Texarkana, TX – Texarkana Independent School District hosted a series of community workshops that provided factual information and answers to the most frequently asked questions about their upcoming bond election slated for the November 4 ballot.
The $29.9 million Bond Election would address current overcrowding due to enrollment increases during the last 12 years of an average 146 students per year. Enrollment growth within the next five years is anticipated to remain on par with past increases and more classroom space at the elementary and middle school levels are needed to accommodate students and maintain an appropriate student/teacher ratio.
Community Workshops were held as follows:
Monday, October 6 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Westlawn Elementary School Cafeteria, 410 Westlawn Drive;
Thursday, October 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Wake Village Elementary School Cafeteria, 400 Wildcat Drive;
Tuesday, October 14 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Texas Middle School Cafeteria, 2100 College Drive;
Thursday, October 16 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Highland Park Elementary School Cafeteria, 401 West 25th Street.
If you missed these events, you can read below the topics that were covered those evenings.
Current student enrollment occupies 99% of school capacity for all TISD elementary permanent facilities. Students in grades 6-8 occupy 114% of the permanent facility capacity available at Texas Middle School and Texas High School is at 112% permanent facility capacity for all students in grades 9 – 12.
A new elementary school and a new Sixth Grade Center on the Texas Middle School campus are the only two projects included in the bond proposition.
If approved, the Bond Election features an 8.9¢ tax rate increase to $1.428 effective October 2015. TISD’s current tax rate of $1.339 is approximately the same rate as it was in 1996 when enrollment was 5,401 students. Enrollment for the most recent school year was 7,243 students.
Beginning in September 2013, the TISD Board of Trustees approved the district moving forward with the development of a Strategic Planning process to address short-term and long-terms goals, as well as needs for the next five years. From October 2013 through March 2014, an estimated 150 volunteers made up of parents, staff, students and community members analyzed seven areas of the district: curriculum; goal setting; technology; human resources; finance & facilities; mentor programs; and community outreach. Recommendations and goals, in all areas, were developed including the building of a new elementary school and a sixth grade center on the Texas Middle School campus.
Early voting began October 20 and runs through October 31 and will be held Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from Noon – 5:00 p.m. Locations for early voting will be the Bi-State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Avenue, Texarkana, TX and the Bowie County Courthouse at 710 James Bowie Drive in New Boston, TX.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 4 and TISD residents will vote at their respective precinct site.
For more information on Election Day voting sites, current tax rate comparisons, frequently asked questions and to see a sample ballot, visit www.txkisd.net.