What to know about Northside ISD’s nearly $1 billion bond proposal ahead of the vote

SAN ANTONIO – Northside ISD taxpayers will head to the polls Saturday to vote on a nearly $1 billion bond proposal that will upgrade and renovate existing schools in the district.

The neighborhood has seen significant growth and expansion in recent years. NISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods said the proposed bond guarantees a future for older schools in the district.

“I would like people to understand that the proposal itself is to invest 95% in schools that are 40 years old or older,” Woods said. “The growth here has really dominated what we’ve been able to do with the funds approved by our clients. Now we’re really prioritizing those 40, 50, 60 and older schools and bringing them to a level similar to what we’ve built over the last 20 years.

The total amount of the proposed bond is $992 million. Woods said that amount would be borrowed and repaid over time.

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“A bond proposal for a school district is exactly the same as a mortgage for you and me. Most of us can’t afford to buy a house with cash or our operating dollars. normal, so we go to a bank and look to borrow money, and we pay that back over time,” Woods said. “A bond issue is a very similar thing. The difference is the school district has to ask voters’ permission to do so.

But before voters decide the fate of the proposed bond, Woods wanted to clear up misconceptions about some ballot terms, particularly regarding the tax rate.

“We are telling our constituents that there will be no tax rate increase associated with this proposal. However, due to a change made by the legislature in 2019, they inserted a language for school districts, not for cities and counties, but for school districts that say it does,” said Woods.

The wording of the ballot caused confusion. Woods said the district has not seen a tax rate increase in the past 12 years.

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“What we want to emphasize is that there will be no increase in the tax rate following a possible passage of this obligation. We do not control the appraisal values. is a separate entity. No school district in the state controls appraised values. What we do control is that tax rate, and we can promise that it will not increase as a result of this proposal,” Woods said.

The proposed bond would pay for the upgrade of more than 20 existing Northside ISD schools, some of which are decades old. The bulk of the proposal allocates $645.5 million to invest in schools such as John Jay, Holmes and Taft High Schools.

“Things like HVAC units and making them more efficient, replacing roofs so they don’t leak in the future and put the rest of the building infrastructure at risk,” Woods said of the proposed improvements. “Replacement of floor coverings that have become problematic, repaving and drainage. »

The proposal also includes technology, security, transportation and library upgrades. A total of $45 million is planned for a new elementary school in the Village at West Pointe area. But Woods said the proposal was primarily aimed at giving students from older schools a better chance of succeeding.

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“We have long said that postcode should not determine the quality of school or, for that matter, teacher that a child has. And we try to deliver on that promise that way,” Woods said.

Below is a full summary of the potential projects associated with the bond proposal:

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