Prosper ISD is asking voters for $2.8 billion in the form of four bond propositions on the Nov. 7 ballot to address the district’s rapid growth.

Rock Hill High School’s broadcast class is one program created with funds from the district’s $1.3 billion bond that passed in 2019. Journalism teacher Margie Raper said she chose to teach at Rock Hill so she can build the program from the ground up.

“It’s definitely great to have all [these resources] in this room,” Raper said. “The fact high school kids have access to this is unreal.”

Two-minute impact

In 20 years, PISD’s enrollment grew by more than 2,700% to 28,003. It is expected to grow to nearly 46,000 students over the next decade, district data shows.

“It’s a little bit of crystal ball-gazing [into the future] because you’re making decisions for kids who are not even here yet,” Superintendent Holly Ferguson said.

Because of that growth, the district’s Nov. 7 bond includes four propositions. Proposition A looks to address growth by:
  • Funding 10 new schools
  • Expanding four campuses
  • Buying land for eight schools
Proposition B would provide new devices. Proposition C would bring a second athletic stadium, which Ferguson said is needed for the additional high schools. Proposition D would build a performing arts center.

“[Growth] is a topic and a conversation daily in a district like ours,” Ferguson said. “It impacts every single decision that we make.”

The context

As the district continues to expand, campuses outgrow their spaces and need to use portable classrooms. Ferguson said the district has 134 portable classrooms that house 5,000 students.

At Rucker Elementary School, nearly 160 students learn in portables. Being separated from the building is a safety concern, Assistant Principal Nicole Rubin said.

The portables at Rucker don’t have working plumbing so students must go inside the main building for restrooms, water and lunch, Rubin said. Rucker is one of the campuses that would be updated with bond funding from Proposition A.

“Our kids deserve the best, and there are a lot of updates construction-wise that would make our kids safer,” she said.

What else?

Deputy Superintendent Kyle Penn said Proposition B is needed because district officials need to buy new devices for the additional staff and thousands of students the district gains each year. New devices are also needed to replaced outdated ones. Some middle schoolers are using devices they received in elementary school, district officials said.

“Devices age out,” Penn said. “You’re updating them just like we are the buildings.”
Reynolds Middle School student Lilyan Evans works on classwork on her school-distributed laptop. <br><br>(Samantha Douty/Community Impact)

Going forward

If all propositions are approved, district officials said it would have no effect on PISD’s property tax rate, which the board set in August.

With inflation reaching historic highs, Penn said districts need to plan for growth based on existing costs and when they need to build new facilities.

“You want to make sure that you’re able to deliver the projects that you’re committing to,” Penn said.

District officials create bonds based on its needs, Penn said.

“If you are growing and feel you need schools or if you’re older and you feel you need to replace or renovate something, [then] that could cause a district to call for a bond,” he said.