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Pflugerville ISD school board approves putting $367M bond on November ballot

The bond will appear as six different propositions on the November ballot that address security, infrastructure and more.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — The Pflugerville ISD school board voted unanimously to place a bond on the November ballot for residents to vote on. 

At the board's meeting Thursday night, they decided to move forward with calling a $367.6 million bond election. The bond package, according to a media release, is designed to accommodate district safety and security needs, growth in student enrollment, aging conditions, student programs and equity across campuses. 

The bond will appear as six different propositions on the November ballot: 

  • Proposition C: Authorizing PfISD to issue $190,280,000 in bonds for school buildings, infrastructure, and improvements, including the following projects:
    • District-wide Safety and Security Upgrades
    • Additions and Renovations at multiple campuses, including elementary, middle, and high school campuses
    • The purchase of land for future projects
    • HVAC and mechanical upgrades
    • Capital Improvement Projects to address aging conditions and equity across campuses
  • Proposition D: Authorizing PfISD to issue $54,000,000 in bonds for network security, infrastructure, and devices for students and staff
  • Proposition E: Authorizing PfISD to issue $3,000,000 in bonds for Pflugerville High School Performing Arts Renovations and sound system upgrades at CHS, HHS, PHS and WHS.
  • Proposition F: Authorizing PfISD to issue $400,000 in bonds for the wiring of the Pfield for headsets and microphones and new Hendrickson High School scoreboard
  • Proposition G: Authorizing PfISD to issue $76,000,000 in bonds for the design and construction of a district-wide Career and Technical Education (CTE) center
  • Proposition H: Authorizing PfSID to issue $43,924,000 in bonds for the purchase of land and the construction of affordable housing for teachers in PfISD 

The school district said a committee of local residents, parents and civic and business leaders developed Propositions C-G. The group studied enrollment projections and reviewed the district's facility assessment, results from a community survey and district financial information. 

The committee also received reports from campus and department leaders about challenges and successes within their facility and programs before developing potential project considering, the district said. 

Proposition H was recommended by the district administration in an effort to recruit and retain teachers as affordable housing options for teachers have decreased.

The proposed bond package will not increase the school district tax rate used to fund bonds, the district said.

The school board also approved an Attendance Credit Election (ACE) and a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE).

Attendance Credit Election (ACE)

With the sharp increase in property tax values seen throughout Central Texas, Pflugerville ISD is now considered a property-wealthy district by state standards, the district said. With that designation, the school district is now required to send funds back to the state funding system commonly known as "Robin Hood."

The school district said the ACE is a required, one-time election that asks voters to allow PfISD to make the mandatory recapture payments.

If approved, PfISD can make the required recapture payments. If rejected, the Texas Education Agency will identify a portion of land within PfISD to detach and send to a neighboring school district in order to reduce PfISD's total property value. That portion of PfISD selected by the TEA would then be annexed to the new school district. 

Students living in that annexed area would attend the new school district and taxpayer dollars would belong to the new school district as well. 

PfISD said that at this time it does not know which portion or portions of land could be chosen by the TEA for detachment.

This proposition will show up on the November ballot as follows:

Proposition A: ACE, authorizing PfISD to purchase attendance credits from the state and keep all existing district territory.

Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE)

The school board also adopted the 2022-2023 tax rate, triggering a Voter Approval Tax Ratification Election (VATRE) which will reduce the Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate by 10 cents and approve four cents being added to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) rate. 

The district said this will result in a 12-cent decrease in the overall PfISD tax rate, while also providing an additional $6.9 million in funds that could be used on everyday expenses like teacher salaries, classroom materials and recurring operating expenses.

The board’s unanimous vote to call a VATRE comes after months of reviewing financial predictions, studying the state’s school funding structure, and planning for the operations of the district, per the release.

This proposition will show up on the November ballot as follows:

Proposition B: VATRE, ratifying the tax rate of $1.2646 for the current year, lowering the Interest and Sinking rate by ten cents and asking for 4 cents back on the maintenance and operations rate. The M&O rate was lowered by 6 cents due to compression as a result of HB3, therefore, resulting in a 12-cent decrease to the overall tax rate. 

The district said that if all three elections are approved by voters, the district’s overall tax rate will still decrease by 12 cents. 

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