Katy ISD 2020 bond committee chair: 'There should be relevant data and facts that point to the need'

Heath Rushing
Heath Rushing, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress, is the chair of the Katy ISD 2020 Bond Advisory Committee. (Courtesy Katy ISD)

Heath Rushing, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress, is the chair of the Katy ISD 2020 Bond Advisory Committee. (Courtesy Katy ISD)

Image description
Heath Rushing (center) will chair the 2020 Community Bond Advisory Committee. He and his wife have three school-aged children. (Courtesy Katy ISD)
The Katy ISD 2020 Bond Advisory Committee will meet for the first time April 7. Lead by committee Chair Heath Rushing, the senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress, the committee will meet 10-13 times betwen April and August to determine if the district should propose a bond referendum.

Formerly a school board trustee at Humble ISD, Rushing moved to the Fulshear’s Cross Creek Ranch in 2017, he said. Rushing has three children who attend KISD schools, he said.

Community Impact Newspaper chatted with Rushing to find out more about his experience and how he plans to lead the committee. The Q&A has been edited for grammar and length.

How does your experience as a former trustee help you lead the committee?

Having served as a school board member for Humble ISD from 2013 to 2017, which is another growing district, I certainly think it's provided some experience and at least a unique perspective on how this process works. It’s given me a good education on how district budgets work, how school bonds work, the difference between the two and ultimately, how important bonds are for helping sustain long term capital needs for growing school districts.

What do you hope to accomplish as leader of this committee?

The main goal is going to be to listen and learn. Ultimately, I want to make sure that as a committee that we have access to all the relevant data and information that will enable us to make the most informed decisions or recommendations to the district about both current and future school needs. That is a process that will take some time for sure, but just helping guide the committee through what I intend to be a very collaborative process with the district.

Do you believe the district needs a 2020 bond package?

That is what is going to be asked of us to consider. The district is saying some information and data that suggests that this is a real potential opportunity for the district to explore. Anyone that lives in the district and sees what's going on recognizes that Katy ISD is a fast-growth school district.

The enrollment projections that I understand today climb to about 100,000 students by the year 2027. We do know that the majority of that growth seems to be occurring in the northwest quadrant. We have a responsibility as a committee to really understand those demographics further and really work alongside the district to ask questions and validate that information in order to make any proposed decision any new schools that might be needed to accommodate for that.

I also think as a committee we should explore opportunities to update or renovate aging campuses. The district has a long history of serving this community, and that means we have facilities that are much older. We should explore opportunities to help support those campuses and those communities. So I think this [bond package is] not just about growth, but it's also about how we maintain the best learning environment and all of our campuses.

Are you willing to consider funding for district facilities other than campuses?

As a committee, we should be open to considering anything that the district suggests that there is data and information that would help us make a recommendation to make the best decision for the district. I don’t want to go in close minded to anything. At the same time, I think there should be relevant data and facts that point to the need that the district believes it has. That would be my approach.

Do you have a ballpark range for a potential bond referendum?

No, I don’t. Our goal as a committee is to respond to the data, respond to the needs and prioritize those needs and ultimately make a recommendation.

2020 Community Bond Advisory Committee schedule

Time: 5:30-9 p.m. (Dinner for members is served at 5 p.m.)

Location: Education Support Complex, 6301 S. Stadium Lane, Katy

  • April 7

  • April 14

  • April 21

  • April 28

  • May 12

  • June 2

  • June 9

  • June 16

  • June 23

  • July 7

Tentative meetings:

  • July 14

  • July 21

  • Aug 4

Regular Board meetings at which the committee may propose the referendum:

  • June 22

  • July 27

Last day to call for a bond election:

  • Aug. 17

By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


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