BELTON, Texas — Last week, a group of Belton ISD community members and parents took to social media to accuse Belton ISD of electioneering in the most recent bond election.
The nearly $174 million bond passed in May, with the goal of addressing high-priority facility and program needs, move the district away from long-term portables and other benefits all without a tax rate increase.
The group making these allegations brought up a whistleblower email and a video of a student coming home with a Belton ISD bond sticker on his chest.
Dr. Matt Smith, Belton ISD Superintendent, said the district did not violate any codes.
"We feel good about what we did," Smith said. "Every bond presentation that I had talks about, I can't ask you to vote yes. I can't ask you to vote no. I can only ask you to go vote and constantly getting the message out to get people to go vote is really what we're about."
Smith denied claims that he put 'pressure' on teachers and staff to vote for the bond. His only goal in sending the email he sent was to encourage people to vote after noticing low turnout.
"Our goal was to always get people out to vote, and it was about voting numbers being down," Smith said. "We want to make sure that people's voices were heard. And again, I said that we did over 70 Different bond presentations and we closed everyone saying, we can't ask you to vote yes. we can't ask you to vote no, but we can ask you to go vote and we need your voice out there."
He even said the video of the student who went home with a sticker is not proof that the district encouraged anyone to vote for the bond. He and the rest of the administration did not encourage teachers to promote the bond and the students who went home with stickers also went home with information for parents voting for the bond.
There was never any incentive for people to vote 'yes'.
"We understand people will have differences of opinion, differences of opinion doesn't mean that there is anything wrong going on but there will be times in a growing school district like this, where some people might not like some of those decisions. We're gonna move forward, follow the guidance that we have tried to make sure we're doing the right thing every time and keep putting the stuff in front of our voters for them to consider it."
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