The bond is the first of two proposed bonds to address capital needs related to new construction, safety and security, renovations to address maintenance and adequacy throughout the district, and transportation and technology.
The $992.6 million bond referendum will fund the first of a two-phase, six-year plan to address capital needs in the district, which is expected to serve more than 85,000 students by the year 2027. Phase one includes the $992.6 million bond referendum, followed by a projected $705.2 million bond plan in 2021.
The development of the $992.6 million bond referendum follows an extensive Facilities Master Planning process that began in January to ensure that the district is providing the best learning environments, valuable opportunities and access to programs in accordance with the board-adopted Profile of a Graduate.
This Facilities Master Planning process helped to identify construction projects and other life-cycle maintenance and adequacy needs essential for the next six years, and led to the development of an updated capital plan. This capital plan also includes additional funding for safety and security, technology, and transportation needs.
The $992.6 million bond referendum includes:
• $403.4 million for new construction, rebuilds and additions, including the construction of three elementary campuses, design of one middle school, construction of one high school, the rebuild of Lakeview Elementary and Meadows Elementary, and additions at Madden Elementary and Neill Elementary.
• $396.5 million to address life-cycle deficiencies and educational adequacy across the district.
• $14.9 million to fund safety and security upgrades and investments.
• $10.6 million for transportation.
• $142.6 million for technology.
• $19.7 million for future land purchases.
While a successful bond election would not necessitate any immediate change in the tax rate of $1.32, a potential three-penny increase may be needed during the duration of the three-year program, with the earliest increase not until 2020. Even with a three-penny increase, at $1.35, Fort Bend ISD would still have one of the lowest projected tax rates compared to other districts nearby, and with a lower debt per student ratio.
Taxpayers who have established Over 65 or Disabled Persons exemptions would not be impacted by a potential tax increase, as they have established tax ceilings on their homesteads and those ceilings will not be impacted.