San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

San Marcos CISD trustee candidate JOHN McGLOTHLIN writes, “For the last ten years, the community has spent a bunch of money to build world-class facilities; now we need to put all our resources and attention in the classrooms where the teachers meet the students.” 


At tonight’s meeting, the current board will consider an action item to build a new administration building. The same matter was discussed at last month’s meeting. At that time, the board declined 4-3 to allocate $6 million out of the district’s fund balance to construct a 24,000-square-foot administration building. Proponents argued that renovating the current 6,500-square-foot structure would cost millions, and seem to feel that the administration’s proposal is the only option. I feel that putting millions into the current building is a straw man argument, because almost everyone agrees that there will be a new administration facility within the next six years on a location other than where the current facility sits. The real debate should be how we are going to pay for new facility.

For the last ten years, the community has spent a bunch of money to build world-class facilities; now we need to put all our resources and attention in the classrooms where the teachers meet the students. Generally, the district can only fund classroom instruction with maintenance and operations (M&O) revenue – the $1.04 on your property tax bill. The only money beyond M&O revenue that is available for instruction is money that remains in the fund balance. Our fund balance is thus vital because we are able to use it to keep bond interest rates low and anything left can be used the same as M&O money. Yet the administration proposes to take more than $6 million of money that could go into the classroom and instead use it for yet another building — a building where no instruction takes place.

Putting all of our resources into the classrooms is one of the fundamental tenets that I will use to make decisions as a board member. If I am elected as your at-large board member — I will not support funding an administration building with money that could be put in the classroom. I am the only candidate of the seven who has shared specific principles and how those principles will guide decisions if I am elected. I am being this specific so that voters know what they are going to get, because too often in the past, we have elected nice candidates that sounded good, then nothing has changed once they got on the board. This election is too important to take a chance on vague notions and broad themes, because our kids don’t have another three years to wait for a board that is ready to turn the page on the past and completely focus on student performance.

San Marcos

The San Marcos Mercury welcomes original letters to the editor about issues of public interest including those in support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office. Send letters through our contact page or email them to Editor & Publisher Brad Rollins.

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12 thoughts on “Letter: Put San Marcos CISD classroom funding in the classroom, not a new admin building

  1. Your. Abusolutey. Right. Use. Funds. For. Classrooms. Are. KIDS. I. AGREE. STUDENTS. NEEDS. ARE. FIRST. YOU. SAYING. IT. LIKE. IT. IS. THANKS.

  2. Why are you not talking about the Office of the Civil Rights complaint filed? Are you okay with using taxpayer’s money to get fined, John? This is clearly a swipe at campaigning for free, instead of addressing issues like poor air quality, non-handicap accessible building and restrooms, and insufficient space. If the land can be sold, along with Bonham, and build a new one on school district owned property out of the fund balance, go ahead.

    Brad Rollins- why is in not being reported tha Miguel Areedondo does not live in district 1, for which he is running. He’s bragged about it to others.

    I am a voter who wants answers and not polarizing individuals. How are you going to make the school board better, John, other than just trying to tear it down. I’m tired of hearing how decisive the board is.

  3. M, I appreciate your involvement and weighing in on how we as a district move forward in regards to a new or renovated central administration building. I think involvement in our schools is desperately needed and I gladly welcome the dialogue.

    In regards to my stance on this particular issue – I think our school board almost spending $10 million dollars this close to an election was just inappropriate. I applaud last night’s decision and as the swing vote, I thank Mr. Gonzales for voting “no.”

    In response to your accusation about my residency, I am ready, willing, and able to discuss my residency in person. I encourage you to attend Monday’s League of Women Voter debate at the San Marcos Activity Center and ask me personally.

    Brad, you know how to contact me if you’d like more information. It’s unfortunate that once again, instead of talking about academics and student achievement, we are continuing to look for distractions from the real issues affecting the San Marcos CISD.

    If anyone has any other questions in regards to my candidacy and my plans to help lead San Marcos schools forward, please feel free to contact me.

    – Miguel
    Sent From My Smartphone Pardon The Typos

  4. Can it be true that Miguel Arredondo does not live in the district for which he is running? This ought to be easily established. Where does he park his car at night?

  5. So, Mr. Arredondo, instead of being vague and offering to discuss it in person why don’t you just say right here and now whether you live in the district or not. It should be a black and white issue. I would not vote for you with this cloud hanging over your eligibility and I haven’t even formed an opinion – I really don’t support anyone yet. If you get elected are we going to get involved in an expensive and distracting recall or litigation as to your eligibility?

  6. Juan,

    Please check your figure of $10 million. Another Mercury article stated 5.8 million. The current building is not ADA acceptable. Why is okay to discriminate against community members because board members can’t do the job they were elected for – make decisions.

  7. For disclosure: I too am a candidate…

    Brad (Editor) – Thanks for publishing content about the SMCISD and the upcoming election.

    John (Letter Author) – Thanks for your letter articulating your position.

    In December 2014, the School Board approved a building for Technology and Food Service, about 10,000 sq ft. on land already owned by SMCISD (Hunter Rd). In March the administration informed the School Board that the Tech & Food Service building would cost $2,900,000 (rounded to the nearest $100,000). This means that all of the proceeds from the sale of the Lamar property will be used for this single building. It is important to keep in mind that these costs include not only the building but also the contents (tech upgrades, etc.).

    No doubt the Central Administration building has issues. There have been discussions of a new Central Admin building for at least 15 years. The current proposal was for $5,900,000 (rounded to the nearest 100,000) building of 24,000+ sq. ft to be built on land already owned by SMCISD.

    The key issue John raises here in his letter is priority. He obviously thinks classroom spending should take priority over administrative space. My interpretation of John’s message is that he thinks there are spending needs in the classroom that are of greater importance than the needs of central administration.

    Here is my question: Do you realize that only 1 out of 10 of our high school seniors have a competitive SAT/ACT (1110 Sact, 24 ACT)?

  8. I’m just trying to follow up on a previous request – please clarify if District 1 is where you actually reside, Mr. Areedondo. This means having lived there for 6 months and utility bills in your name arrive for that address at that address. Clarifying this would make it a lot easier for voters to choose you.

  9. Isn’t there someone at the District that reviews incoming applications for candidates who would have sussed any potential residency issue out long ago? If not, who is responsible for vetting these candidates? Surely they don’t expect us to take anyone’s word for it?

  10. Dano,

    I thought that too, so I asked the school district when I heard this. Apparently, there is some asinine law that says they cannot ask for proof! All I want is eligible, honest candidates, who do not change their venues based on their audience (this goes to all candidates).

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