Naked City

AISD Bonds: $519.5 Million

Following a yearlong research and review process and what trustee John Fitzpatrick called "an unprecedented level of citizen involvement," the Austin ISD board of trustees voted unanimously Monday night to set six bond proposals – a package totaling $519.5 million – before Austin voters on Sept. 11.

The final proposals resulted after considerable public discussion following the initial report of the district-appointed Citizens' Bond Advisory Committee. The CBAC, after reviewing needs at all AISD campuses, identified $600 million in possible projects, but based on voter research designed a $420 million bond package. After several public hearings, the CBAC added $39 million; after more work-group discussion over the last two months – including input from an athletics task force – the board itself pushed the total up to the $519.5 million adopted Monday. If approved, the entire package would result in a 4.65-cent increase in the AISD tax rate. Following the trustees' 9-0 approval, newly re-elected Board President Doyle Valdez concluded, "The Austin district Board of Trustees has taken a significant step to improve our schools and to ensure that students learn in a quality environment."

Board Vice-President Ingrid Taylor, who is stepping down this month, congratulated the citizens' committees for their work on the proposals and challenged AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione and his administration to help explain to voters that the bonds will be "critical for building and maintaining a sufficient infrastructure" for the district. Other trustees referred vaguely to controversial additions to the list, especially the Southwest middle school, which was added late in the process and supported most strongly by trustee Robert Schneider, who represents Southwest Austin. Schneider noted that this is only the district's "third major infrastructure bond proposal in 35 years," and argued that his neighborhood's need for additional schools can be balanced with environmental protections for the sensitive watersheds of the area. "We can address both concerns and work together," Schneider said.

John Fitzpatrick reiterated that the six proposals provide "choices and options for Austin voters," and said the board had tried "to strike a balance between maintaining inner-city facilities and the need for growth."


AISD Bond Proposals

1) Funding for six new elementary schools and a middle school, land acquisition for three more schools, and the addition of classrooms to existing AISD campuses ($183.6 million)

2) Renovations to existing AISD campuses and facilities ($201.1 million)

3) Investments in "safety and security" and environmental health projects ($53.9 million)

4) Athletics and P.E. facilities ($12.8 million)

5) A new district performing arts center and yet another middle school, this one in Southwest Austin ($44.6 million)

6) Refinancing existing AISD debt ($23.5 million)

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Naked City

    Partners sought for the long-discussed reuse of the Downtown power plant

    Naked City

    And Texans hint they might not oppose an income tax after all

    Naked City

    Disputed rape victim sues her attorneys for not filing a civil rights case
  • Naked City

    Perry, BPP admit Houston crime lab victim is actually innocent

    Naked City

    The state doctors' group stands up for physician, patient rights

    Naked City

    Austin ISD adopts a new – and obviously important – student dress code

    Naked City

    Richard Florida "answers his critics" – but misunderstands the question

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin ISD
AISD Picks a Search Team for New Superintendent
AISD Picks a Search Team for New Superintendent
Picking the pickers

Maggie Q. Thompson, Feb. 3, 2023

Superintendent Says AISD Will Honor Staff Health Accommodations Through End of Year
Superintendent Says AISD Will Honor Staff Health Accommodations Through End of Year
Online or in person? AISD readies for "all of the above"

Beth Sullivan, Oct. 30, 2020

More by Michael King
Point Austin: The Abbott and GOP Project Is an Exercise in Brute Political Cynicism
Point Austin: The Abbott and GOP Project Is an Exercise in Brute Political Cynicism
What’s at stake in Texas

June 12, 2024

Point Austin: Everything Old Is New Again
Point Austin: Everything Old Is New Again
The long, honorable history of students “disturbing the war”

May 4, 2024

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin ISD, John Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, Doyle Valdez, school bonds, Robert Schneider

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle