Plano ISD will get extra funds for day-to-day operations and nearly $1.35 billion in bonds with the passage of two bond measures to pay for capital projects throughout the district based on unofficial results from the Nov. 8 election.
“I am so grateful for our community’s continued support of Plano ISD," Superintendent Theresa Williams said in a news release. "Our residents have a long history of investing in students and schools—ensuring that Plano ISD remains a premier district.”
District voters rejected two other bond measures on the ballot that would have funded a new event center and improvements for the district's existing high school stadiums, results showed.
“We take our responsibility to serve our community very seriously, and we are committed to allocating every dollar as wisely and efficiently as possible,” Williams said in the release. “We look forward to updating our schools and facilities, adding additional safety measures, building a much-needed [career and technical education] center and replacing all of our playgrounds so they are [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessible. These are just a few of the items that our voters believe to be important for the future of our schools. Our Future Forward Task Force focused on a bond program to ensure continued excellence in Plano ISD, and I thank our voters for helping us deliver on the promise of excellence that our students and staff deserve.”
Proposition A, which was approved by voters, sets the district’s property tax rate for fiscal year 2022-23 at $1.25975 per $100 valuation. That is a decrease of $0.061 from the existing rate of $1.32075 per $100 valuation. The voter-approval tax rate election was required because the district sought more money than was allowed under the state's school finance formula for maintenance and operations.
The passage of this measure is expected to generate about $9 million more in operating funds that the district will use on student programs as well as employee compensation. The extra money will also offset the millions of dollars in federal funding related to the pandemic that is coming to an end, district officials said.
The measure was approved with 51.81% in favor, according to unofficial results.
The other four propositions asked for voter permission to issue bonds worth nearly $1.5 billion for a host of capital projects in the coming years. Voters approved two of the four measures.
The most costly measure, Proposition B, lets the district move forward with issuing $1.17 billion in bonds for various school renovations. Included in this measure are safety and security upgrades that will be guided by a recent audit of district facilities. The district is also planning to do major renovations at all three senior high schools, add two new accessible playgrounds at nearly every elementary school, build tracks at each middle school, buy new buses, make bus enhancements, purchase band trailers and upgrade campus kitchens.
Proposition B was approved by 55.98% of voters, according to unofficial results.
The measure also includes funds to build a replacement campus for Haggard Middle School on vacant land next to the current school on Parkhaven Drive in Plano. Construction is expected to take about 24 months, officials said. Students will continue attending the existing campus until the new one is completed. Once the move to the new building is done, the existing middle school will be demolished, according to district information.
Proposition C will allow the district to issue $173.45 million in bonds for instructional technology. This measure includes new mobile devices for students, classroom multimedia audio-visual equipment, copy machine replacements and data center upgrades. This measure was approved by 56% of voters, according to unofficial results.
Voters rejected Proposition D, which sought $130 million in bonds to construct an event center to hold large gatherings, such as graduations, sporting events and fine arts competitions. About 51.46% of ballots were cast against this measure, unofficial results showed.
Plano ISD has been paying rent at facilities in other cities for large events and is expected to continue doing so. The district will be renting the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco again this school year for high school graduations. Ceremonies for the Class of 2023 will be held June 3, according to a Nov. 1 vote by the board of trustees to approve the rental contract.
Proposition E, which sought $19.21 million in bonds for safety and maintenance improvements at the district’s stadiums, was also rejected by voters. The money would have gone toward turf replacement and parking lot resurfacing at the Clark High School stadium. Clark and Kimbrough stadiums also would have gotten safety and security lights as well as renovations for their concessions areas. The measure would also have funded a fence at Kimbrough stadium, security lights at the Williams stadium and restrooms for Clark Triple Fields area at the stadium. Unofficial election results show 55.04% of voters were cast against this measure.
According to Plano ISD, this is the 26th time since 1923 that voters have approved bond measures to fund capital projects in the district.
“Seeing results like this makes me so proud to be a part of the Plano ISD community and the Plano ISD board of trustees,” school board President David Stolle said in the release. “As a board, our priorities include creating safe and secure spaces where our students can learn and finding ways to appropriately fund our schools and programs. With the passage of these propositions, we will be able to continue delivering on these priorities. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank everyone who made time to vote and to thank our community for passing these propositions. Plano ISD is committed to excellence and [the] election results show our community is, too.”
Voter turnout in Collin County was more than 52%.
Results are unofficial until canvassed. Visit www.communityimpact.com/voter-guide to see results from all local elections in your community.