The Killeen ISD school board will consider potential ballot language for an election at its Tuesday night meeting.
KISD is preparing to make a final decision in February on whether to call an election for the proposed $426 Million bond for school construction and renovation.
It would be the first time in 16 years the district asked for a bond issue to be put on a ballot.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, members of the KISD Board of Trustees will review a draft bond election order and draft ballot language.
The proposed draft ballot language would ask voters to consider “The issuance of $426,000,000 school building bonds for the construction, acquisition, and equipment of school buildings in the district and the purchase of the necessary sites for school buildings, and levying of the tax in payment thereof.”
The following list includes potential projects and costs:
Security, disabilities access renovations to schools (Open 2022)
New High School (Open 2022)
New school to consolidate East/West Ward ES (Open 2020)
New Pershing Park ES to consolidate Sugar Loaf, part of Bellaire ES (Open 2021)
Elementary School #35 (Open 2022)
Clifton Park ES renovation (Open 2021)
Killeen High School renovation (Complete 2021)
The board will not vote on the matter Tuesday night. A vote on whether to call the bond election is expected at the board's February 13 meeting.
If the bond election is approved, it would be on the May 5, 2018, ballot.
KISD stated it had one of the lowest tax rates in Texas, and should the school board decide to seek voter approval for a bond sale, a tax increase would be necessary. The increase would still leave Killeen ISD with a lower tax rate than that of almost every neighboring district, the district stated.
- Officials with RBC Capital Markets will discuss with the school board Tuesday night the estimated maximum tax impact of a $426 million bond on homeowners.
- Officials said the needed tax increase to support the bond would be about 13.51 cents, which would give Killeen ISD an overall total overall tax rate of $1.2451, one the lowest tax rates in the area.
- The owners of a home valued at $150,000 would pay an increase of approximately $14.07 per month. Tax rates are frozen for homeowners 65 years of age and older, so they would pay no increase in the tax rate.
Potential Killeen ISD Tax Rate in Comparison to Other Area School Districts:
A Bond Steering Committee made up of parents and community members worked for more than a month in fall 2017 to identify and prioritize construction projects for a potential school bond issue.
Officials said the proposed bond issue has strong support from Killeen ISD voters, according to an independent polling firm. A scientifically valid survey conducted just before Thanksgiving 2017 showed 57 percent of Killeen ISD voters would support a bond issue to build and renovate schools, with 38 percent opposed.
KISD stated they have managed its budget efficiently and has been conservative with spending, and as a result, the district has been able to spend $232.5 million to build and renovate schools and other facilities in recent years with existing funds without needing to ask voters for a bond issue.
Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft and school board members have said the district must consider a bond issue to meet the future needs for facilities for students as enrollment has surged past 44,000 this school year and expected to reach 45,000 next year.
Since the last KISD bond election for school construction in 2002, the district has grown by 13,711 students, nearly the size of the entire Waco school district, and is expected to add more than 5,000 more students in the next 10 years. Officials said KISD schools are crowded to the point that the district has 290 portable classrooms, 95% of which are in use on campuses.