The Houston Independent School District will have to win its $1.9 billion bond issue without the endorsement of the influential union which represents most of the city's teachers.
"It's a way of telling their employer that they are not happy," Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon said.
Fallom said repeated polling of her members found them evenly split, a level of support far below the two-thirds needed to formally endorse the school construction plan.
"There's quite a bit of animosity on the part of teachers toward the board and some of the recent changes they've made in education," Fallon said.
Changes like controversial new teacher evaluation measures and the replacement of hundreds of classroom veterans with younger instructors.
Sue Davis heads the campaign to get the school bonds approved and believes it makes little sense for those who obviously care deeply about kids to keep them trapped on dilapidated campuses.
"Sure, it's a disappointment not to get the endorsement. I think it would be a shame if they are angry at somebody else to take it out on the students because the students need these good schools to keep on learning," Davis said.
Davis said despite the union "non-endorsement", many HISD teachers are actively campaigning to approve the bonds.
No argument there from Fallon. She said opposing feelings run hot and deep among the men and women who actually deliver the education in thousands of Houston classrooms.
"When the members are split this badly, what it becomes is you vote your conscience," she said.
She emphasized while HFT is not endorsing the bond proposal, it is not officially opposing it.