The Temple Chamber’s Board of Directors recently announced the endorsement of both the Belton Independent School District and Temple Independent School District May 2022 school bond elections.
The Belton ISD bond consists of Proposition A for $168.8 million and Proposition B for $5 million. When one takes the time to look at the details surrounding the BISD request, one quickly concludes the requests are the most prudent and reasonable approach to tackling the needs of this fast-growing ISD.
In order to meet and exceed expectations to provide a superior educational experience for all, the measures outlined in the Proposals must be approved. It is significant to note the BISD tax rate will not increase as a result of these proposals primarily due to new rooftops and increased property valuation. The district through responsible financial management and practices, has also passed savings onto residents by lowering the tax rate 24 cents since 2018 and recently saved taxpayers $4 million through bond refinancing.
BISD’s Proposition A will address three essential areas: (1) growth and capacity needs; (2) safety and security upgrades; and, (3) aging facilities to provide equitable facilities district wide.
The population growth in central Texas equates to higher enrollment in BISD with expectations of adding 3,100 students over the next 5 years. This accelerated growth exacerbates already overcrowded BISD campuses – two elementary schools are over capacity – and highlights the need to build new schools. The district also needs to bring many of its current facilities, which are aging and in need of capital repairs, to similar standards as the district’s newer campuses.
BISD’s Proposition B will provide new technology devices and equipment for students, teachers, and staff. The COVID-19 pandemic proved how critical having access to technology and devices is to our day-to-day lives and the role it plays in student learning.
The Temple ISD bond is for $164.8 million. We applaud TISD for utilizing a textbook example of transparency, community engagement and communicating the details on “why” this action is critical. Temple is a growing community and with growth comes the need for improved and enhanced infrastructure, including our schools.
The numbers are showing the necessity for a new elementary school to serve the southwest quadrant of our community, as well as the addition of 12 classrooms across three campuses.
We agree that TISD must focus on safety, security, student programs and aging facilities to take care of existing families. Some of the projects outlined include: eliminate the remaining 20 portables; complete security vestibule projects at 3 campuses; complete fire suppression systems and alarm upgrades; create a backup site for technology; provide for sidewalk, pavement & lighting improvements; replace/renovate Auxiliary Services Center at current site; providing middle school athletic competition facilities; improve the THS Fine Arts Auditorium; complete the Meredith-Dunbar Fine Arts Auditorium; and improve upon the Career Technical Education Agriculture facility.
TISD has been a good steward of the tax dollar, having lowered the tax rate by 16.5 cents since 2018, due to efficient financial accounting processes.
Though the economic forecast with current geopolitical events is uncertain, actions now to invest in all of our students will pay dividends in both Belton ISD and Temple ISD to be able to continue to grow a skilled labor force in our community, and shepherd students to lifelong careers that provide excellent pay and ongoing support of the robust Central Texas economy.
We encourage all residents to become familiar with the provisions of both bond elections by visiting www.bisdbond.net and www.tisd.org/apps/pages/2022bond.