BALLOT WATCH: $1.6 Billion Dallas ISD School Bond

dallasisdSwitching gears a bit, Dallas ISD voters will be weighing in on a massive $1.6 billion school bond election this November. Tawnell Hobbs of the Dallas Morning-News Educational Blog:

Dallas ISD trustees on Friday approved placing a $1.6 billion bond package on the Nov. 3 election ballot.

Now it’s time to sell it to voters.

“The plan is financially conservative. It’s been extremely well-planned for well over a year. It’s a major win for the kids of Dallas,” trustee Mike Morath said.

The package includes money for nine new and replacement schools, 290 additional classrooms, technology upgrades, improvements to cafeterias and science labs, and other enhancements. The district also expects to add prekindergarten classes and expand specialized programs, such as Montessori and career training.

[…]

Michael Hinojosa, who was superintendent from 2005 to 2011, is leading the district as an interim superintendent. Trustee Miguel Solis said Friday that he would be good in the permanent job.

[…]

“This is a very robust plan,” he said. “Not only is there a need, but it also incorporates a lot of the strategies that have been developed over the last few years.”

The plan won’t bring a tax rate increase as existing debt and new debt would be managed to keep that from happening, according to the district.

Voters will be asked to approve the dollar amount for the entire package and not individual projects. District officials said that changes can be made to projects in the plan at any point.

While there appears to be a few concerns about whether voters would be willing to support this bond in light of some of the district’s well-publicized controversies in the past several years, the proponents appear to have confidence that voters will ultimately approve it, and perhaps rightly so.

As of now, my best guess is that voters will likely approve this measure, 66-34.

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