Two students petition for new TRE

The FISD Board of Trustees is holding a special session Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. to discuss results from the TRE and to look ahead and where budget cuts may need to be made. Two students that hope to be there are sophomores Robbie Gow  and Stephen Blandford who have started a petition calling for another TRE vote.

Maddie Owens

The FISD Board of Trustees is holding a special session Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. to discuss results from the TRE and to look ahead and where budget cuts may need to be made. Two students that hope to be there are sophomores Robbie Gow and Stephen Blandford who have started a petition calling for another TRE vote.

Although the Tax Ratification Election failed to pass with 58 percent of voters opposing the higher tax rate, two students are calling for another election. Sophomores Stephen Blandford and Robbie Gow created a petition that’s getting attention on social media. Buzz was slow in building with less than 100 signatures, but in a little more than a week it has climbed to nearly a 1,000.

I think the main thing right now is to get people’s attention because we got a lot of comments on the petition, and a lot of people didn’t even know the election was going on”

— sophomore Stephen Blandford

“Teachers were reacting on Facebook and saying how they might look for new jobs next year and that’s just really bad for a school district so we were just extremely worried,” Blandford said. “So we did a little research and we consulted a lawyer (Robbie’s dad) and he said that it would be realistic to have another TRE. We didn’t really think it would go anywhere, but it caught on a little and we got a lot of support.”

The level of support for their petition is different from what the students think happened in the election.

“Usually I just figured it would pass because stuff like that usually does pass here in Frisco, but then I checked on my phone right after the football game on Saturday night and I saw that it didn’t pass,” Gow said. “I was shocked. I started asking and lots of people also had the same mentality as me like ‘Well it was just going to pass’ or ‘My parents didn’t vote because they just thought it would pass’ and that’s when I decided maybe I could do something.”

 

“I feel like the people who funded the no campaign kind of just pushed that narrative because of course if you just feel like you’re going to have to pay more taxes and less opportunities will come of that then who’s going to want to?,” Gow said. “But the real idea is, you pay more taxes and in an essence you get to pay for smaller class sizes, pay teachers more, and you don’t have to pay $300 per fine art/athletic class.”

Both students are now working to spread the word to administration and beyond.

“Hopefully we can try to present something to the school board,” Gow said. “And see if we can get more signatures and more people to get on with us so we can help show that there are a lot of people who really feel like there should be a revote or another chance for this TRE to pass.”

Would you be in favor of another Tax Ratification Election

Loading...

Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Although another election is the ultimate goal, Blandford is focused on making sure voters and students are informed properly.

“Another TRE would be great, but I think the main thing right now is to get people’s attention because we got a lot of comments on the petition, and a lot of people didn’t even know the election was going on,” Blandford said. “Or they didn’t understand both sides of it so people weren’t informed well and our temporary goal is just to spread the word of it, get it out there because some people didn’t even know it existed or know both sides of it.”

According to Blandford, the student body should be more involved and aware of issues surrounding the school.

“I really do think students should be active and one of the reasons we’ve gotten a lot of student support is specifically at Liberty because we have a lot of students in fine arts or athletics and that just impacts us personally because that’s some of the first things to get cut,” Blandford said. “And I think it’s very important for students to get involved because, yes, parents have opinions and they are the ones paying the money, but the students are the ones affected by the decision.”

With a busy school life, there is a possibility of the issue dying out of public eye.

This is what’s going to help shape how we experience our last two years of high school or last three years”

— sophomore Robbie Gow

“I hope it doesn’t die out quickly but if it does then at least we tried,” Gow said. “I just hope in the end that this can send a signal to someone that there are a lot of people who didn’t get their voice heard and this is a very important issue for the future of our schools.”

Regardless, superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon appreciates the involvement and worry coming from students.

“It means a lot, it really does, it means we have the greatest students of any school district, I really, truly believe that,” Lyon said. “I think we have a student body that really understands the bigger and the issues in the world today and I think we have a student body that cares about our teachers and so much of this was about our teachers. It means a lot and I appreciate that. I think the real lesson here is we live in a democracy and if you want to see change you’ve got to stand up and I appreciate the students standing up and saying ‘by golly, this is the way I feel, this is what needs to happen and I’m going to get active with it’, that’s what it should be all about.”

Nevertheless, Gow firmly considers the election and student participation a crucial matter.

“I think it’s very important because our future and the future of the people behind us and this is what’s going to help shape how we experience our last two years of high school or last three years,” Gow said. “How the people behind us will have their educational experience which is important to the future of our city, state, and country as a whole.”