Public weighs in on $890 million AISD bond proposal


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 11:21 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin ISD’s Board of Trustees held their first of two public forums Tuesday night to get feedback from the community about a proposed $890 million bond.

Jeff Owen, a band director at Murchison Middle School in Northwest Austin told KVUE he attended the meeting to support the bond because Murchison Middle School is so overcrowded.

Owen said they have to use every space possible to teach, including closets.

“Teaching out in the hallway, there are so many distractions,” Owen said.

Overcrowding is just one of the issues that the Austin ISD Board of Trustees hopes to fix with this bond, but first they need the community to weigh in.

"This does give us an opportunity to one, identify where the urgencies are and two, make sure that we are addressing all of these facility needs,” said Vincent Torres, president of the AISD Board.

As it stands, their plan includes adding more security cameras, improving athletic and cafeteria facilities, fixing schools in need of repair and adding four new schools, with the possibility of building another high school in South Austin.

Part of the $890 million bond includes $20 million set aside to potentially renovate Austin’s Alternative Learning Center into a School for Young Men, an all-boys version of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. The board will decide whether or not to approve that plan by the end of January.

As for the $890 million bond, Torres said they plan to decide whether or not to call a May election by March 1st. If this bond is passed, Torres told KVUE it will cost Austin homeowners an additional three and a half cents on the dollar in property taxes.

The next public forum meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29th at Reagan High School at 7104 Berkman Drive.


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