On September 20, 1997, Plano ISD held a bond election in the amount of $32.9
million to construct three new elementary schools, purchase two new sites for
future schools, and furnish and equip the new schools and three other schools
built with funding from the 1996 bond election.The measure was approved by
voters as follows:
The Plano ISD Board of Trustees called a bond election for Saturday,
September 20, 1997, to accommodate the current student growth and
projected growth for the next two years. School Trustees voted to
present to citizens one proposition for the issuance of bonds in the
amount of $32.9 million to construct three new elementary schools,
purchase two new sites for future schools, and furnish and equip the
new schools and three other schools built with funding from a 1996
In the past three years, elementary school student
population in Plano ISD has grown by between five and six percent
annually. Growth of this magnitude necessitates additional facilities
in which to house our students. The 1997 bond package will cover emergency
needs only. The district does anticipate the need for another bond
election in 1999. The schools are tentatively scheduled to be constructed
in the southeast portion of the district, for relief of Miller Elementary,
the northwest portion of the district, for relief of Brinker Elementary,
and the north central portion of the district where several schools
are nearing capacity.
Already, because of severe and unexpected overcrowding at Daffron
Elementary School, the Board of Trustees has reallocated funds from
the 1996 bond election to construct an additional school, the Hightower
Elementary School, to be ready for a fall 1998 opening. This is why
funding for furnishing and equipping three schools built with 1996
bond monies is included in the 1997 bond election.
The cost of the $32.9 million bond election will add 1.2186 cents
to the current debt service tax rate. The impact on the tax bill of
the average home (valued at $161,900), with a $15,000 homestead exemption,
will average approximately $17.90 annually.
Bond Q & A
Q: Why did the district call for a bond election in September 1997?
A: The September 20, 1997, bond election addressed
the rapid increases in student enrollment the district
has experienced in the past two years and projected increases
in student enrollment
over the next two years. Growth of this magnitude
necessitates additional facilities in which to house our students.
Q: What was included in the bond election?
A: The bond election proposal included $32.9 million to construct
three new elementary schools, purchase two new sites for future schools,
and furnish and equip the new schools and three other schools built
with funding from the 1996 bond election.
Q: Where will the new schools be built?
A: This bond election is offered to relieve overcrowded schools in
northwest, southeast and north central sections of PISD. Exact location
of the school sites are still to be determined.
Q: Why didn't the 1996 bond election include these facilities?
A: The district did have indications that increases in student population
would be greater than in the past; however, the magnitude of the increases
has surprised us as well as most demographers and planners in the
area. Additionally, the citizen bond committee that developed the
package for the 1996 election felt that the total amount of that bond
package should not exceed the $175 million which was placed on the
The 1997 bond package will cover emergency needs only. We anticipate
the need for another bond election in 1999. Already, because of severe
and unexpected overcrowding at Daffron Elementary School, the Board
of Trustees has reallocated funds from the 1996 bond election to construct
an additional school, the Hightower Elementary School, to be ready
for a fall 1998 opening. This is why funding for furnishing and equipping
three schools built with 1996 bond moneys is included in the 1997
Q: Why do we need to sell bonds in order to build schools?
A: The only options school districts have for funding major construction
projects are to go to the voters for funding or to use maintenance
and operations budget funds for that purpose. Because of very conservative
fiscal management, Plano ISD has been able to hold the line on tax
increases in the maintenance and operations budget for the past three
years - even with the dramatic increases in student population and
the burden of recapture which has seen the district sending more than
$66 million dollars since 1995 to the state. The 1997 bond election
will provide the ability to keep up with increased enrollment over
the next two years.
Q: What will the tax rate impact be on the average Plano ISD homeowner?
A: Financing of bond issues is an important issue for taxpayers to
understand. The cost of the 1997 $32.9 million bond election will
add 1.2186 cents to the current debt service tax bill. The impact
on the tax bill of the average Plano ISD home (valued at $161,900),
with the Homestead Exemption of $15,000, will be approximately $17.90
Because of wise investment and timely sale of previous bonds, the
tax increase for the 1997 bond election combined with the 1996 bond
debt will still be less than the total tax increase projected for
the 1996 bond election. We had projected at that time that taxes would
increase no more than 4 cents.
The sale of the 1996 bonds in two installments rather than three,
and the Board of Trustees' decision to sell the bonds at variable
and fixed rates are projected to save taxpayers as much as $25 million,
providing the ability to retire outstanding bonds. The tax rate for
1996-97 was $1.4997 per $100 of valuation of which 16.1 cents per
$100 went toward debt service.
Q: What is the status of the projects funded by the district's 1996
A: As an update, the majority of the commitments made in the 1996
bond election are on schedule and within budget.
- Bettye Haun Elementary School opened in August 1997;
- The new Frankford
Middle School and new Renner Middle School are
under construction and will open in August of 1998;
l Renovation of Shepton High School into a new
senior high school for opening in August 1999 will
begin in the summer
- Construction will begin this fall for
the Beverly Elementary School and the Hightower
Elementary School scheduled
to open in August
Beaty Elementary School construction will begin
soon for opening in early 1999.
of Rice Middle School will begin this fall for
opening in August of 1999.
Implementation of the technology portion of the
bond election is continuing and will be complete
about a year ahead of
Q: I don't have kids in school anymore.
Why should it matter to me?
A: Good schools are a major indicator of the
health of a community. Businesses considering
relocation look for a strong school system.
If these businesses choose Plano ISD and thereby increase
our tax base, all citizens, not just those
school-age children, benefit.
Q: What options would the district have had in case the bond election
was not approved by the voters?
A: The School Board would have had various options at its disposal.
Community and parental input would have been sought before final decisions
were made. One possibility is that another bond issue could have been
proposed, but that would have delayed the opening of badly needed
schools for at least one year. Following are some possible results
if the September 20 bond election would have failed:
- Overcrowded classrooms
- AM/PM sessions in elementary schools
- Portable classrooms (with
funding from the Maintenance & Operations
- Drastic reductions in Maintenance & Operations Budget
to furnish and equip new schools. This also affects personnel
and instructional programs.
Q: How does the bond process work?
- Bonds are approved
by the voters.
- Bonds are sold to investors.
- Bond proceeds are delivered to
the school district about four weeks after the
- Upon receipt of bond proceeds, the district
may enter into contracts for construction
- Bond proceeds are invested until
- Each year, the School Board must set a
tax rate in two parts: one to cover operating
costs (payroll, supplies and equipment,
insurance, utilities, bus purchases, etc.),and
the other to pay
and interest due on bonds.
- Bond proceeds
can be used only for capital improvements and related
costs. They may not be used for utilities and other
such operating expenses.