McKinney ISD announces 4 ballot measures, including $275 million in bond projects, for May election

The McKinney ISD school board announced four propositions on May's ballot—including two bonds totaling $275 million. (Francesca D'Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)
The McKinney ISD school board announced four propositions on May's ballot—including two bonds totaling $275 million. (Francesca D'Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)

The McKinney ISD school board announced four propositions on May's ballot—including two bonds totaling $275 million. (Francesca D'Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)

McKinney ISD voters will decide on four ballot propositions in the May 1 election that district leaders consider “extremely important,” including a $245 million school building bond.

The $245 million bond would focus on updating and renovating campuses and accommodating growth, specifically in the northern part of the district, according to a MISD news release.

If the bond passes, the most expensive single item on the district’s to-do list will be constructing elementary school No. 22 near the Trinity Falls residential community—which has seen visible growth in the last five years—at a cost of $35 million.

The bond would also fund renovations and heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements across the district totaling $127 million.

Another expenditure on the list is $12 million to purchase new buses. Chief Communications Officer Cody Cunningham said the district currently outsources all of its transportation and does not own any buses. Purchasing buses would enable MISD to have more flexibility in its maintenance and operations budget, which pays for teacher and staff salaries and other essential operating expenses.

Board president Amy Dankel wrote in a statement to Community Impact Newspaper that she believes increased flexibility in the maintenance and operations budget is important for the future of the district—on multiple levels.

"Around 80% of our maintenance and operation budget goes towards our salaries. It is imperative that we pay our teachers a fair salary that is competitive in our area," Dankel wrote. "If we do not have adequate funds in the area of maintenance and operation, class sizes would be impacted, as well as possible reductions in programs and course offerings."

Other projects funded under the proposed $245 million bond include:

- $8 million for improvements to McKinney Boyd High School’s STEM lab, career and technical education and fine arts expansion;

- $23 million for expansions to the fine arts programs at McKinney Boyd High School and Scott Johnson Middle School;

- $4 million on health, safety & security expenses at all MISD campuses;

- $22 million for athletics and fine arts refresh for all district campuses;

- $12 million in technology updates and improvements at all MISD campuses; and

- $2 million for improvements in all elementary school campus playgrounds.
Voters will also see three other propositions on the May ballot: a $30 million technology bond, an attendance credit election, and a voter approval tax rate election.

The attendance credit election, if approved, would enable McKinney ISD to continue making annual recapture tax payments the same way it has for the last six years. These payments go to the state, which in turn distributes the funds to school districts that are less property wealthy. If the measure does not pass, the district would lose nearly 17% of its tax base permanently to help fund other school districts. In order to compensate for that potential loss of its tax base, MISD might need to raise its tax rate by about 8 cents to stay on track with the district’s current debt service payments.

The voter approval tax rate election deals with the district’s maintenance and operations budget. Approval of this measure would increase the district's tax rate for maintenance and operations but allow the district to reduce the tax rate on its debt service at the same time. The net result would be a $0.0317 decrease to the district's overall tax rate, which would provide a savings of about $112 to owners of an average home in McKinney, according to the district.

The $30 million technology bond would pay for new computers across the district on campus and would also enable MISD to continue its student laptop initiative, which provides a computer to every district student.
By Francesca D' Annunzio
Francesca D'Annunzio covers K-12 and higher education, development, planning and zoning, and transportation in Frisco and McKinney. She attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she reported for the Daily Texan and interned for the Austin Chronicle. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen.