While policies in tax dollar expenditures are a common topic in school board elections, the issue has become focused on the proposition to build a Global Science and
Position 2 on the Board of Trustees is currently held by Sonal Bhuchar who is running for re-election. She is being challenged on the ballot by oil and gas industry consultant Carlos Cain who opposes construction of the center. As outlined in this article, and in a previous posting of mine, the issue of whether or not to build this centerpiece structure in Fort Bend ISD has become the central point of contention in the Position 2 contest, and has also been addressed in the Position 6 race, currently an open seat, that is being sought by three individuals, two of whom, have also come out against the construction.
FortBendNow focused on Position 2, due to the presence of an incumbent I imagine, and due to the obvious differences in the opinions of the respective candidates on whether this science center should be built.
“‘I am in favor of anything that will help our students academically,’ Cain said recently. However, ‘I can’t in good conscience justify spending $40 million or whatever when we don’t have enough copy paper for our teachers, when we’ve got kids sharing textbooks and we’re telling principals we can’t make all the building repairs that are needed.’”
“‘How can you oppose something if you don’t know all the facts?’ Bhuchar asked, noting that a district-appointed feasibility committee, chaired by former
mayor David Wallace, has just begun the first of several community meetings seeking comment on the proposal. ‘Everyone has tremendous concerns over the financing of it, myself included. But let’s see what they come back with,” she said of the feasibility committee.’” Sugar Land
Both candidates exhibit legitimate concerns on expenditure of public funds. Bhuchar, however, hints around something that I think is almost assuredly in the mix: the fact that the center will not be financed by public funds.
In the reality that is
And given past practices in the district, they generally expect that they will also be asked to foot the bill for this project in Fort Bend ISD.
And therefore think they have a point to make and can take issue with this new construction project.
But what if Bhuchar’s words “…let’s see what they come back with,” referring to the feasibility committee’s work, means that there is a concerted effort underfoot to line up a collection of corporate sponsors to privately fund this project? Really, there are lots of science/technology-based corporations in the immediate area, not to mention the corporate employers of many of the parents of Fort Bend ISD students.
My question, then, is this: if the funding is found, and the Global Science and
I wonder about this, because I wonder what happens if, down the road, the feasibility study is completed, say one week before the election, and all of the objections of the candidates who opposed the project dissipate with the news that $25 million in private funding have been lined up.
That is, if this is what happens, having all of your eggs in one basket seems like a very bad idea because the whole issue could become moot.