The district is proposing a $691 million bond package—$4 million less than the original proposed bond—and a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.17 per $100 valuation, the maximum allowed by the state.
The bond is planned to pay for projects, such as new school construction, maintenance of aging facilities, new security technology and upgrades to sports fields.
The increased M&O tax rate would pay for various operational costs, including costs generated from proposed bond projects.
Though the M&O tax rate is proposed to increase, the interest and sinking tax rate is proposed to decrease by $0.13 from the rate approved in FISD's fiscal year 2018-19 budget for a total of $0.27. The combined tax rate, if approved by voters, would be $1.44 per $100 valuation.
The board approved an ordinance that calls for a combined tax rate of $1.57 per $100 valuation, which is a combination of a $1.17 M&O tax rate and a $0.40 I&S tax rate. According to the ordinance, the district would reduce the I&S tax rate if voters approve the measure on the ballot. If voters turn down the ballot measure, the combined tax rate would still be $1.44 per $100 valuation, but the M&O rate would be $1.04 per $100 valuation and the I&S tax rate would be $0.40 per $100 valuation.
The community's feedback to the board during Monday's meeting was mixed. Some parents and teachers spoke in favor of various bond projects, including a fine arts auditorium and resurfacing playgrounds. Other community members spoke out against the tax election and the fine arts auditorium.
One speaker asked the board to split up the bond into different propositions to create more transparency in the projects being proposed. Board President John Classe said the board lumped the bond into one proposal to give the district flexibility in case the district's priorities change.
"This bond program is designed to last approximately six years, and between now and six years from now, we may have a demographic shift," Classe said. "For example, we thought we needed another middle school when in fact we need another elementary school. We need the ability to move in that direction with that fast growth so that we can get buildings delivered on time. If we were to itemize these things, we would have no ability to do that."
Election Day is Nov. 6.