Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is a school bond?A. A school bond, sometimes called a municipal bond, is a document that obligates a school district to repay borrowed money on a given maturity date and to pay interest semi-annually at a rate set at the date of sale to the bondholder. A bond authorization is used as needed for the items listed in a proposed bond plan.
Q. Why is the district planning for a bond election now?A. The 2008 bond funds, originally scheduled to last four years, are nearing completion. Student growth however, is continuing to rise at over 2% or approximately 1,300 – 1,600 students per year. The district will need to build new schools, renovate existing schools, buy new buses, technology equipment and safety and security equipment.
Q. What areas of the school district have the greatest potential for growth?A. The greatest potential for growth continues to be expected along and north of Spring Cypress Road from SH 249 almost to I-45.
Q. How many new single and multi-family homes have been occupied in the last three years?A. Approximately 1,676 in 2013, 1,132 in 2012 and 994 in 2011.
Q. What is the impact of growth on the Klein ISD?A. Housing growth impacts the number of students attending Klein ISD schools. Student growth impacts schools, facilities, buses, technology, furniture, staffing, and safety and security systems.
Q. What is program capacity?A. Program capacity is the number of students that each facility can comfortably serve with the current programs that are offered. The current district program capacity is 50,024.
Q. How can a bond address capacity?A. Capacity issues can be addressed by building new schools and building new additions to existing schools. The 2015 bond blueprint addresses capacity by building a new high school, a new intermediate school, a new elementary school, an Early Childhood/Pre-Kindergarten Center in the northern part of the district and classroom additions at three schools.
Q. When was the last time the district held a bond election and what did the funds purchase?A. The 2008 bond plan, originally planned for four years, was extended due to the economic downturn resulting in a slower student growth pattern than anticipated. Through conservative fiscal management, the Board of Trustees approved use of bond funds originally earmarked for Intermediate #10 and partial funds from High School #5 to build Bernshausen Elementary, French Elementary (scheduled to open in 2015) and the Willow Lake Village elementary school (scheduled to open in 2016), for the purchase of buses and for campus repairs and renovations. For a complete list of 2008 bond purchases, please click here.
Q. How was the 2015 Bond Blueprint developed?A. In partnership with parents, students and the community, the long-range capital plan kicked off with the visioning process committee early in January of 2014 that focused on delivery of an educational program for the district to ensure that classrooms and facilities meet the needs of current and future generations of Klein ISD students. During this same time period, a thorough facility needs assessment was conducted by an outside engineering firm including a prioritized timeline and costs. A group of curriculum personnel met during mid-2014 spring semester to review TEA and Klein ISD construction standards and offer input on incorporating instructional standards for future classroom configuration During the latter part of the 2014 spring semester, the district hosted a Futures Conference designed to inform the community about the guiding principles outlined during the visioning process. In the fall semester of the 2014-15 school year, a bond steering committee studied all the material and data, prioritizing the district needs and laying out a blueprint for a 2015 bond referendum to address needs for the next five years. The bond blueprint was presented to the school board in December and the Board unanimously called for the bond election at the January meeting.
Q. What is included in the bond blueprint?A. There are five areas general categories of items in the $498.1M bond blueprint package. They include 1) growth, 2) safety & security, 3) facility renovations, 4) technology and 5) buses. Each of the five categories below contains a list of planned items that are anticipated in the $498.1M bond blueprint.
School Buses: $7,897,589
Safety & Security: $18,717,892
Q. How can I know how my school is impacted by the 2015 bond blueprint?A. You can see a list of items in the 2015 bond blueprint for each campus on the 2015 Bond webpage.
Q. Why is High School #5 being built on the Spring Cypress property next to Ulrich Intermediate and not on the FM 2920 property near Bernshausen Elementary?A. HS #5 is being built in the western portion of the district because that area is closer to being built out than the northern portion of the district. As the northern portion of the district continues to grow, the timing for HS #6 can be determined and the attendance zone changes will be concentrated in that portion of the district rather than in the north and in the west.
Q. What indirect costs occur when new facilities are opened?A. Some new staff is added (principal, secretary, etc.), but the additional teachers and furniture are necessary with or without new buildings. The additional revenue generated by more students helps to offset some of these costs. The opening of new facilities will be staggered to reduce the impact to taxpayers.
Q. Can bond money be used for day-by-day operational costs?A. No. Bond sale proceeds can only be used for capital improvement projects such as purchasing school sites, building schools/facilities, equipment and furniture, buses, technology, major remodeling or renovations/projects and costs directly related to administrating the bonds. These funds are similar to a homeowner’s mortgage budget. Understanding how school funding works and limitations that are imposed on funding by the state are helpful. There are two revenue sources used to operate Klein ISD generated by the tax rate: 1) the maintenance and operations (M&O) fund, and 2) the debt service fund. The M&O tax rate is currently $1.04 and the debt service tax rate is $0.35 for a total tax rate of $1.39 per $100 valuation. The M&O budget funds day-by-day operational costs such as salaries, utility bills, instructional supplies and fuel. Funding for the M&O budget is regulated by the state and funded through local property taxes. The debt service funds are regulated locally and the tax rate fluctuates depending on each year’s particular needs. For example, when a new high school is being built, funding needs increase causing the debt service portion of the tax rate to also increase. In years where capital funding needs are less, the Board of Trustees will decrease the debt service portion of the tax rate as they have done the last two years lowering the rate five cents.
Q. If a bond authorization is approved by the voters, is the district obligated to spend the money?A. No. Voter approval is an authorization for the district to issue bonds. They will be sold in the future as funds are needed for these projects.
Q. Do school districts have a limit on how high they can set the tax rate?A. Yes. There is a state-imposed limit for maintenance and operations, M&O, at $1.17, and for debt service there is a $0.50 test that must be passed before the bonds can be sold. These two (2) amounts are combined to form the school district’s tax rate. The current tax rate is $1.39, which constitutes a reduction of five cents over the last two years.
Q. Will a 2015 Bond increase my school taxes if I am 65 or older?A. No. After a homeowner turns 65, school taxes are frozen and will not be impacted by any increase in the Klein ISD tax rate provided there are no home improvements. (Homeowners must apply for this exemption.)
Q. How will the 2015 bond blueprint affect my taxes?A. Klein ISD lowered taxes the last two years by five cents. Conservative projections indicate that the tax rate which currently stands at $1.39 will increase over the next three years by ten cents. A homeowner with a home valued at $155,866 (the average value of a home in Klein ISD) would pay $12.99 more per month. See the chart below for additional information.
Tax Rate Impact
The Bond Steering Committee developed a responsible bond package with a maximum potential tax rate increase of 10 cents. The information below indicates the increase per year, month and week based on the taxable value of a home. The district reduced school taxes by five cents over the last two years.
|Taxable Value||Projected Tax Rate Increase||Effect on Tax Rate Per Year||Per Month||Per Week|
Q. How did the 2008 Bond Plan affect the tax rate?A. The 2008 bond election was projected to increase the debt service portion of the tax rate by 16 cents. The actual increase was 14 cents. See the charts below.
Q. What is the 2013-14 and the 2014 – 15 tax rate of area districts?
Q. Does a subdivision developer or a new subdivision have to provide and/or reserve acreage for a school site to a school district?A. No.
Q. How many vacant school sites does Klein ISD have at this time?A. Vacant school sites include one elementary, two intermediate and two high schools.
Q. What does a school district do if it doesn't have any bond funds authorized by the voters?A. When that happens, one or more of the following can occur:
Q. Where can I go for more Bond InformationA. For more information, visit www.kleinisd.net and click on 2015 Bond or call the Klein ISD public information office at 832.249.4173. Please visit the Klein ISD website and click on KleINTOUCH at the bottom of the page to sign up for the daily information e-mail. Download the Klein ISD mobile app in your App Store or Google Play. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
Q. Why is high school #5 on this bond when funding was approved in 2008?A.The 2008 bond plan did call for high school #5 to be built; however, shortly after the bond passed, the nation’s economy plunged and growth in the Klein ISD was affected. While growth did continue, the number of elementary students grew at a much faster pace than secondary students. This caused the district to reevaluate the plan and in 2010, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to rebuild Klein High School with students on site and postpone high school #5 until such time as the high school student population would support the need for the new school. In 2012, the Board reallocated some of the high school #5 funds to build three elementary schools to meet the needs of that growing population.
Q. Why have you already started building high school #5 when the bond has not yet been approved?A. Only the site work is being done now in preparation for the high school #5 structure so that the school can open in the fall of 2017 if the bond issue passes. Should the bond not pass, this site work will remain viable until such time as the district has the funds to build the structure. Additionally, doing the site work now will be cheaper than at any other time in the future due to rising cost of construction.
Q. If the bond is approved, when will projects begin?A. After the required validation period, the first round of bonds will be sold in either the fall of 2015 or shortly after the Christmas/winter break. Projects within the 2015 bond blueprint will begin in 2016 and the bonds funds are anticipated to last for five years.
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