LISD School Board approves multi million dollar bond election - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/24/10

LISD School Board approves multi million dollar bond election

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –  With a unanimous vote Tuesday morning, the LISD school board approved the $198 million bond election that would change the face of LISD without changing the tax rate.

The head of one teachers association, Ross McCasland says there are a lot of benefits in the package for each campus but he understands some people will still be concerned.

"Many of the teachers are excited about what is happening," McCasland who is a teacher, a property owner and president of the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association. He teaches Coronado High School students chemistry and physics in his small lab and is excited about the prospects of the package for the entire district.

"We need to bring a lot of our buildings up to date. If you walk around Coronado you'll see a lot of things that are old," said McCasland.

The school board unanimously voted to put the $198 million bond package on the November 2nd ballot - a move they hope will modernize campuses.

"$198 million is a lot of money and we hope our citizens realize it. We don't take that lightly. It is their money," said LISD School Board Trustee Dan Pope.

It's a bond package LISD School Board President James Arnold says would not raise your taxes or the current tax rate. "We are accruing enough on our tax rolls to pay for the bond without an increase," said Arnold. "It's important for people to get in on the process. The good news is it doesn't require changing the tax rate."

More than 50 percent of the bond, if passed, would go to academics and capital improvements across the entire district.  What is left would be split between safety, technology and arts and athletics. The bond would expand cafeterias which would eventually eliminate off campus lunches.

In addition, phase one would consolidate Isles and Wheatley into one school and Haynes and Murphy into one school. The district says this would save $10-million up front and an additional $2.5-million each year.

"It provides the technology that would give our teachers and students tools to be competitive in today's environment and be truly prepared for college or a career," said Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza.

"Everything in the package is something we feel like the district needs to be competitive and successful," said Arnold.

While McCasland says he will vote for the bond, there are others with questions. "Some teachers are concerned that it may be too much money. Some parents and property owners may feel that way too. No one wants to pay for a new sewer system for their house but it has to be done."

This bond is the first of 4 proposed phases. How much the other three would cost is unknown at this time. Phase one does not obligate the school board or taxpayers to vote in favor of any future bonds.

The Every Child Every School Political Action Committee will start campaigning for votes for the November 2nd election.

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