5 facts about Austin ISD's $1.05 billion bond election

The district's downtown Austin headquarters is one of several properties to be approved for sale by the district's trustees at Monday's meeting.

The district's downtown Austin headquarters is one of several properties to be approved for sale by the district's trustees at Monday's meeting.

Across the city, yard signs for and against Austin ISD's bond can be found as election day grows near. Before heading to the polls, here are five things to know about the district's $1.05 billion bond.

1. It is the largest in district history.

The $1.05 billion package before voters this November is the most costly bond referendum in AISD history. However, its bottom line only represents a quarter of the district's total facility needs. According to AISD, the bond's price tag represents the maximum amount the district can take on without raising its tax rate.

2. Its projects were prioritized based on a "worst first" criteria.

In selecting projects from the district's Facility Master Plan to include in the Nov. 2017 bond package, the district relied on a criteria of the "worst first," which was determined through objective facility data, as well as community engagement.

3. It aims to deliver 21st century learning environments.

Through projects ranging from partial and full rebuilds to renovations and capital improvements, the bond's primary purpose is to "reinvent the urban school experience" by providing modernized classrooms and technology.

4. It will not result in a property tax rate increase.

According to AISD, the district's taxpayers will not incur a property tax increase should the bond pass. However, those opposed to the bond have questioned the legitimacy of this claim.

5. It has been criticized for favoritism west of I-35.

One of the primary criticisms of the bond is that it favors affluent, predominately white communities located west of I-35. Groups representing East Austin have been especially vocal about their opposition to the package, which they say encourages institutional racism and gentrification. Superintendent Paul Cruz has maintained the bond package touches every corner of the district and is not defined by east versus west.

Editor's note: The following map shows bond projects associated with specific AISD facilities; however, it does not represent the total bond package. 



Byron Smith, left, and Tim Manson are planning to break ground on their new storage business called XSpace in late January. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Australian businessmen betting on success of innovative storage model in western Travis County

A primary difference between their model and more traditional storage models, they say, is the fact that their units are for sale and not for rent. But there are other differences.

The Microtel Inn and Suites is located in Southeast Austin, only a 4.5-mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
City Council eyes $6.8 million purchase of 71-room hotel in Southeast Austin for second homeless shelter conversion

The Microtel Inn and Suites is a 4.5 mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council supported an investigation into the department at a Dec. 5 meeting. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Austin City Council supports expansive investigation into police department culture and training, likely suspends one future cadet class

The move follows allegations that a former high-ranking officers regularly used racial slurs throughout his career with no recourse from department leaders.

Residents in District 10 look over proposed zoning map during a meeting in October. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council will hear thoughts from residents on comprehensive revision to land use rules at weekend hearing

City Council will take its first of three votes on the land development code revision Dec. 9.

A photo of the exterior of the Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer facility, taken from the parking lot.
Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer celebrates move to new facility

Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer has moved to a new location in Dripping Springs.

Sarah House, a Wells Fargo Securities senior economist and director, speaks at the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, held Dec. 5 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economic analyst: Austin economy still strong, but growth has tapered off heading into 2020

At the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, Sarah House of Wells Fargo said Austin faces challenges of affordability and a tight labor market.

Courtesy Fotolia
City Council wants to know whether some public drinking prohibitions are equitable

The city of Austin allows the public consumption of alcohol except in six designated areas.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in May addressed constituents in Bee Cave regarding the $23 million Bee Creek Sports Complex. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Longtime Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will not seek re-election following end of current term

Daugherty has served western Travis County for the last 14 years, with terms from 2002-2008 and 2013 to the present.

The 8,800 square-foot space includes a dining room, bar, outdoor patio and butcher room. (Courtesy Carve American Grille)
Carve American Grille opening in Southwest Austin's Lantana Place later this month

Carve American Grille will open in Southwest Austin in mid December

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City staff must be more transparent as city moves toward motel shelter strategy, Austin City Council says

Austin City Council is preparing to purchase another motel for conversion into a homeless shelter, but urged staff to be more transparent as motels are chosen.

A photo of a ribbon cutting in front of a tiny home.
Infinity Ranch brings tiny-home rentals to Dripping Springs

Infinity Ranch is offering bed and breakfast-style nightly rentals in the Hill Country.

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council will consider the delay, and an investigation into the department, at a Dec. 5 meeting. Courtesy Austin Police Department
Austin City Council authorizes APD investigation after assistant chief accused of racist and homophobic slurs

In a unanimous vote Dec. 5, Austin City Council directed city manager Spencer Cronk to initiate a widespread, independent investigation into the culture and practices of the Austin Police Department following an anonymous whistleblower complaint that an assistant chief had regularly used racist and homophobic language throughout his career at the department.

Back to top