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AISD Board Approves Item List for 2017 Bond Election

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Short of initiating the bond election itself, the Austin Independent School District Board moved closer to setting it in motion by voting to approve the list of items for the bond 8-1 at their June 19th regular meeting, with Trustee Ted Gordon dissenting. The current project total sits at $990 million $952,644,000, and superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz explained that the majority of the package would be funded by the bond itself, contingency funds, and land sales. The administration cautioned the board before their deliberation that going too far over $1 billion would increase the tax rate. Board president Kendall Pace cited a recent poll where the majority of those surveyed said that they would not vote for a bond that increased the tax rate, and fears still linger from the last bond election in 2013 when two propositions of the package failed. Several amendments adding or subtracting projects were proposed at the meeting, but all of them failed except for one from Trustee Ann Teich, which passed 4-1-4. Her amendment proposed to add the Northeast Middle School to the list if that could be done at a cost that would keep the total under $1 billion. However, there was some confusion among some of the trustees as to what the vote was about, and the board later voted to rescind the amendment 7-1-1. Still, Cruz said he would look into it and report back next week. There remains a possibility that more amendments will be added next Monday when the board meets again before they are expected to officially make the order to call for the 2017 bond election.

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