AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin ISD school board approved a $1.05 billion bond election set for November at a special board meeting Monday night.
The bond total increased from $990 million last week with the addition of building a future middle school for northeast Austin in the Mueller development.
The district says even with the additional $61 million school, there will be no increase to the property tax rate due to the usage of leftover bonds.
The bond would also allow LASA to move and create a new school at LBJ.
“By modernizing the original Anderson, relocating Eastside Memorial to that school, it’s also going to be an early college high school that’s right down the street from Austin Community College’s Eastview campus, expanding LASA High School and bringing a medical school to LBJ,” said Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz.
In total, 16 schools will be modernized or built. AISD officials say every school in the district would receive a portion of the funds to make improvements – whether it’s through technology or updates to the facility.
The proposed bond has been met with approval.
“One of the things I want us to avoid is making deals out of our schools kind of like trading cards I think we want to avoid that scenario,” says Ken Zarifis, President, Education Austin. “I applaud the district for looking at more investment on the east side, it’s desperately needed.”
There is also a new line item in the updated bond project list called “estimated land sales.” The district is not going into detail about it, but some have heard AISD is considering closing and selling under-enrolled campuses in East Austin.
The district sent KXAN the following statement:
When making decisions about small, under-enrolled schools with significant facilities needs and uncertain future viable student populations, we must consider everything—it would be irresponsible not to. As part of this process we have considered all possibilities, which does include potential property sales. It is too soon to say which properties may or may not be sold or when, but we have a financial responsibility to Austin taxpayers.”
Dr. Cruz, along with several trustees, will be making the formal announcement about the bond at Menchaca Elementary School Tuesday. It is another one of the schools that will receive funds to modernize.