Superintendent's Recommendation for Bond Projects
For the Board of Trustees meeting on January 12, 2010, the Klein ISD administration is recommending the following actions with regard to six bond construction projects that were delayed in January, 2009:
1. Renovate Klein High School, with planning to begin in early 2010 and construction activities to commence in the 2010/2011 timeframe
2. Postpone the construction of a fifth high school until needed according to enrollment growth and district finances
3. Construct two elementary campuses to open in the fall of 2011
4. Construct an intermediate campus to open in the fall of 2016
5. Postpone the construction of an early childhood/pre-kindergarten center
2008 Bond Plan Reevaluated in Light of the Current Local Economy and Revised Demographics
The Klein Board of Trustees voted in January of 2009 to delay six projects for one year while a demographic study and financial analysis could be conducted because of the changing economy and slow down of new homes being built in the district. These six projects included Blackshear Elementary, Elementary #28, Intermediate #10, an Early Childhood/Pre-K Center, High School #5 and Klein High Renovation. The new demographic report was presented to the Board at the October meeting and the data shows that although we are growing, we are not growing at the rate predicted in 2007 before the downturn in the economy. The financial analysis also indicates that the double digit property value growth that we saw in 2007 has dropped drastically. The property value growth for 2009 was only 2% and it is projected to be flat in 2010. In order to sell the amount of bonds needed to continue with the original plan, both property values and student growth will need to increase considerably. During this downturn, we must be fiscally responsible and sell the appropriate amount of bonds to support our current student population growth.
The bond steering committee from 2007, along with other community members, met on November 10 and 16 and December 10 to review various scenarios and evaluate the pros and cons of each. The scenarios are provided in the links to the left along with financial data.
It is important to note that each time a school district wants to sell bonds, a fifty (50) cent test must be passed in order for the bonds to be sold. When planning a long-term bond program, it is imperative that a school district not place itself in an adverse position during the projection period by exceeding the $0.50 level on the debt service tax rate.
Board of Trustees' Bond Workshop
A bond workshop for the Klein ISD Board of Trustees was held on December 15, 2009, at 6:00 pm in the auditorium at Klein High School located at 16715 Stuebner-Airline Road, Klein, Texas 77379. Community members were given the opportunity to address the Board, the scenarios were discussed, and various schemes related to renovating Klein High School with students on site were presented.
The district uses an outside firm, Population and Survey Analysts, PASA, to help with long range planning related to student growth, the need for new schools, and the placement of new schools. In the course of their work, they provide various options for each level so that the district can make informed decisions regarding the placement and timing of new schools. These maps indicate catchment areas rather than attendance zones for the district's review. The maps for the elementary, intermediate and high school sections comprise the last three sections of the report. These maps are often times confused as the district's plans for future attendance zones. This is not the case. Attendance zones are derived by the work of an attendance zone committee typically during the fall of the year prior to the opening of a new school.
There has been some concern regarding Option 3 in the high school section on page 330 of the report. (see link to the left.) This catchment option devised by PASA is reflective only of how the current and projected students could fit into four high schools and was not intended to be seen as possible future high school attendance zones. Based on the current and projected data, the Klein Oak attendance zone is growing at the most rapid pace in the district and relief must be provided; therefore, we anticipate balancing / rezoning would most likely need to occur at some point between Klein High, Klein Oak and Klein Collins.
2008 Bond Program Facts and Figures
1. The proposition approved by the voters in 2008 authorized the Board of Trustees, “…TO ISSUE AND SELL AT ANY PRICE OR PRICES THE BONDS OF THE DISTRICT IN THE AMOUNT OF $646,900,000 FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ACQUISITION AND EQUIPMENT OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT, THE PURCHASE OF NECESSARY SITES FOR SCHOOL BUILDINGS, AND THE PURCHASE OF SCHOOL BUSES…AND SHALL THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BE AUTHORIZED TO LEVY AND PLEDGE, AND CAUSE TO BE ASSESSED AND COLLECTED, ANNUAL AD VALOREM TAXES ON ALL TAXABLE PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT, WITHOUT LIMIT AS TO RATE OR AMOUNT, TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID BONDS…”
2. The Board of Trustees approved a delay of six (6) construction projects in January 2009 due to the downturn in the local economy and slowing in the rate of growth for student enrollment.
3. As a result of the decision in January 2009 the district reduced the amount of the scheduled bond sale in April 2009 from $180,000,000 to $45,000,000 thus reducing the amount by which the tax rate would increase if the district had proceeded as scheduled.
4. The total tax rate for 2009 is $1.36 per $100 of valuation of taxable property. Of this amount, $0.32 is for the debt service requirements on all bonds. The tax rate is in line with that projected back in 2007, but would have been substantially higher if the district had remained on the proposed schedule for bond sales.
5. The Texas Education Code Chapter 45, Section 45.0031 establishes a limitation on the issuance of tax-supported bonds. Before issuing bonds, a school district must demonstrate to the Texas Attorney General that it has the ability to pay the principal and interest on the proposed bonds including those bonds issued after August 31, 1992, from a tax at a rate not to exceed $0.50 per $100 of valuation.
7. All construction projects to date are approximately $9,000,000 below the construction estimates that were developed in 2007.
8. The Klein ISD has the obligation to effectively manage the implementation of the bond program including, adjusting construction schedules and deferring projects if conditions warrant. Klein ISD took such action in the 2004 Bond Program when projects were deferred in order to use funds to address the mold issue in four schools and again in the 2008 Bond Program due to the unfavorable economic conditions.