Both sides in failed Nacogdoches bond measure unsure of future - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Both sides in failed Nacogdoches bond measure unsure of future

Damion Yarbrough, a school bond proponent, says school children were let down by residents by not passing  $43.3 million school bond election. (Source: KTE Staff) Damion Yarbrough, a school bond proponent, says school children were let down by residents by not passing $43.3 million school bond election. (Source: KTE Staff)
The bond would have provided two new schools, new classrooms and renovations. It was the second bond in less than 2 years to be defeated. (Source: KTRE Staff) The bond would have provided two new schools, new classrooms and renovations. It was the second bond in less than 2 years to be defeated. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Opponents argue better classroom performance and more administrative transparency is needed before any bond can pass in Nacogdoches. (Still: KTRE Staff) Opponents argue better classroom performance and more administrative transparency is needed before any bond can pass in Nacogdoches. (Still: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

In Nacogdoches, both proponents and opponents to the defeated $43.3 million dollar school bond issue said Wednesday they're not sure what the future holds for the Nacogdoches Independent School District.

Both sides are committed to their opinions.

The failed bond measure was the second one in Nacogdoches in the past year and a half.

School bond proponent Damion Yarbrough's first active role in a hotly debated political issue ended in defeat.

"I find it embarrassing, and I think we did a disservice to our children,” Yarbrough said.

Opponent spokesperson E.K. Sowell said he feels defeated too.

"Actually, we looked at the whole thing as a defeat, too. for the kids and the teachers,” Sowell said. “You have to give us a bond we can vote for, not one we have to vote against."

The bond was for new classrooms and the construction of two new schools. Emeline Carpenter Elementary would have been replaced. Yarbrough said his draw to the bond issue wasn't shared by others.   

"I think it was more a matter of a lot of people didn't care because their children don't go to school at Carpenter, or some don't even go to school in NISD, period, anymore,” Yarbrough said. “I know a lot of people on the northern end of town have been going to Central Heights."

Will a school bond ever pass in Nacogodches? Bond opponents say three things have to happen first.

"What's it gonna take?” said E.L. Sowell, a spokesman for NISD Truth and Transparency. “A little bit of transparency, a little bit of communication, and they need to fix a broken school district. That's basically what's going on here."

No one knows what the next step will be. Sowell thinks rest is in order.

"People have to heal,” Sowell said. “You know, a lot of people have said harsh stuff on both sides and it's time to take a little breath. Take a little moment."

Yarbrough's moment of defeat will likely be short lived.

"It actually got me excited,” Yarbrough said. “I want to do more.”

Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Dr. Fred Hayes called the bond defeat “disappointing” and noted “the message is clear.”

"It is discouraging that the election turned negative and got personal,” Hayes said. “I had hoped that we could have focused on the facility issues and tax implications. We could have had reasonable discussions around the issues in this bond.”

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