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What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It’s a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment.
How can bond funds be used?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, safety & security projects, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies or building maintenance.
How was the bond package developed?
A citizen bond steering committee was established to review and prioritize district needs relating to growth needs, building age, safety condition and student academic and extracurricular programs. The committee consisted of more than 80 parents, business leaders, teachers, community members, students and civic leaders from across GISD. The committee met six times from October 2022 – December 2022. Upon completion of the committee’s analysis, a recommendation was presented to the Board of Trustees on January 10, 2023.
Was every facility in the school district reviewed during the committee process?
Yes. With the goal of making sure we impact every student in every school, our citizens bond steering committee considered the needs of every school and facility in the district. This bond package will impact every student in every school.
Why are we focusing on something other than teacher salaries first with this money?
The Board of Trustees cannot pay teacher and staff salaries from a bond. They must call a separate Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to address salaries.
My property tax bill is higher than ever. Why can’t the district use the extra taxes I already have to pay to cover major renovations?
Your tax bill is based on two factors - the tax rate and the appraised value of your home. The appraised property value is determined by the county, not the school district.
When your tax bill goes up due to higher property values, the district does NOT receive more funds. The state legislature has set a basic allotment amount per student for general operating expenses. Any tax revenue collected above what’s needed to cover the basic allotment goes to the state’s general budget.
If the bond passes, the additional funds from the tax rate increase would go to the district but can only be used for capital improvements such as those outlined in the bond proposals.
No money is added to school funding without raising tax rates or increasing the average daily attendance.
Do my taxes pay for children that live outside the tri-cities to get an education in GISD?
When students from other districts enroll in GISD as part of the open enrollment process, the funds the state allotted for those students come to GISD. These students, who must provide their own transportation, fill otherwise empty seats. This increases our enrollment and provides additional revenue for the district.
I reviewed the bond package and the three propositions. I recommend more items be added to the proposal. Are there any thoughts on other needs for GISD with this bond?
The Citizen Bond Steering Committee created the bond referendum package that the Board approved and will be taken to the voters for their potential approval. With over $3 billion in identified projects, we know we can only address some of these projects with this bond. That is why we will have a regular cycle of bond referendums in the future - every four to five years.
The bond calls for a lot of projects and they can’t all be started at once. Will the materials and labor costs in the future impact the cost of the bond?
Bond projects will have staggered start dates and all projects are anticipated to be completed within five years. Increased materials and labor costs have been factored into the proposals.
Will this bond proposal apply to any charter schools in Garland, such as Garland Classical Academy?
This only applies to schools within the Garland ISD public school system. Charter schools are independent entities and are not affiliated with Garland ISD.
Is there an estimated timeframe for upgrades to be completed if Proposition A is approved?
Our goal is to complete all projects within 5 years.
Is this an all or one program? If one part fails to pass will it stop others that do pass?
Each proposition stands alone and receives a separate vote so, it is possible that one proposition may not pass and others will.
What's includedExpand All
How do we find information about how the bond will impact our child’s school if passed?
You can find information about your child’s school by viewing the What is My School Getting section on the Bond 2023 webpage. From there you can select your school from a dropdown menu to see the school-specific projects
Will the bond focus on student and staff safety?
Proposition A includes safety measures:
- Safety perimeter fencing at all campuses
- Forced-entry-resistant film at campus main entrances
- Removing all portables from elementary campuses
- classroom barrier improvements and library enclosures to enhance safety at 12 open-concept elementary schools
Are any plans for removing the portables on campuses in the works?
In the 2023 GISD bond proposal, Proposition A includes removing all elementary school portables and the portables at Lakeview Centennial High School.
When will the list of the eight elementary schools being consolidated be released?
Currently, we have identified four of the eight campuses. We will share the information as the Board determines the final four campuses. Freeman and Golden Meadows are proposed for consolidation and construction of a new combined campus. Kimberlin and Hillside are proposed for consolidation and building of a new combined campus.
What does proposition C mean? What is a 1:1 student-teacher technology refresh. Are you upgrading laptops and virtual learning equipment?
If passed by the voters, the GISD Technology Department will evaluate the technology being used by our staff and students and determine new devices based on technology trends and learning strategies at the time of purchase.
What difference will higher fences make when currently, there are openings for people to come in and out of the playground, especially in schools that share that area with the community? Will there be no public access when schools are not in session?
Perimeter fencing creates a physical and psychological barrier (visual deterrent). It is one of many layers of school security. Perimeter fencing discourages entry, vandalism, and theft. It keeps animals off the playground and makes it easier for school staff and law enforcement to identify unauthorized persons more readily. Public access and gating will depend upon whether or not areas are shared with the city. Each site will require its own assessment.
For the "bulletproof" glass at the entrance, according to data, how many school shooters have entered schools through the main entrance? Does that number justify the investment?
Forced-entry-resistant film protects windows against smash-and-grab attacks, break-ins, vandalism, natural disasters, and even high-powered impacts like bombings. This film keeps glass from shattering upon impact, reducing additional injury and providing valuable seconds for staff/students to take cover. For more information on Sandy Hook Elementary School and other school shootings, please visit FBI Data.
How do we justify paying more taxes on this bond for school security, when there are plans in the Texas Legislature to take care of those things with the taxes we've already paid?
Garland ISD is one of the few school districts in Texas that applied for every dollar of TEA grant money available in the last two years and spent every penny on safety improvements. The Security Department hopes that no one ever believes we have done enough or spent enough to relax with regard to keeping students and staff safe. The current security budget covers things such as propped door alarms, 24/7 security surveillance & dispatch, Anonymous Alerts technology, stop-the-bleed training, and fentanyl/Narcan training.
Bond monies would be spent on larger-ticket items, such as removing portables (i.e., creating enough space within buildings to do so), classroom barrier improvements in open-concept schools, and perimeter fencing. There are limitless ways to harden the target and broaden the safety net in our school district.
FYI: Pay attention to HB36, which would disallow school districts from spending the annual safety & security allotment money on security personnel and school resource officers.
What assurance can you provide voters that if the bond passes the money will be used for what it was voted for? For example, in the last bond money was used for a natatorium instead of a covered multi-program activity center.
There was no multi-program activity center in the last bond. We will provide regular updates on every project approved by voters.
How will the proposed bond election affect my taxes?
If the bond package is approved by voters, GISD would adopt an estimated $0.0661 property tax rate increase in the future. Residents of the district 65 years or older who have filed for their senior citizen tax exemption will not be affected by this tax rate increase.
Will there be any anticipated variances in property tax impact for residents of Rowlett based on which county in which they reside (e.g., Dallas County vs. Rockwall County)?
The tax impact is based on the market value of the home and the Garland ISD tax rate (the county you live in does not impact this).
Is the total tax increase $0.066 if all 3 propositions pass? Or will the tax be higher with each additional proposition?
The tax rate of $0.0661 is if all three propositions pass.
If I am over 65, do my taxes freeze at the current rate?
Yes. If you are a homeowner who has applied for and been granted an Over 65 Homestead Exemption with the appropriate county, the school tax portion of your property tax won’t increase (unless you have made major improvements to your property.) This is true regardless of the election results or the adopted school tax rate.
For more information, see the Residence Homestead Exemption form for Dallas County. Note you will start by searching for your property.
Is there a separate voter registration required for Garland bond? I’m a registered voter for Dallas County, but is it separate for Garland?
If your Dallas County voting registration is current, and you live within the boundaries of Garland ISD, you may vote for all three propositions on the May 6 ballot. There is no special registration to vote for GISD items.