What is a bond?
Similar to a family's home mortgage, school districts issue loans known as bonds to pay for capital expenditures. Districts repay the bonds through revenue generated from property debt tax. Capital improvement bonds can't be issued by a school district without voter approval through the election process.
How can bond dollars be used?
Bond dollars must be used in accordance with State Law on items that are not recurring expenses and have a life longer than one year. These items would include things such as computers, roofs, HVAC replacements, facility renovations, security cameras, fencing, etc. Bond dollars may not be used for recurring operational expenses such as salaries or utility costs.
Will the bond impact citizens age 65 or older?
Those citizens age 65 and older that apply for a homestead exemption through the Appraisal office will not be impacted by the bond. A homestead exemption would “freeze” their taxes resulting in a tax rate at the time in which they turn 65.
How will the money be used?
This bond does not include any new facilities but is comprised of primarily instructional resources, technology replacements and upgrades, renovations to improve safety and security, replacements to mechanical equipment, and other items outlined on our "What's In The Bond"page.
Are students getting individual laptops to take home?
No. This bond does not support a 1-to-1 device program. The mobile devices are for the primary purpose of embedding technology into classroom instruction.
Will the proposed bond impact instruction?
Absolutely! With the change in state academic requirements, it is necessary for our district to provide the resources to meet these standards. Over $12,500,000 or 31% of the bond is allocated directly towards instruction.
Are Bond dollars subject to recapture by the state?
Bond dollars are not subject to recapture.
Are Brazosport ISD's school taxes higher than other surrounding districts?
No, Brazosport ISD's tax rate ($1.2415) is the second lowest compared to surrounding districts with enrollment greater than 1,000 students. An approved bond would increase taxes to $1.2865, which would remain the second lowest tax rate.
A taxpayer with a $100,000 home listed as homestead would see an annual increase of around $33.
Does Brazosport ISD benefit from the bonds approved for Brazosport College?
No, School District bonds are separate from the College or City bonds that may have been approved.
When would this bond be considered for a vote?
Early Voting will take place April 30 to May 8. Election day will take place on May 12, 2012.
Does the Bond include any new construction?
No, the bond advisory committee believed it was important to keep the bond proposal to necessary major maintenance items and upgrades to limit the impact on tax payers.
How much would taxes increase with the proposed bond?
Taxes would increase from $1.2415 to $1.2865. A taxpayer with a $100,000 home listed as homestead would see an annual increase of around $33.
What portion of BISD's revenue comes from property taxes?
Nearly 72% of the District's operating budget come from property taxes. 100% of the debt service (I&S) budget comes from property taxes.
Are we replacing roofs that we replaced in the last bond?
No, the 2002 bond was the first phase of a long term facility replacement. The roofs scheduled to be replaced in the 2012 proposition were not replaced with the 2002 bond. The detailed bond information on the website details the facility and age of roof to be replaced.
How were costs estimated for the items in the bond and will we obtain bids?
Research on the individual items included pricing estimates from a variety of vendors, contractors and architects along with review of state contract pricing, Internet research, etc. BISD will obtain state purchasing requirements and search for the best value prior to purchase. Legally we cannot bid prior to having the money. Due to volatility in pricing, most vendors’ bid prices are only firm for 30 to 60 days.
Are we operating as efficient as possible?
Efficiency is an ongoing focus and we are continuously identifying opportunities for improvement. For the 2011-12 school year the district will operate with the same revenue levels from 2006-07. Many costs (payroll, insurance, utilities, fuel, etc.) have been on the rise since 2006-07. The only way for the district to operate in the black is through the identification and implementation of operational efficiencies
When was BISD's last bond referendum?
The last bond referendum was almost 10 years ago (September 2002) and was approved for approximately $130,000,000. This money was designed to be the first of two phases for facilities renovations and new construction. The second phase was not approved by voters in 2009.
How will the district share the proposed bond information with the community?
In addition to our website, information will be shared through discussions with community groups, community forums, and mail outs to ensure the facts are provided to inform voters about the bond proposal.
Is BISD currently operating in the 'black'?
Yes, but it has required reductions in staff and the neglecting of upgrades and repairs in order to achieve a balanced budget. We have made over $7 million reductions over the past 2 years to remain in the 'black'.
How does the district issue new bonds?
If voters approve the 2012 proposed bond in May, then the district would recommend that the Board approve authorization to sell the $40 million in bonds incrementally over 7 years.
What will happen if the bond is not approved by voters?
The district would not have the funds for capital expenditures and would have to determine a means for reducing operating expenses further through personnel reductions, elimination of programs, increased class sizes, and building closures.
Is the state requiring school districts to use digital textbooks?
No, however they do require schools to teach the use of digital resources through the required state curriculum.
SB 6 made adjustments to the law this year and the State of Texas is no longer providing textbooks to school districts. Instead, school districts receive an Instructional Materials Allotment to purchase educational resources from the list approved by the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education. SB 6 also changed the term “textbooks” to “instructional materials” in the law which allows districts to use their Instructional Materials Allotment for the purchase of digital resources in order to meet the state curriculum requirements.
The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills which is the required state curriculum says that beginning at the elementary level, students are expected to acquire the following skills in the area of technology applications.
§126.1. Implementation of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications, Elementary.
(4) Information acquisition. The student uses a variety of strategies to acquire information from electronic resources, with appropriate supervision. The student is expected to:
(A) apply keyword searches to acquire information; and
(B) select appropriate strategies to navigate and access information for research and resource sharing.
(5) Information acquisition. The student acquires electronic information in a variety of formats, with appropriate supervision. The student is expected to:
(A) acquire information including text, audio, video, and graphics; and
(B) use on-line help.
(6) Information acquisition. The student evaluates the acquired electronic information. The student is expected to:
(A) determine the success of strategies used to acquire electronic information; and
(B) determine the usefulness and appropriateness of digital information.
What percentage of students are in non-academic extracurricular activities and would benefit from the extracurricular items in the bond?
There are approximately 10,993 participants in various extracurricular activities at the secondary level.
- Elementary Playground slabs, tracks and playground equipment, around 5,520 students utilize – 44% of our total district enrollment
- Hopper and Slade tracks, approximately 1,938 students utilize [includes PE and specific athletic groups] – 15.5% of our total district enrollment
- Music [uniforms and instruments], approximately 2,000 students – 15% of our total district enrollment
- Tennis courts at Clute and Lake Jackson intermediate, 1,793 students utilize [includes all students on campus and specific athletic groups] – a little over 14% of our total district enrollment
- High school swimming pools, 1,166 students utilize [includes PE and specific athletic groups] – a little over 9% of our total district enrollment
The tracks, tennis courts and playgrounds are also used by the community as well as the district.
Where can I find technology-related questions and answers on the bond?