The Pearland ISD board of trustees at its Feb. 13 meeting approved the calling of a $105 million bond election, which will be on the ballot on May 4.

What’s happening?

According to district documents, PISD’s bond election will have the following propositions:
  • Proposition A ($75 million): Used to construct, renovate and equip school facilities in the district, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning; electrical; plumbing; roofing; parking; and security improvements
  • Proposition B ($30 million): Used to design, construct, renovate, expand, improve and upgrade technology devices and instructional technology within the district

Trustees will canvass the results from May 4 on May 14, according to district documents.

The board split the propositions into two votes at the meeting. The board approved Proposition A in a 7-0 vote, and approved Proposition B in a 6-1 vote with trustee Kris Schoeffler as the lone vote against it.

What they’re saying

Board trustee Amanda Kuhn supports both propositions. She said she believes both propositions are vital and will allow PISD to keep up with other surrounding school districts.

“Many districts go out for bonds year after year,” Kuhn said at the meeting. “That’s what it’s there for. I have complete faith in the school district and the committees that have been created, and the oversight that will come with that. I wholeheartedly believe that it is needed and not uncommon or abnormal to go out for it and have the money to pay it back.”

Speaking about Proposition A, Superintendent Larry Berger noted that the district has used a deferred maintenance plan, meaning officials have put off repairs and upgrades for budgetary reasons. Berger said he believes that the first proposition will allow for a new maintenance plan.

“In maintenance, because of our operating budget, we really worked on a deferred maintenance plan,” Berger said at the meeting. “Not a proactive maintenance plan, not a preventative maintenance plan, so we only had the budget to fix things when they broke. We have the opportunity right now, not to raise taxes and take care of these needs because they are needs.”

Those opposed

Schoeffler said he opposed the second proposition due to excessive screen time concerns, which was also rooted in a concern for students’ mental health, along with teachers being dependent on utilizing technology to teach.

“I don’t think that the technology in front of the kids is good,” Schoeffler said at the meeting. “I don’t think it’s healthy for them. I think teachers should be allowed to teach and not just be in the classroom.”

Those in favor

Board trustee Crystal Carbone said she believes part of Schoeffler’s reasons for not supporting the technology bond, such as teachers not being able to teach without technology, isn’t sending out the right message.

“It implies that our teachers are just sticking technology in front of kids' faces all day, everyday,” Carbone said at the meeting. “That’s not the experience that I have. I understand that that is the experience ... in a very few circumstances, but that’s not all together the experience [across the district].”

Stay tuned

Early voting for both the bond and school board elections are April 22-27 and April 29-30, according to Brazoria County’s website.