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GET INFORMED ON SAISD'S

Bond & Tax Ratification elections

Election Day: Nov. 8
Early Voting: Oct. 24-Nov. 4
Community Meeting Dates

The SAISD Board of Trustees has called for a $450 million bond and a Tax Ratification Election for November 8, 2016. Here's why:

Overview

The SAISD Board of Trustees has called for a $450 million bond and a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to raise the District’s tax rate by 13 cents. Voters residing within the District’s boundaries will be asked to consider the two separate ballot propositions in November to 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 Nov. 8 elections followed recommendations from a community-based Blue Ribbon Task Force, which toured schools and reviewed District facility and academic needs.

The bond would fund 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 renovations would enable the District to provide facilities that are more equitable with what is offered in neighboring school districts.

The increased operating revenue generated from the TRE would assist the District in providing technology and other classroom enhancements districtwide to meet today’s educational standards. The TRE also would provide additional funds for teacher compensation for afterschool and summer programs that target the approximately 40 percent of students in need of additional academic support, as well as expanded extracurricular offerings for students across the District.

What is a Bond Election?

In the same way 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 and renovation of schools. 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, which are paid from the district’s maintenance and operations (M&O) budget.

What is a Tax Ratification Election?

Any Texas school district that adopts a Maintenance & Operations tax rate above $1.04 must hold a Tax Ratification Election (TRE), also known as a rollback election, to provide voters the opportunity to approve, or ratify, the higher rate. If voters approve the increase, this additional tax effort on the M&O tax rate generates additional funding from the state for daily operating costs. For SAISD, a 13-cent increase to $1.17 would generate an estimated $15.6 million in additional tax revenue, which the state would then more than match at an estimated $16.5 million, for an estimated total of $32.1 million.

 
What the Bond and TRE would address

Aging Schools

Aging
Buildings
BOND
  • The District is faced with the challenge of many aging and outdated school buildings and the need to provide safe and functional school buildings.

  • Following an extensive study of the condition of all SAISD facilities, a community-based committee developed a long-range master plan in 2010 that would involve three consecutive bond programs to update and bring all schools up to standard. Bond 2010 is now substantially complete.

  • For the second bond, 13 schools were deemed Priority 1 due to infrastructure systems that have greatly exceeded their lifecycle - all but one were either built or equipped as an air-conditioned school from the 1968 Bond (40-plus-year-old systems). Heating and air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical elements are routinely malfunctioning.

  • Accessibility and structural upgrades also would be addressed at the schools.

  • A number of classrooms are undersized and don’t meet recommended state guidelines. Science labs also no longer meet today’s standards.

  • Front entries in the main buildings would be modified to improve security.


21st

21st-Century Classrooms
TRE
  • SAISD’s current operating budget cannot support large technology purchases without taking dollars away from other instructional programs.

  • The TRE would assist the District in providing technology and other classroom enhancements Districtwide to meet today’s educational standards.

  • Classrooms would be equipped with new computers, handheld learning devices, interactive whiteboards and other equipment to provide opportunities for students to develop 21st-century skills for college or the workplace.

  • Most classrooms today cannot support the increased technology, so additional data and power access would be provided, along with other improvements to the classroom environment.

  • Classrooms also would be equipped with interactive furniture that facilitates student engagement in collaborative learning.


Academic
Academic
Support
TRE
  • The District currently serves fewer than 6,000 students through afterschool and summer programs, though approximately 20,000 students are in need of additional academic support beyond the school day.

  • The TRE would provide additional funds for teacher compensation for the expanded learning opportunities.

  • The TRE also would provide additional funds to expand extracurricular offerings for students across the District, with the goal of having all of the District’s 6th-12th graders participate in programs such as fine arts, athletics and ROTC.