Bastrop school board candidates talk district issues

Bastrop school board incumbent Billy Moore has received a challenge by Cedar Creek resident Tommy Hazleton for the Place 3 seat.

The candidates answered a questionnaire from the Advertiser on matters of interest in the school district. Here’s where Moore, a photographer, and Hazleton, a real estate broker and agent, stand on the issues.

If elected, what will be your number one priority for the school district and how will you see it through?

Moore: Our district has recently been recognized as a rapid-growth district and Bastrop County has been identified as the 11th-fastest growing county in the state. Our students and teachers need the facilities and materials to prepare for this growth and prepare for the growth in enrollment that it means. The district is in the process of evaluating priorities in utilizing existing campuses, repurposing and rehabbing them to maximize capabilities while minimizing expenditures. With board oversight and utilizing public input, we can develop a plan that accomplishes these goals to properly provide for these needs ensuring continued student and campus success while providing successful schools, resulting in an attractive and healthy functioning community. The future of Bastrop’s quality of life is dependent on planning for growth that is inevitable. I will actively support a bond package that addresses these concerns for our students, staff and community.

Hazleton: My number one priority will be listening and learning as much as I can about our particular school system so I can better understand the dynamics at play in such a complicated arena. From there I will work with my fellow trustees to ensure the district is moving forward in the best way possible. To do that I intend to use my position on the board to advocate for financial accountability and increased teacher support while working toward a broader geographic representation across our sprawling district. This next school board lineup will still be facing most of the same issues they were before this election. If I am elected, I will be a new and different variable into that otherwise exact same equation. I will bring my own passion and creativity along with a fresh sense of vigor to the table that I hope will inspire and affect change where it is needed most.

The school district’s $75 million bond and 13-cent tax ratification elections failed in November. Did you support or opposed the proposals? Why or why not?

Hazleton: I believe the future success of this community is inextricably tied to our children’s education. My default response was for education, despite the fact that it was going to cost me more in additional property taxes and seriously negate any raise in pay that my wife, who is a…

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