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

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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. 

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COMMENT
  1. Daphne Hoffacker

    It would be helpful if you also showed a map showing where our children live in Austin. The number of children on the west side vastly out-numbers the number of children living on the East side. This is partially due to gentrification and the changes in the demographics of the folks moving to the east side, no doubt. It’s a shame but it’s the current reality. And AISD didn’t cause it. Nor can they do much about it. If you are upset, talk to our city council and planning commissions. The bond addresses the most pressing issues on both sides of the freeway, based on need, not race.

    • As a ‘Panther Mom’ I am VERY HAPPY that Eastside Memorial ECHS can move to the warm welcome of the LC Anderson HS campus. The Eastside students have NEVER been welcome at the old JOHNSTON HS campus, and barely tolerated. The charter school (SW Key) around the corner also ‘poisoned the well’ at every opportunity. They all slowed the recovery of the morale and academic reputation of the campus. The LCA Alumni have been so very GRACIOUS and Kind to suggest that EMHS move to their old campus. These loving people want their precious campus to be once again ALIVE with Neighborhood kids! With the Beautiful People and the Beautiful View, I wish that it could happen NOW. Oh, how our students could flourish in such loving arms! <3 Toni Rayner

Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.
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