Fort Worth ISD bond vote heating up over ad funding

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on November 3, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 11:36 PM

FORT WORTH -- Yet another local school bond contest is heating up as election day nears.

In Fort Worth, groups for and against nearly three proposed bonds that total nearly $500 million are trying to win last-minute votes. But there are some questions about funding for the groups.

Recently, mailers opposing the bond were circulated in certain areas. A group called "It's Okay To Say No To The School Bond" is behind the effort.

But the group has gotten significant outside financial help, including more than $7,000 from a super PAC out of Austin called Accountability First, according to a campaign finance report examined by News 8.

"Some folks who don't even live in Tarrant County, who can't even vote on this, are funneling some money in," said Keith Annis, who is the man behind a group called "FWISD For Kids," which supports the bond vote.

The treasurer for the "No" group, Keith Kallmeyer, wouldn't agree to an interview, but did send a detailed statement, which read in part:

"Our volunteer group is comprised of local citizens that are concerned about out of control spending[...] The Fort Worth ISD bond debt has grown significantly in the past 10 years at a rate several times more than the influx of new students and if these three bonds totaling over $489 million pass, it will increase student debt to more than $17,000 per student."

Annis said that figures plastered on mailers and signs are misleading, and that the actual tax increase amounts to about $30 annually, on average.

Last week, News 8 profiled similar concerns held by Lovejoy ISD Superintendent Ted Moore.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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