Area residents will have three propositions on a May 6 ballot. Proposition A includes $698.3 million for school repairs and security upgrades; Proposition B includes $50.8 million for technology-related projects; and Proposition C contains $13.6 million for school modernization.
While the ballot language states that the bond would create a property tax increase, the district’s bond counsel, Kristen Savant, said it would not change LISD’s current overall tax rate.
“I think the thought would be that if it weren’t for these bonds, the tax rates would be reduced,” she said. “Obviously because of this bond, there’s an associated tax impact. It’s just not going to affect the overall tax rates.”
The board voted 6-1, with Place 7 Trustee Paul Gauthier the only member to vote against the election.
Prior to the board’s decision, school officials went through project recommendations from the district’s steering committee and administration. Officials decided to pull some projects as they discussed trying to balance the current and future needs of school communities.
Starting with recommendations for around $800 million in bond funding, the trustees had a lengthy discussion on dollars for a new facility to house the Early College High School program, which allows students the ability to acquire an associate degree and their high school diploma by the time they graduate.
The district’s ECHS is currently housed at the Austin Community College San Gabriel campus. However, as enrollment at ACC increases and more students transfer into the ECHS program, there will not be enough space for LISD students to continue to attend classes there.
Leander ISD saw its inaugural class of freshmen begin classes in the ECHS program in the fall of 2022. With an estimated price of $43.9 million for a new building to house the program, board members cited concerns of spending extra money on a new campus when the program is still in its first year. Instead, they chose to include $7 million of funding in the package to begin the design process of the campus.
Other big-ticket items the bond would fund include the construction of Elementary School No. 31 for $71 million, building Elementary School No. 32 at a price of $79 million, repurposing an elementary school as an early childhood center for $50 million, and repurposing the Leander Extended Opportunity Center as an early childhood center for $37 million, among other projects.