Community Impact Newspaper sent McCoy a series of questions about his candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. McCoy's written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
Why did you decide to run for this position?
I became actively involved in local politics and school board elections about 10 years ago and subsequently ran as a school board candidate. My concerns were much the same then as they are now: teachers’ salaries, the overuse and dependency upon technology, and the rising cost per student for education in our public schools.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
Currently, I’m a self-employed builder/contractor for over 30 years as well as a real estate consultant for 20 years. I’ve lived locally for over 40 years. I’ve been married to the same exceptional wife for over 25 years and we have three children together, one currently attending high school. Having previously served on board of directors for Safe Havens of Kornerstone for 10 years, I have realized that one of my “callings” is with the young, for they are our future.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and how do you plan to address it on the board of trustees?
A great concern of mine is the salaries of our teachers and teachers’ aids. We currently pay our teachers significantly less than the state average. Teachers are the first line of quality education, safety and overall school experience for our children.
High-quality teachers are paramount to our institutions of learning. With the pay that is being offered by GCISD compared to other neighboring cities, why would an exceptional teacher choose to work in our district? Other districts provide like facilities, programs and benefits but pay significantly more than GCISD. With our demand for excellence, we need to be willing to pay for it.
Children today are inundated with technological devices, social media, YouTube and Google and to bring additional technical demands into the classroom seems counterintuitive and raises concerns of the degree to which these ed-tech providers engage and push for more access to our kids. The ed-tech companies have successfully crafted, packaged and sold schools to the new pie-in-the-sky, “revolutionary” educational platforms. Yet data from ACT and SAT scores have stayed flat as costs soar.
Silicon Valley executives’ children attend the Waldorf School which instructs students without tablets, calculators and other digital gadgets and devices. Is there something that these tech giants aren’t telling us? With our children spending so much of their lives on devices, we need to make sure that they have exposure to and practice with problem-solving, creativity, people skills, decision making, negotiation, and critical thinking, most of which cannot be done on a tablet or computer screen.
School district taxes are also of major concern to me. As property evaluations have gone up (an estimated 40 percent over the last five years), the rate the school board established has remained relatively the same. Of the $1.40 per $1000 evaluation the district sets, 40 cents (28 percent of revenue) goes to debt service for outstanding bonds. The number of students has been flat from 2008-2018 at around 13,700 average, but revenue and debts have climbed. Our outstanding debt is around $680 million, which does not include the cost of our newly remodeled stadium.
Lastly, I believe that it is time to advocate for term limits for the board of trustees in order to encourage a fresh cycle of thought, experience, and creativity within the board and protect ourselves from persons that may have motives other than the best intentions for communities and districts.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
Over the last eight years, I have been coaching youth baseball in with Colleyville Baseball Association. As a builder and coach, I understand the importance of foundations. By giving our youth a proper foundation through excellent instruction, we can expect great things from them.
I pledge to do all I can and to be the voice of our community in the school district limiting my involvement to not exceed three terms.