McKinney ISD PACs – Funded by Special Interests Fund

Question: How much money did concerned homeowners donate to the McKinney (ISD) Independent School District PAC Committees in 2011 and 2013?

Answer: Zero.

2011 Vote Yes for McKinney Schools PAC

4-Apr-11 Pogue Construction Builder to MISD  $    1,000.00
1-Apr-11 McKinney Alliance McKinney Businesses Special Interest  $    5,000.00
7-Apr-11 McKinney Chamber PAC McKinney Businesses Special Interest  $    5,000.00
9-Mar-11 SHW Group Division of Stantec (MISD Stadium Architect)  $    3,954.37
5-May-11 Durham Transportation Services MISD Bus Operations Management  $    2,000.00
17-May-11 Estes McClure MISD Engineering: 23 years & 120 Projects  $    1,500.00
21-May-11 Charter Builders Construction Management  $    1,000.00
 $  19,454.37


2013 Vote for McKinney Kids PAC

20-Aug-13 Pogue Construction Builder to MISD  $    1,000.00
29-Aug-13 McKinney Chamber PAC McKinney Businesses Special Interest  $    2,500.00
21-Aug-13 SHW Group Division of Stantec (MISD Stadium Architect)  $    1,500.00
30-Aug-13 Estes McClure MISD Engineering: 23 years & 120 Projects  $    1,000.00
29-Aug-13 Pogue Construction Builder to MISD  $    2,000.00
 $    8,000.00








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McKinney ISD: The State Cut Our Funding! Really?

In August of 2013, McKinney property owners approved a request from the McKinney Independent School District that gave McKinney property owners, the highest tax rate in the state of Texas.

The foundation for the tax increase was the claim that the Texas state legislature had cut school funding, that deeply wounded McKinney ISD. Although the district had enacted heroic cost saving measures, the cuts were too deep, the only course of action was a massive increase in local taxes.

Community leaders stepped up to support the increase and blast the legislature.

According to the MISD School Board of Trustees President Curtis Rippee, the TRE is necessary not to add additional programs, but rather maintain the existing quality of education.  It [the TRE] isn’t to increase programs in our district,” Rippee said. “It’s to keep what we have. It’s to remedy the lack of funding we’re getting from the state.”

McKinney ISD Board President Curtis Rippee, September 2013

This is not new money for new programs or enrollment growth, it is to replace money the state cut to continue current programs.

* MISD Parent Cindy Evans – August 2013

passing this TRE will allow us to keep the programs and class sizes that have, to date, benefitted students.

Angie Bado, September 2013

During the 2011 legislative session our legislators in Austin, the total amount of cuts was $5.3B. McKinney ISD’s share of those cuts was $11.2M in the 2011-2012 school year and $15.7M in the 2012-2013 school year. So, to make up for the shortfall of monies coming from Austin, we decide locally that we want to keep our community strong.”

Bill Campbell, August 2013

This is screenshot of the mailing, that was produced and distributed at taxpayer expense, to parents and supporters.

TRE Reasons

Officials with McKinney ISD administration claimed, along with the $15.7 million in cuts, the district had “not seen substantial increases in [state] funding since this time [2005-06]“.

According to the Audited Financial Reports submitted by the district, here is a history of Texas state funding to McKinney ISD:

State Funding

The red areas represent over $12 million in  funding MISD received through the state in 2010 ($6,620,812) and 2011 ($6,332,975) as communities slice of the 2009 Obama Stimulus. This $12 million in bonus money is apparently monies that McKinney ISD claims were “cut“.

Link to individual years: 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Here is same funding on a per student basis:

State Funding per Student

When I visited with McKinney ISD officials with this information, their reaction was “meh”.  I suggest you vote “meh” for the $72.5 million Football Stadium.


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$70 Million Football Stadium Coming to McKinney

Stadium Project RFP


Construction: ~$50 million

Infrastructure: ~$12.5 million

Land: ~ $10 million

TOTAL: ~ $72 million

On May 7th, the McKinney Independent School District Board of Trustees will ask voters to approve a $220 (plus $12.5 million)  bond package, that fails to include the construction of a single school.

More details to come.


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Question: Is McKinney Stadium Really 55 Years Old?

“I do believe we need a stadium because our current stadium is 55 years old”

McKinney ISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel

McKinney Lions Field 1971

MISD Stadium circa 1971


McKinney Ron Poe Stadium 2015

Ron Poe Stadium 2015

Question: Is the football stadium really 55 years old?

Answer: While the original structure opened in 1962, according to the 2000 Bond Report McKinney ISD spent a reported $10,119,614  to renovate needed renovations in the mid 2006.  The stadiums real age, obviously, is closer to 10 years, than 55.

A family reunion under the Friday night lights in McKinney

Although voters approved a new stadium in 2005, McKinney ISD board decided to renovate the old stadium.

Here is an article from the September 25, 2005 Dallas Morning News:

McKINNEY – High school football fans here won’t get a new stadium anytime soon, but the current stadium will get a makeover by next season.

After reviewing four proposals to renovate the stadium earlier this week, the school board is slated to approve a final renovation plan as early as Monday.

School officials said the proposals, which include new seating and concession areas, provide the only way to improve the football facilities right now because the district can’t afford to build a new stadium.

“Someday, we will build that stadium, but this is our stadium until then,” Superintendent Tom Crowe said.

The four proposals, which vary in price from nearly $4.4 million to $5.2 million, all include major changes to the press box as well as new restrooms and bleachers. The two most expensive plans also include extra parking.

Regardless of which plan is selected, work is expected to begin soon after the end of this year’s football season and be finished by the summer.

Voters approved a $13 million bond referendum to build a new stadium in 2000, but school leaders nixed that plan in favor of building new schools to accommodate the district’s booming student population.

That growth also fueled the current $197 million bond referendum now before voters for four new elementary schools, a middle school and the second phase of the yet-to-open Boyd High School. The measure would not increase taxes but would be paid for by future growth in the city.

Early voting started Wednesday, and election day is Oct. 8.

Geralyn Kever, the school board president, said the district has only so much debt that it can cover under the current tax structure.

“The board looked at our financial rate and looked at our growth and realized that if we built another stadium, we would have to postpone building schools,” Ms. Kever said. “Our current schools would be overcrowded.

“We recognized that a football stadium was a want, but we have an existing football stadium, so it wasn’t a need.”

As a backup plan, the 2000 bond referendum also included $5 million for renovations to the current stadium, which hosts games for McKinney and McKinney North high schools.

The $5 million is expected to cover the renovations.

Ms. Kever said the growing student population, changes to the state tax structure and other factors will determine when the district has the debt capacity to build another stadium.

“I suppose there may be those who might still prefer to build a stadium ahead of schools,” she said, “but I think the vast majority, including myself, would have a difficult time telling children we’re going to have to put out additional portables because we’ve used money toward a stadium.”

During a board work session this week, Mr. Crowe said residents should not consider the renovations as a one- or two-year solution.

“We may get the bonding capacity, but the priority has to go to schools,” he said.

The district has more than 19,000 students and is expected to grow to 25,000 students by the 2009-10 school year.

McKinney ISD Board of Trustees: Never let the Facts get in the way of making a Bad Decision.


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McKinney Stadium: Does Past Attendance Justify a 12,000-Seat Stadium?

McKinney Stadium: Does Past Attendance Justify a 12,000-Seat Stadium?

Administrators and board members at McKinney Independent School District (McKinney ISD) cite game attendance and costs for temporary seating, as driving factors for building a 12,000-seat $60 million stadium. Attendance figures, obtained from the district, however, do not back up these assertions.

In 2013, former MISD Chief Financial Officer Edd Bigbee, warned that seating “continues to be an issue”, remarking the district was forced to spend $20,644 in 2012 to lease bleachers for home games with Allen and the cross-town game between McKinney Boyd and McKinney High.

Last year, district officials told the Dallas Morning News, “Two popular McKinney games in 2014 each drew at least 9,000 people to Ron Poe Stadium, spending about $20,000 in temporary seating rentals”, an expensive, that McKinney ISD School Board President Amy Dankel complained was “just throwing money away”.  Dankel added “it just takes so long to get to our current stadium with all of the construction, and there’s hardly any parking”. “We’ve just outgrown it.”

Last August, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to McKinney ISD and neighboring districts, requesting “attendance figures for the home football games for years (2014-2015, 2013-2014 and 2012-2013).”

While all of other districts quickly complied, McKinney ISD demanded $202.50 for “Labor cost for approximately 13.5 hours @$15/hr for compiling information.costs of materials, labor, and overhead”. Even after the request was narrowed to just the 2013-2014 season, MISD still demanded $180 with 11 hours for labor.

After the 2015 season, McKinney ISD finally relented and supplied me with attendance figures, without demanding payment.

The following are the 2014 and 2015 paid attendance figures for the Average and Maximum for Allen, Plano, Wylie, Frisco, McKinney and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD’s. Unpaid attendance ranges between 1,000 to 1,500, with free attendance for district employees.


MISD reported, in 2014, the highest attendance was the McKinney Boyd – Allen that attracted 7,000 and in 2015, the largest total turnout was 4,810.

The facts speak for themselves. Having several high schools, a huge stadium or even a winning football record, does not lead to high attendance. Frisco Lone Star went to the State Championship and still had low attendance.

Even though the district spent nearly $10 million in renovations, for Ron Poe Stadium, we do need to fix the parking and other issues, that do not require $60 million.

Officials at McKinney ISD MUST focus on ACADEMIC issues.

May Bond Election

Superintendent Rick McDaniel appears to be willing to play Texas Hold ’em for the May Bond election and is going “All In” for the stadium.

He told Community Impact that “We have bond capacity of about $200 million, and we could easily stand to use all of that, (as) there are a lot of different projects, that need to be done” and the stadium would “only amount to roughly one-fourth” of the bond.

This is a clear sign that MISD is planning on lumping the stadium with the total bond. MISD is fully aware that support for the stadium is tenuous, and they do not want to take a chance and have it rejected, like McKinney voters did with the downtown parking garage.

If anyone believes that the newly formed citizen’s “Kid’s Bond Committee” will NOT operate, as anything other than a rubber stamp for MISD, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona, that I would like to offer you, at a bargain price.

More information about the proposed stadium, and other important local issues, can be found at

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Levels of Lead and Copper in McKinney Water Supply

At the October 15, 2015 District 1 Town Hall, a gentlemen got up and spoke about the levels of lead in the drinking water, specifically in the homes of residents of McKinney east of Highway 5.  He noted that children are being poisoned and nothing is being done about it.

I’ve been hearing these poisoning claims since 2008, and have never seen any evidence to support these claims. It has always been my position for people to submit water samples to the City of McKinney for testing, if they suspected that the quality of their water, was less than acceptable.

Be aware that the EPA has established the follow LEAD and COPPER RULE, noting:

“If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 ppb or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 ppm in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion.  If the action level for lead is exceeded, the system must also inform the public about steps they should take to protect their health and may have to replace lead service lines under their control.”

The day after the Town Hall meeting, I submitted a FOIA request for the latest water testing results for Lead and Copper.

In 2013, the City of McKinney samples water from various locations east of Highway 5 and submitted the samples for Lead and Copper testing at an independent laboratory, the Environmental Laboratory Services.

The following were the results. For simplicity, all the units have been changed to PPB (Parts Per Billion).

Date Collected Location COPPER LEAD Date Analyzed
Action Level: 1300 PPB 15 PPB
6/10/2013 319 Franklin St 85.8 0.408 6/19/2013
6/6/2013 1106 Anthony St 44.4 0.734 6/19/2013
6/6/2013 312 Franklin St 341 0.459 6/19/2013
6/10/2013 505 Anthony St 49.1 0.408 6/19/2013
6/10/2013 814 Lindsey St 334 1.18 6/19/2013
6/10/2013 904 Standifer St 315 0.869 6/19/2013
6/10/2013 916 Greenville Rd 63.7 0.408 6/19/2013
6/10/2013 918 Greenville Rd 128 0.408 6/19/2013

The 2015 City of McKinney Water Quality Report notes no quality problems, and clearly, all samples had levels, well below the unacceptable limits.

The City of McKinney responded:

November 2, 2015     

To Whom It May Concern:   

The City of McKinney does not have any lead water mains.  There are a total of 12 lead and copper samples sites east of Highway 5. These sample sites were established and approved according to TECQ’s  requirements (290‐117-Regulation of Lead and Copper) to monitor and report levels of lead and  copper.  

Since our system has been meeting or exceeding all pertinent regulatory requirements, we were able to reduce our sampling frequency to every three years at the reduced number of sampling sites.

Therefore, there are currently 8 active sites for lead and copper monitoring, east of Highway 5.  The last testing for lead and copper was conducted in 2013.  All tests indicated levels of lead  well below the allowable limits (test results attached).   


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Meaningful Texas ISD Transparency Ratings

Local ISD’s tout their award for Financial Transparency, such as Frisco Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Lyon noting “Frisco ISD is honored to be among the first recipients of the prestigious Platinum Award from the Texas Comptroller, the community expects us to be good stewards of their investment in public education and transparency in our daily operations is critical. FISD taxpayers can also be proud of this accomplishment.”

Dr. Edd Bigbee, chief financial officer for McKinney ISD proclaimed “I am elated that our district received the Superior Achievement on the FIRST ratings for the 12th consecutive year, this rating, along with the items posted on the website and our annual audit, helps communicate to the public that McKinney ISD is a great steward of the funds we receive.

These proclamations and awards sound impressive, but an examination of these awards, show that they are little more than a publicity stunt for local governments, exploiting the naivety of the public. These awards are as meaningful as the “participation or entitlement awards that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison returned to his children’s school stating “Sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better.”

Platinum Award from the Texas Comptroller

The Platinum Award won by Frisco (and McKinney) was established by the Comptroller of Public Accounts in 2009, to recognize local entities that “meet a high standard for financial transparency online” through a  voluntary “self-scoring nomination process” levels that include:

  • Platinum” spotlights entities that go above and beyond providing financial transparency.
  • Gold” highlights those entities that are setting the bar with their transparency efforts.
  • Silver” encourages those who are making progress.
  • Bronze” inspires those who are just beginning their transparency efforts.

An analysis of the performance shows, not surprising, shows that 90% of the districts, who have that submitted the voluntary, self-scoring applications, achieved the highest ratings.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
BRONZE 13 5 1 2
GOLD 97 97 126 152 10 2
SILVER 7 10 7 12 14 3
Grand Total 117 112 134 164 165 59

School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Ratings

The FIRST rating were developed to “that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices.

Just like Texas Controller awards, the FIRST rating have nearly 90% of Texas ISD achieving the highest rating possible.

School Year 2013-2014

Superior Achievement 912 89.1%
Above Standard Achievement 83 8.1%
Standard Achievement 16 1.6%
Substandard Achievement 12 1.2%

School Year 2012-2013

Superior Achievement 909 88.3%
Above Standard Achievement 87 8.5%
Standard Achievement 19 1.8%
Substandard Achievement 14 1.4%

Texas ISD Transparency Ratings

In an attempt to judge the true transparency of our local school districts, Texas Transparency has created a new (meaningful) standard of your local entities information sharing quality, that is based upon:

  • Live Streaming  and Video Archive Board of Trustees meeting. Beginning in 2016, with the passage of HB 283, districts with enrollment over 10,000 will be required to provide and maintain an archive of video and audio recordings of regular meetings.
  • Availability of Agenda Packets. In order to comply with the Texas Open Meeting Act, the meeting “ agenda must be posted and readily accessible to the public at all times for at least 72 hours preceding the meeting“. Some entities supply the Agenda Packets that provide additional supporting materials, such as copies of the presentations, that will be shown during the meetings. This is material that is supplied to the trustees and should be provided to the public.
  • Meeting Minutes – these are a synopsis of the discussion and votes of the meeting.
  • Campaign Financial Documents – candidates and PAC’s are required to submit forms and disclosure documents. The Texas Ethics Commission posts this information for state offices, but obtaining this information locally can be a challenge.
  • Check Registers – are provided to inform the public how money is being spent.

Here are the scales used to judge Texas ISD’s, in terms of Transparency.

TT Scale

Here are the Top 100 (by enrollment) of Texas school districts, listed by county. Just click on the links provided, to view information provided by your district.

ISD Grade Total Points Video Packets Minutes Campaign Registers
014 BELL
KILLEEN ISD B 36 2014 2006 2004 No No
NORTH EAST ISD A 52 2012 2006 2006 2012 2012
JUDSON ISD B 37 2012 No 2012 2011 2008
SAN ANTONIO ISD B 34 No 2008 2008 No 2010
HARLANDALE ISD C 27 2013 2013 2013 No 2014
NORTHSIDE ISD D 24 No 2009 No 2012 2015
EDGEWOOD ISD F 17 No No 2011 No 2012
SOUTHWEST ISD F 13 No No No No 2007
PEARLAND ISD C 31 2013 2013 2013 2015 2015
ALVIN ISD D 24 2012 2012 2012 No No
BRAZOSPORT ISD D 23 2014 2012 2011 No No
COLLEGE STATION ISD B 36 No 2010 2008 No 2006
BRYAN ISD D 24 2014 No 2011 No 2011
HARLINGEN CISD A 51 2012 2005 2005 No 2007
BROWNSVILLE ISD D 24 2014 No 2012 No 2010
SAN BENITO CISD F 7 No No 2013 No No
PLANO ISD A 56 2008 2008 2008 2012 2008
ALLEN ISD A 53 2009 2006 2005 2015 2012
FRISCO ISD A 49 2010 2014 2004 2013 2010
LOVEJOY ISD B 38 2015 2007 2009 No 2011
MELISSA ISD C 28 No 2006 2006 No No
PROSPER ISD D 23 No 2009 2008 No No
COMMUNITY ISD D 20 No No 2012 No 2008
WYLIE ISD D 19 No No 2013 No 2008
ANNA ISD D 18 No No 2007 No 2015
MCKINNEY ISD F 17 No No 2010 No 2013
CELINA ISD F 14 No 2006 No No No
PRINCETON ISD F 9 No No 2011 No No
COMAL ISD B 41 No 2005 2005 No 2009
CARROLLTON-FARMERS BRANCH ISD A 47 2013 2005 2005 No 2010
DALLAS ISD A 44 2007 No 2007 2009 2013
IRVING ISD A 43 2012 2006 2006 2013 No
COPPELL ISD B 41 2011 2006 2011 No 2011
DUNCANVILLE ISD B 38 No 2012 2008 2015 2007
RICHARDSON ISD B 36 No 2013 2013 2012 2006
MESQUITE ISD D 22 2014 No 2014 No 2010
GRAND PRAIRIE ISD D 21 2012 No No 2014 2013
GARLAND ISD F 10 No No No No 2010
LEWISVILLE ISD A 47 2013 2005 2005 No 2010
DENTON ISD B 38 No 2006 2008 No 2008
NORTHWEST ISD B 38 No 2005 2005 2012 No
ECTOR COUNTY ISD D 20 2014 2006 No No No
EL PASO ISD B 42 2012 2013 2013 2011 2009
SOCORRO ISD C 30 No No 2008 2013 2009
CLINT ISD C 29 No 2011 2011 No 2009
YSLETA ISD D 20 2015 No No 2014 2011
FORT BEND ISD C 32 2011 2011 2011 2015 No
LAMAR CISD F 7 No No 2013 No No
CLEAR CREEK ISD B 41 No 2007 2007 2015 2010
SCHERTZ-CIBOLO-U CITY ISD A 43 No 2005 2004 No 2008
HUMBLE ISD B 39 2015 2006 2006 No 2014
HOUSTON ISD B 34 2012 No 2010 2011 2013
SPRING BRANCH ISD B 34 No 2006 2006 2014 No
KATY ISD C 30 2012 No 2012 2014 2012
ALDINE ISD C 29 No No 2004 No 2007
SPRING ISD C 26 No No 2006 2014 2014
GALENA PARK ISD C 26 No No 2006 No 2008
GOOSE CREEK CISD C 26 No 2007 2007 No No
KLEIN ISD D 24 No 2006 No No 2010
PASADENA ISD D 22 No No 2010 No 2008
ALIEF ISD D 18 No No 2015 No 2007
DEER PARK ISD F 16 No No 2013 No 2011
TOMBALL ISD F 8 No No No No 2012
105 HAYS
HAYS CISD A 43 2011 2011 2011 2012 2012
MCALLEN ISD A 47 2014 2005 2004 No 2010
EDINBURG CISD C 33 2012 2006 No No 2009
WESLACO ISD C 31 2015 2011 2011 No 2012
PHARR-SAN JUAN-ALAMO ISD D 20 2015 No 2014 No 2011
DONNA ISD D 20 No No 2009 No 2011
MISSION CISD F 17 No 2010 No No 2013
LA JOYA ISD F 13 No No No No 2007
BEAUMONT ISD C 27 2011 No 2010 No 2012
LUBBOCK ISD C 28 2013 2010 2009 No No
EAGLE PASS ISD F 12 No 2014 2014 No No
WACO ISD C 31 2010 No 2008 No 2011
MIDLAND ISD F 16 No No 2004 No No
MAGNOLIA ISD B 34 No 2008 2008 No 2010
CONROE ISD C 27 2011 No 2011 No 2011
NEW CANEY ISD D 24 No 2008 2008 No No
CORPUS CHRISTI ISD B 37 2014 2011 2007 No 2011
AMARILLO ISD D 18 No No 2011 No 2011
ROCKWALL ISD C 29 2012 No 2010 No 2009
TYLER ISD A 46 2015 2005 2005 No 2009
RIO GRANDE CITY CISD D 24 2014 No 2009 No 2013
KELLER ISD A 51 2011 2006 2008 2015 2009
ARLINGTON ISD A 50 2008 2004 2007 No 2011
HURST-EULESS-BEDFORD ISD A 45 No 2007 2007 2011 2010
GRAPEVINE-COLLEYVILLE ISD B 40 2014 2010 2010 2015 2011
MANSFIELD ISD C 27 2011 2011 2011 No No
FORT WORTH ISD D 18 2010 No No 2012 No
BIRDVILLE ISD F 16 No No No 2015 2009
EAGLE MT-SAGINAW ISD F 16 No No 2010 2014 No
CROWLEY ISD F 16 No No 2013 No 2011
ABILENE ISD C 30 No 2005 2005 No No
SAN ANGELO ISD B 36 2015 2005 2004 No 2008
AUSTIN ISD A 47 2013 2010 2010 2011 2009
PFLUGERVILLE ISD B 35 No 2008 2006 No 2011
DEL VALLE ISD F 12 No No 2008 No No
VICTORIA ISD F 7 No No 2013 No No
240 WEBB
LAREDO ISD A 58 2004 2004 2004 No 2010
UNITED ISD F 12 No No No No 2008
WICHITA FALLS ISD F 12 2015 No 2013 No No
ROUND ROCK ISD A 50 2010 2004 2004 No 2012
LEANDER ISD A 45 No 2006 2006 2013 2010

As always, please comments with any corrections or suggestions!

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