Christian group attacks HISD with radio ad

Claims tax dollars are being sent out of town

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - An ad running on Houston radio claims that the Independent School District is using the almost $2 billion in bond money to award contracts to out of town companies. 

The group Christians for Good Government is behind the ad.

"They lied to us that raising these taxes was going to create businesses for local companies," the ad says. 

The ad also encourages listeners to call HISD and tell them they support hiring local, minority firms first.

Christians for Good Government declined Local 2's request for an interview, but in a statement said, "Hiring local firms first brings jobs and stability to the community and that's what we support."

HISD said that's what it supports, too. A spokesperson for the district said 20 of the 23 firms approved to design and engineer the first wave of construction projects are Houston based.

Two are Texas companies and only one is out of state. HISD also said more than half are women-minority owned businesses. 

"I think we did a pretty good job in that area," said Rhonda Skillern-Jones, an HISD Trustee.

The ad mentions Skillern-Jones by name, but she said that's not what shocked her most when she heard it.

"There's absolutely no basis for those allegations," said Skillern-Jones. "I was a little taken aback by that, it's absolutely unfounded.  I want the voters to know we are doing everything in our power to ensure we are fiscally responsible and that the process is done with integrity in handling the bond money that they've trusted us with."

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