Our attendance at two public meetings this month for citizens to learn all about the Nov. 3 Waco Independent School District tax ratification election has been astounding in the lack of attendance by parents and taxpayers. A meeting at West Avenue Elementary School in North Waco attracted one parent. Another at University High School last week attracted three, one of whom turned out to be in the wrong school district.
And if no one shows up at Monday’s meeting at J.H. Hines Elementary School regarding the tax ratification election and what school leaders want to do with the added revenue, then at least some pockets of Waco ISD may have to acknowledge the same criticism we repeatedly hear, fair or not, about Marlin ISD: Not enough of the community is concerned about neighborhood schools — a heartbreaking situation, given J.H. Hines has seen repeated academic failure and the community should be rallying behind it.
Waco ISD officials tell us public meetings with specific associations and organizations have proven more successful. Last week the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce adopted a resolution supporting the tax hike’s approval based on its potential to “increase the size and capabilities of the regional workforce, lower poverty rates, reduce costs to the criminal justice system and change how the Waco community is perceived externally.”
A list of meetings can be found at the Waco ISD website, including the J.H. Hines event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., and a Tuesday meeting at Lake Air Montessori at 6 p.m. If you live or work in the district and concern yourself with our city’s future, we encourage your interest and attendance — even if you have reservations.