Thank you, Voters!
Since 2001, LISD voters have shown they care about investing in our schools by approving nearly $2 billion in funding for projects in our district through four bond referendums.
In spring 2023, LISD began to make a priority list of the major facilities and equipment that will need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded to ensure our learning environments are safe, modern and comfortable for students and teachers. As a part of that effort, the district convened the One Vision Task Force, a group of 70 parents, community members and LISD staff. The LISD Board of Trustees asked the task force to consider a list of major projects, such as safety enhancements, technology upgrades, facility improvements and major purchases like buses, furniture and fine arts and athletics equipment. They were then tasked with putting together a bond proposal to recommend to the Board in fall 2023.
One Vision Task Force
Over the course of several meetings, the One Vision Task Force diligently toured district facilities, studied LISD’s finances and demographics, engaged in thoughtful discussions, and received presentations from our staff to inform their decision-making. In August 2023, the Task Force will bring their proposal to the Board of Trustees for consideration as the Board decides to move forward and ask voters to consider a bond and Voter-Approved Tax Ratification Election, or VATRE, in the November 2023 election.
Why a Bond?
School districts simply do not receive adequate state funding for capital improvements to facilities. Therefore, the Board asks voters for permission to sell bonds to fund major projects. The last time LISD did this was six years ago in 2017. Bonds provide a dedicated funding stream for major repair projects and major equipment purchases. LISD operates more than 70 facilities and almost 10 million square feet of facilities. That’s five thousand air conditioning units, one hundred separate roof structures and electrical meters, and 600 multi-user restrooms.
LISD underwent transformative years in the 1990's, opening many schools to keep up with growth in our district. That means many of our facilities are more than 20 years old and in need of major repairs. The bulk of this bond proposal will cover life-cycle replacements for essential school building infrastructure such as HVAC, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems at schools where they are beyond their 20-year useful life.
The district conducts annual assessments of schools and tracks the condition of all systems and components to know when they will need to be repaired or replaced. This bond recommendation is the result of a data-driven plan to ensure funding is available to keep schools properly functioning. The final proposal will contain safety and security upgrades, technology equipment, new buses to replace an aging fleet, as well as some fine arts and athletic projects too. Bond funds would be allocated based on need, but every school in the district will be impacted.
Learn more about what a bond is, take a look back at LISD's passed bond referendums, and stay up to date about the bond planning process for the future using the links below. Educate yourself about this important topic, and stay informed about the potential bond package by attending community meetings, reviewing materials, and engaging in discussions with your neighbors.
The bond election is an opportunity for the LISD community to weigh in on the future of our district. Help decide what is needed to create a safe, innovative, and supportive environment for our students to learn and grow.
The group, formed in April of this year, met regularly to determine the needs of our district.