campaign for the $807 million bond package. He set an aggressive advocacy schedule and made clear that, under no circumstances, would Null appear in any forum where he did not have the podium exclusively.

Many organizations simply won’t allow any factual presentation about the problems or concerns with the $807 million bond. Those organizations include the Conroe Rotary, the Woodlands Rotary, Houston Area Realtors, Greater Houston Builders Association, Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, CASA, Conroe Chamber of Commerce, and others. Many organizations want to give Null and CISD an advantage in their presentations.

The Woodlands Township’s staff initially only would allow Null to make a presentation in favor of the bond, at the request of former CISD Board member Ann Snyder who serves on the Township Board. After some cajoling, the Township, primarily thanks to Board Chairman Gordy Bunch, did allow the Chairman of the Children’s Hope PAC, the group which opposes the $807 million tax hike, to make a 9 minute presentation during the Public Comment period of the Township Board meeting. Therefore, CISD made sure there were at least two individuals who spoke for the bond during the Public Comment period and then, of course, there was no time limit on Null’s presentation which lasted more than 35 minutes. In all, at the Woodland Township, the pro-CISD bond group had the floor for more than 41 minutes, while individuals who would dare question the bond only had 12 minutes (and those 12 minutes came after Bunch courageously put his foot down and insisted upon some fairness.)

Null has conducted numerous private meetings with elected servants and other government employees to try to convince them to support the $807 million bond.

One organization, the Montgomery County Pachyderm Club, has tried to get Null to agree in a forum with the Chidren’s Hope PAC Chairman, but Null has declined. Null declined to appear on “It’s Hammer Time,” the popular Facebook Live/YouTube show on MCP.TV affiliated with this newspaper. Null would have had the floor to himself during the entire show but he didn’t want to withstand the scrutiny.

Null and CISD have organized six bond campaign meetings at each of the six high schools in CISD. Each of those meetings will last one hour. Null will have the podium to himself. CISD will only permit questions in writing from audience members, which, of course, such questions CISD staff will screen in advance, so that Null will only answer questions consistent with his “script” (to use Null’s own terminology).

If citizens dare challenge CISD on social media, at least two members of the CISD Board of Trustees troll the Internet to argue with such challenges. If individuals try to ask the Board members questions, the Board members refuse to answer them.

In summary, it’s a system of communication which is downright Orwellian.

CISD intends to rezone the school district before the next school year regardless of the outcome of the May 4 bond election

In private meetings with elected servants and other government employees to try to convince them to support the $807 million bond, Null told them on at least two occasions during the month of February, 2019, that CISD will have to do a major rezoning of the school district regardless of whether the $807 million tax hike passes or not. Null confided in those elected officials that CISD is not announcing the rezoning before the May 4 election, because the school district wants to make that announcement “in other ways,” a phrase Null has used repeatedly, according to four different individuals who met with Null but who also requested anonymity for fear of political reprisal.

If CISD already has a capacity problem, then the immediate rezoning shouldn’t be a surprise, because the $807 million of bond projects wouldn’t come on line for several years of construction first.

Clearly, Null and CISD chose not to inform parents and other citizens within CISD of the plan to rezone before the 2019-20 school year, because they wanted to use rezoning as a threat to convince people to support the $807 million bond package, the precise threat Williams made during the March 21 Woodlands Township Board meeting.

Oh, and there’s a dirty little secret towards the end of CISD’s 2018 demographic study: CISD already has the maps for the rezoning set to go!!! 

Will rezoning really send students from The Woodlands to schools elsewhere?

Besides Williams’ fundamental lie that the decision to rezone or not has any tie to the passage or not of the $807 million bond, there’s another important reason Williams blatantly lied to the audience and to the Woodlands Township Board when he said, ”

  • “Now let’s assume the bond doesn’t get passed. The district has to make some tough decisions, as Dr. Snyder knows and some of you other folks that are actively being engaged with the district. That potentially is moving some of the Township kids to other schools.

To understand the lie, one must consult CISD’s 2018 demographic study, which forms the entire argument CISD has used for the bond.

Elementary schools. CISD’s demographic study shows that of the ten (10) elementary schools in The Woodlands, the student enrollment will precipitously decline from 2019 through 2028 in seven (7) of those schools. Two of the schools show an increase in enrollment, but the total enrollment of children in CISD’s elementary schools in The Woodlands is actually decreasing. Therefore, if rezoning moves children from one school to another, it will bring children into The Woodlands from other neighborhoods, not the other way around.

Intermediate schools. CISD’s demographic study show that of the five (5) intermediate schools (5th and 6th grades) in The Woodlands, the student enrollment will precipitously decline from 2019 through 2028 in three (3) of those schools. One of the schools shows a slight increase in enrollment, but the total enrollment of children in CISD’s intermediate schools in The Woodlands is actually decreasing dramatically. Therefore, if rezoning moves children from one school to another, it will bring children into The Woodlands from other neighborhoods, not the other way around.

Junior high schools. CISD’s demographic study show that of the two (2) junior high schools in The Woodlands, the student enrollment will precipitously decline from 2019 through 2028 in one (1) of those schools. One of the schools shows a slight increase in enrollment, but the total enrollment of children in CISD’s junior high schools in The Woodlands is actually decreasing dramatically. Therefore, if rezoning moves children from one school to another, it will bring children into The Woodlands from other neighborhoods, not the other way around.

High schools. CISD’s demographic study show that of the two (2) high schools in The Woodlands, the student enrollment will precipitously decline from 2019 through 2028 in both (2) of those schools. The total enrollment of children in CISD’s high schools in The Woodlands is actually decreasing dramatically. Therefore, if rezoning moves children from one school to another, it will bring children into The Woodlands from other neighborhoods, not the other way around.

At the bottom of this article (directly below) is page 385 from CISD’s 2018 demographic study, which shows that the student enrollment at The Woodlands High School will precipitously decline over the next ten years about more than seven hundred (700) students!

Clearly, Williams lied to the community when he threatened “moving some of the Township kids to other schools.” It’s another example of the willingness of CISD to lie, threaten, and confuse citizens to garner votes so they can pocket $807 million in bond funds and tax dollars from a public which previously allowed the wildly-spending school district to do whatever it wanted.

Page 385 of the CISD’s demographic study for the $807 million bond package shows that student enrollment at high schools in The Woodlands (College Park and The Woodlands High School) will decline during the next ten years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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