AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees are expected to vote on which bond proposal they’ll ask voters to choose in the upcoming November election.
The goal for many trustees is to keep the bond under the $1 billion mark so the tax rate does not increase.
“For young parents, we’re always looking towards the future and how policies are going to be affecting our kids,” said Chalimar Chieza, an Austin educator teaching at an area private school. “Compared to most other metropolitan cities we have great public schools but I think that there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Chieza is a mother and is all for investing in area schools. So is Ellen Stansell. The mother of two is also an educator, teaching at Texas State University.
“We already as a culture don’t value education enough and we don’t invest enough in education, so any chance to go ahead and do more of that – I’m all for it,” Stansell said.
Trustees have been presented two scenarios – one bond worth $989 million and a second at just over $407 million. Many board members feel there’s a better chance of having the bond pass if just one proposition goes before voters and right now they are leaning towards the $989 million proposal.
Projects included in the bond would be 14 new or modernized campuses – like rebuilding Brown Elementary, major renovations to Bowie High School and a new elementary school in southwest Austin. The proposal, as it stands right now, cuts some big projects like a new LASA high school, the proposed middle school in the Mueller development and a new elementary school in southeast Austin.
“The priority is around worst first and overcrowding, so essentially projects of critical needs, safety and some reinvention projects,” said AISD Trustee President, Kendall Pace.
Stansell says her family considers Austin their permanent home but feels leaving area schools as their are could hurt the city’s growth.
“If [parents] start to hear that the schools stink, then they’re going to think maybe Round Rock, maybe Pflugerville, or maybe they won’t move to Austin at all,” Stansell said.
Chieza agrees. “For schools to be updated and to have resources in the classroom that are practical for today’s life, I think it’s incredibly important,” she said.
Monday’s Austin ISD board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The bond discussion and possible vote is scheduled for after 10 p.m.