Putting the “quid pro quo” into effect: Conroe ISD gives teachers bonuses for their vote for the $653 million bond

Putting the “quid pro quo” into effect: Conroe ISD gives teachers bonuses for their vote for the $653 million bond

Image: Thursday, November 21, 2019, email to all Conroe Independent School District employees, announcing $675 bonus to each employee in return for the employees getting the $653 million bond package passed on November 5, 2019.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, November 24 – Conroe Independent School District’s (CISD) Board of Trustees, by a unanimous vote at the behest of the school district’s administration, approved a “quid pro quo” payment of $675 to every CISD employee in return for their voting to support and garnering passage of the $653 million bond package in the November 5, 2019, voter referendum. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the payments at the Tuesday, November 19, 2019, Board meeting.

Conroe ISD Board of Trustees Agenda item to approve quid quo pro payments for teacher votes for passage of the $653 million bond package on November 5. The vote was on the agenda at the November 19, 2019, Board of Trustees meeting.

The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, received a screen shot of an email CISD sent to every employee on Thursday, November 21, announcing the bonus payment made in return for passage for the bond package. In return for their votes in the bond election, CISD agreed to pay each employee $675.

That $675 would go to all employees, such as the wife of liberal activist Keith Lincoln, and others as long as they meet the employment continuity conditions stated in the email shown at the top of this article. The funds for the “quid pro quo” payment came out of the House Bill 3 “school finance reform,” which the Texas Legislature passed during the 86th Legislative Session. The legislation, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law on June 12, required school districts to give a $4000 per employee bonus essentially to all non-administrator employees but also gave the districts discretion what to do with an additional $1000 of State taxpayer funds distributed to them for each employee. All of those funds came from a tax surplus the State of Texas had accumulated after over-taxing the citizens of Texas.

As a part of the overall extortion and threats against employees of Conroe Independent School District (CISD) to get the $653 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, 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 before the November 5 election. “Marshall Schroeder, our boss, has told us that several times. So has Mr. Martin, our assistant director of maintenance.”

Additionally Schroeder and Martin 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 echoed a consistent threat which Moorhead Junior High School Principal Robert Garcia made both during the November 5 bond referendum, which passed, and during the May 4, 2019, $807 Million bond referendum, which voters soundly defeated.

When The Golden Hammer spoke with Schroder on October 31, 2019, 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 $653 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 made clear to teachers that they would implement a carefully-planned retaliation against teachers, parents, and students, if the $653 million bond package didn’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 was 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.

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