Texarkana ISD voters passed Propositions A and B of the Texarkana ISD proposed 2022 Bond Program, approving the $189 million package to address aging facilities, safety and security, new buses, and career and technical education.
The approved bond package provides funding to construct a new replacement elementary school, a new Dunbar Pre-K replacement school, additions and renovations at Wake Village, new buses, safety and security upgrades at all schools, and a CTE renovation and expansion. The election brought more than 6,000 voters to the polls. Proposition A passed with 3,534 votes in favor and 3,311 against (52-48%), and Proposition B passed with 3,465 votes in favor and 3,327 against (51-49%).
“We are very grateful to our Texarkana ISD community,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker. “These additions will help replace schools that were an average of 82 years old, and open opportunities for so many young students. Approval of this bond program by the voters will help us to address several issues that children, parents, and staff members have been experiencing for years.”
More than 97 percent of the dollar value of the 2022 bond program is dedicated to addressing aging facilities and infrastructure. Proposition A replaces some of the oldest TISD facilities that have been identified as past their useful life, undersized, or do not meet compliance standards.
State standards have evolved over the years, and some of TISD’s oldest schools have classrooms and other spaces that are too small or inadequate in light of these standards. The state of Texas doesn’t provide funding for facilities. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses or salaries. Bond funds may only be used for the projects approved by district voters
“It’s left up to the community to find a way to build new schools or expand existing schools when they are faced with these types of issues,” said Brubaker. “We’ve worked hard to manage funds conservatively, and the overall tax rate for Texarkana ISD is lower today than it has been at any point in the last 15 years.”
The District has a record of actively managing its outstanding debt to achieve savings for taxpayers. Over the last 12 years, the district has refinanced debt four times, resulting in savings of almost $6.5 million. Approximately 72 percent of outstanding voted bond debt service (principal and interest) will be repaid within the next 10 years – well above the state average.
The district will now get to work on the next steps and will begin coordinating with architects to conduct a competitive bidding process for each project, as well as finalizing a construction schedule and working with district financial advisors to establish a bond program schedule.
“We’re grateful to members of our community for all of the support that they provide to our schools, our students, and our staff,” said Brubaker. “This is a wonderful community that I’m proud to serve.”