Points on SAISD BOND & TRE
- On August 15, the SAISD Board called for two ballot propositions for the November 8th election: a $450 million Bond election and a Tax Ratification Election.
- These would provide funding toward extensive school building renovations, upgrades for 21st-century classrooms, and programs for expanded learning opportunities outside the normal school day.
- The decision to move forward on the elections followed recommendations from a community-based Blue Ribbon Task Force, which toured schools and reviewed District facility and academic needs.
- The $450 million bond would fund major renovations at 13 schools, replacing aging infrastructure systems that in most cases are more than 40 years old, upgrading science labs and expanding other classroom spaces to the recommended state guidelines.
- The 13-cent increase in the District’s Maintenance & Operations tax rate would assist the District in providing:
- Technology and improvements to the classroom environment districtwide to meet today’s educational standards (lighting, power/data ports, flooring, modern furniture for collaboration, etc.)
- Teacher compensation for additional academic support through afterschool and summer programs for the approximately 20,000+ students in need (of which less than 6,000 are currently served in programs outside of the normal school day).
- Expanded extracurricular offerings to allow all of the District’s 6-12th graders to participate in programs such as athletic, ROTC and Fine Arts.
- Bond funds cannot be used for daily operating costs, such as teacher salaries. In light of the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling, upholding the state’s public school funding system as constitutional, we believe the only means for generating additional state revenue for daily operations is through a TRE.
- Together, the TRE and Bond would further our efforts to modernize our many aging schools and bring additional academic support to every SAISD campus.
- If both proposals pass:
- The impact to the owner of an average taxable-value home in SAISD of $70,023 would be an initial increase of $7.59 a month in 2016. In 2017, the impact is estimated to be an additional $1.16 for a total of $8.75 a month, which would incrementally go up to $14.59 a month by 2020.
- Under Texas law, in 2017, the Board could implement an additional $5,000 homestead exemption. If that exemption is enacted, the monthly tax impact for the average homeowner in 2017 would be $2.37 instead of $8.75; and then would go up incrementally to $7.79 a month by 2020.
- SAISD property taxes for senior citizens would not be affected by either of the two proposals as long as a homestead and Over- 65 exemption application has been filed with the Bexar County Appraisal District, and they have owned the home as of Jan. 1, 2016.
- The District is committed to remaining good stewards of taxpayer dollars, as seen with the SAISD Bond 2010, which has been financed by a property tax rate that has, through effective financial management, been consistently lower than what was originally projected.
Details on the proposals, tax impact and voting information can be found at: http://www.saisd.net/bondTRE2016
TAX RATIFICATION ELECTION
Q: What is a Tax Ratification Election (TRE), or Rollback Election?
A: Any Texas school district that adopts a Maintenance & Operations tax rate above $1.04 must hold a Rollback Election, also knows as a Tax Ratification Election, to provide voters the opportunity to ratify the higher rate. If voters approve, or ratify, the increase, this additional tax effort on the M&O tax rate generates additional funding from the state.
Q: How much additional revenue would an M&O increase generate for the District?
A: The District is proposing a 13-cent increase, from $1.04 to $1.17. That would generate, an estimated $15.6 million in additional annual revenue, which the state would then more than match with an estimated $16.5 million contribution, for a total estimated of $32.1 million.
Q: What is a bond?
A: Just as homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home, a school district borrows money in the form of bonds to finance construction of new schools and renovation projects. Both are repaid over time, but in order for a school district to sell bonds, it must go to the voters for approval. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses or salaries, which are paid from the district’s maintenance and operations (M&O) budget.
Q: What is included in SAISD's bond?
A: The bond will include extensive renovations at 13 aging schools, including replacing infrastructure that, in many cases, is more than 40 years old. In addition, the bond would fund upgrades to science labs and other classroom spaces to meet recommended state guidelines, and accessibility upgrades. For full details by campus go to the Proposals page and click on the school name.
Q: Which schools would get extensive renovations?
A: The schools that would receive extensive renovations are: Brackenridge HS, JT Brackenridge ES, Bowden ES, Burbank HS, Davis MS, Edison HS, Fox Tech HS, Sam Houston HS, Irving MS, Jefferson HS, Lanier HS, Rogers MS and Tafolla MS.
Q: How were the schools chosen that would get renovations?
A. The District looked at the age of installation of air conditioning systems and the related infrastructure that cause the biggest maintenance problems, and identified 13 Priority 1 schools - all but one were either built or equipped as first air-conditioning schools from the 1968 Bond (40-plus year old systems). These systems are well past their life cycles and are routinely malfunctioning – not cooling or heating the school or having plumbing problems, etc.