TYLER – Local business leaders joined Monday with the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce to announce their strong support for the Tyler ISD school bond, and especially the proposed Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. The leaders say the CTE will provide vital workforce and college-readiness training to Tyler high school students. “The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce has spoken, and we believe the entire bond package is great for our community,” Chamber President and CEO Tom Mullins stated. “We are especially excited about the CTE Center, which will help train students to fulfill local workforce needs,” he continued. The bond proposal also calls for the renovation of Dixie and Rice Elementary Schools and building three new middle schools.
Robert F. “Bob” Westbrook, President of W.R. Ventures Inc. and Chairman of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs committee, also expressed his support. “We have been working closely with the school district as they have planned the proposed Career and Technology Center to ensure students would be learning the skills our local industries need,” Westbrook said. “We pledge to continue this relationship in the future so that as our workforce needs change our school district’s curriculum will change with it.” In addition to Westbrook, local business leaders Phil Burks, President of The Genesis Group, and Faye Pettigrew from Tyler Pipe also announced their support.
Meanwhile, others in the community continue to voice their opposition to the bond proposal. Most recently, Grassroots America – We the People issued a statement citing “a mountain of evidence from both national and state education rating agencies that document Tyler ISD’s poor academic results.” According to a Grassroots America news release, “This bond election is not just about buildings. It should be about setting a higher standard in our community for what the school board and administration produce with our tax dollars.” Early voting continues through Tuesday in the bond election and other local elections throughout the state. The official Election Day is May 11.