The Bond Breakdown

The first major project of AISD Superintend­ent Pat Forgione's final year will be overseeing a bond election worth $343,717,819. After six months of research and public hearings by the Citizens' Bond Advisory Committee, and consultation with district and school staff, the board of trustees approved three bond propositions for the May 10 ballot. If all three pass, the total estimated maximum tax rate impact would be 1.7 cents per $100 of appraised property value, or an increase in a homeowner's tax bill of $17 a year for each $100,000 of value. In 2004, voters passed a bond worth $519.5 million, including authorization for the district to raise the tax rate by up to 4.65 cents. Due to increasing property values and therefore appraisals, the district never needed to raise the rates, although taxes did rise with assessed values.

The district did not plan to come back for a bond so soon, hoping to wait at least another year – but a series of urgent needs, including new essential repairs and state-mandated changes to the science curriculum, led to this interim proposal. The trustees are also contemplating having another full bond proposal in 2010 and then planning regularly scheduled bond elections to avoid similar interim proposals.

The election includes:

Proposition 1: Growth and overcrowding relief, and academic achievement

$187.8 million Tax rate impact: 0.9 cents

Includes a new undesignated elementary; extra classrooms at Barrington, Hart, and Langford elementaries; extra labs for science and math to meet new high school graduation requirements; theatre renovations for McCallum and Lanier high schools; computer systems for teaching and online testing; and the Citizens' Bond Advisory Com­mittee's prize project, an early childhood center to relieve pressure on Linder Elementary.

Proposition 2: Health, safety and security, and environmental improvements

$73.9 million Tax rate impact: 0.4 cents

Includes phased replacement of school buses with low-emission models, capacitor banks to reduce electricity use, kitchen repairs, new central cold storage, new payroll software, and critical campus renovations.

Proposition 3: Education, special programs, and expansion

$82 million Tax rate impact: 0.4 cents

Contains three proposals added to the CBAC proposals by the trustees: a districtwide performing-arts center (location still to be determined); classroom additions and investment in fine-arts facilities at Anderson High; and the land for a new south high, included when trustees became concerned that sufficiently large plots are in short supply.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

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