Proposition I - $342.7 Million
New Construction / Renovation
20 Year Targets - The following schools were approximately 20 years old and/or had not received major renovations in several years.
Additions and Improvements - The following schools/programs were scheduled for additions/improvements:
Proposition II - $56.2 Million
Elementary Program Enhancements
1. What will the $398.9 million fund? The PISD Board of Trustees called this bond election to address growth by building three new elementary schools, a new middle school, a new sub-varsity stadium, gyms at middle schools, lunch rooms at elementary schools, and to address security, technology and code compliance issues. The bonds also will providing funds to renovate aging schools and district facilities to ensure that all children are attending classes in modern, up-to-date facilities. Additionally, this bond program will provide for full-day kindergarten, an expanded special programs center for elementary students and facilities for mandated programs for pre-kindergarten and pre-school children with developmental disabilities. Every student and every school will be affected by some component of this bond issue.
2. Isn't Plano near build-out? It is true that the City of Plano is close to build out, but Plano ISD serves many other communities like Dallas, Parker, Murphy, Richardson and Allen, Lucas and Carrollton, some of which are continuing to grow rapidly. It is expected that approximately 5,000 new students will join PISD in the next five years. That is in addition to the 6,000 new students who entered PISD in the past five years.
3. Where will the new schools be built? It is anticipated that the new elementary schools will be built in the north central part of the district to relieve Beverly Elementary, and in the eastern and southeastern sections of the district. The middle school is expected to be built in the eastern part of PISD. Exact locations are to be determined based on demographics.
4. Why is the district planning to implement full-day kindergarten? The state has increased dramatically the expectations for students as well as the accountability measures. Approximately 83% of students in Texas have access to full-day kindergarten. Plano ISD students are ready for this program and space limitations have been the main reason that it has not been implemented previously.
5. When will full-day kindergarten be implemented? Following the bond election, the school district and Board of Trustees will formalize and publicize an implementation plan for full-day kindergarten in all schools by 2003.
6. What will the funds for the Special Programs Center address? Currently secondary and elementary students are housed in the same facility. The facility is full, and in fact, we are using portable classrooms now. The bond funds will enable the district to separate elementary and secondary students and also, we hope, eliminate the current waiting list.
7. I have looked at the school's capacity figures, and it looks to me like there are some schools, which have enough room for more students. Why aren't you using that space? Design numbers are deceiving. They do not indicate actual use of space. Some programs, such as those for children with special needs, require fewer students per classroom. While there may be a few extra seats in classrooms throughout the district, there are not large blocks of space available to house the 6,000 new students expected to enroll in our schools in the next five years.
8. What has happened to the monies provided in the past bond elections? The citizens of Plano ISD have approved several bond elections in the past decade. As a result, 16 new schools have been built and 17 schools have received major renovations. Furthermore, technology has been implemented throughout the district and safety and security at schools have been improved. The projects have been completed on time and within budget with the exception of board-approved changes in the scope of the projects.
9. What will this bond election cost me? The average home in Plano ISD is valued at $191.000. We have based our figures on $100, 200, and 300 thousand dollar home values, and you can figure where you'll fit in that mix. For a $100,000 home, the monthly increase in 2002 will be approximately $2.55 or about $30.60 per year. At the peak of the repayment of interest in 2005, we anticipate a monthly tax increase of just under $5.38 or $64.60 per year that will begin to decline the following year.
You will note that the annual increase at the highest point of repayment is less than 20 cents a day. If your home is valued at about or about $200,000 your monthly tax increase in 2002 will be $5.55 for a total of $66.60 per year. At the peak of the repayment, assuming that your house does not increase in value, you would be paying about $11.72 per month or $140 per year in 2005. That is the equivalent of less than forty cents a day and far less than the cost of a movie a week at Cinemark.
If your home is valued at $300,000, in 2002 you will pay approximately $8.55 per month additional for this bond program or a total of $102 more per year. At the peak of repayment, your monthly tax increase will be $18.05 or $216.60 per year or approximately seventy-five cents a day to ensure that our students receive a quality education in quality facilities. This equates to about sixty cents a day.
Because of wise investment and careful planning of the bond sales, Plano ISD has managed to keep the tax rate for past bond elections very low. In fact, though it was estimated that taxes from the 1996 bond election would result in a four-cent tax increase, that rate was never reached, and taxes have been consistent for several years. Additionally, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees, due to very conservative budgeting and administrative cost decreases, will decrease the maintenance and operations budget this year by approximately two cents.
10. How would this affect my tax bill if I were over 65? There will be no impact since taxes are frozen on homes of those 65 and older. On January 1 of the year a homeowner turns 65, the school taxes on his property are frozen at the level which he pays in the first year of qualification for the exemption, so taxes will not increase beyond that amount, unless the property ceases to be a homestead or major renovations greatly increase the value.
11. How will this election be affected by the "Robin Hood" provisions of the state school finance plan? Debt service dollars are NOT subject to "Robin Hood," so every cent raised here through this bond election will be spent for Plano ISD students. In 2001, we anticipate sending over $60 million back to the state through the recapture provisions of "Robin Hood." The bond election helps Plano ISD maintain its facilities and address growth without having to use the dollars raised locally for the maintenance and operations budget that primarily addresses teachers' salaries.
12. Over what period of time will the bond be paid off? We will pay off the bonds for technology in five years while the bond sold for construction and renovation, etc. will be paid off over 20 years.
13. How will the interest from the bond money be spent? Interest on unspent bond proceeds will be used to reduce the debt service tax requirements.
14. How does Plano ISD's tax rate compare to other districts in the metroplex? Plano ISD has one of the lowest tax rates in the metroplex. We have managed to maintain a low tax rate even though we've had to send funds back to the state. This has been accomplished through very conservative budgeting and by maintaining lower administrative costs than most districts.
15. What would be the ramifications if we funded technology through the maintenance and operations budget instead of the bond issue? We would be forced to use a "piecemeal" approach to updating technology, adding a little at a time over many years. This would make standardization very difficult and would leave the district behind in meeting identified student needs. We would see a retreat from the district's and community's shared vision of ensuring that Plano ISD students are on the leading edge of educational and technological preparation for the future. Furthermore, the cost would be higher because regular operating funds are subject to "Robin Hood."
16. Isn't replacement of technology going to be a continuous drain on the district's budget? Technology helps deliver the Plano ISD curriculum and prepare our students for a technological future. The district buys only that level of technology that is necessary to deliver our curriculum effectively and efficiently. Our technology resources need to be funded to allow replacements and upgrades as necessary, typically five years for computer and local area network equipment and ten years for video equipment and wide area network electronics. Because of the "Robin Hood" law, our operating budget has not been able to support this type of replacement fund.
17. Didn't the voters approve a technology bond issue in 1999? Yes, and every promise in the 1999 bond election has been kept. The computers purchased with those funds are Y2K compliant and will not be replaced in this bond election. Student computers, teacher computers and workstations, and administrative applications have been installed and are functioning. The project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget. The 1999 bond election addressed Year 2000 compliance and Windows 95 upgrades and provides an upgrade to the Wide Area Network, a process which must be accomplished because of the increased use and demands on the existing system. It is expected that the Network will meet projected district needs for 10-15 years. This bond election will upgrade computers and address those curricular areas which weren't affected in the last technology bond election.
18. What are the options if the bond election had failed? The Board and administration looked at various alternatives including increased class size in elementary schools; implementation of a.m. and p.m. sessions for elementary students; portable buildings at elementary schools; reallocation of maintenance and operations budget funds to furnish and equip schools or to build new schools; leasing of buildings throughout the district to house students and programs.
2700 W. 15th Street · Plano, Texas 75075 · Phone: (469) 752-8100 · Fax: (469) 752-8096
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