Midlothian Voters Approve $268M Bond

Midlothian ISD
Midlothian parents, students and supporters show their spirit at the Midlothian vs Midlothian Heritage football game on September 10, 2016.

Midlothian ISD Approved District Bond Referendum

MIDLOTHIAN—As North Texas populations continue to surge, the need to expand educational resources has become more apparent than ever. By a margin of 58.01% to 41.99%, the voters of Midlothian ISD approved the District’s $268 million bond package referendum.

Dr. Lane Ledbetter
Dr. Lane Ledbetter

“First of all we would like to thank the voters of Midlothian ISD for supporting our students and teachers. The outcome of this election is a clear indication of the commitment this community has to our District,” said Dr. Lane Ledbetter, MISD Superintendent. He was quick to note that the referendum was a community effort.

“We would also like to thank the hundreds of community members, parents and educators who played vital roles in these activities that began over a year ago. Starting with the long-term strategic plan followed by the Growth Management Committee and then finally the bond election, this has been an incredible effort on many levels. I know I speak for the Board of Trustees when I say thank you to everyone who served throughout this process.”

As the 2016-17 school year begins Mt. Peak Elementary staff hear about the 2016 Bond Referendum.

Community Oversight

The comprehensive bond package was put together by a volunteer Growth Management Committee (GMC) comprised of parents, grandparents, teachers and business leaders from across the MISD community. Using the MISD Strategic Plan as a guide, the committee conducted a comprehensive review of the current state of the District and evaluated trends in growth patterns.

As a result of voter approval, the district will form a citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. The BOC will oversee activities associated with the bond implementation. The Board of Trustees will begin working with district administration to prioritize bond projects.

“Now the true work begins,” said Todd Hemphill, President of the MISD School Board . “We will work with the citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee and our administrators to ensure our District gets the most impact possible in accordance with the bond framework. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Midlothian Independent School District. Thanks again to all who have worked so hard to make this happen. The shining star that is MISD is poised to strive for new heights by continuing to create an environment where inspiring excellence is not just a mission statement but a daily reality.”

By the year 2026 demographers predict 5,000 new students will call MISD home – that’s a 60% increase. Current attendance in Midlothian ISD is 8,471. Despite the projected population growth, no increase in the property tax rate will be necessary to finance the bond package.

Impact on Senior Citizens’ Property Taxes

Seniors need not worry, even if the bond measure had sparked a slight increase in property taxes. Any person 65 years of age or older who has filed an exemption will not be increased. Senior homeowner rates  are not increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65. This protection under state law is regardless of changes in tax rate or property value.

This excludes the value of any new improvements, such as additions or renovations that increase the value of such homestead. Contact the Central Appraisal District with questions about the Over 65 Homestead Exemption.

Bond Elections Abound

The package will provide new schools to manage growth, renovations to existing schools, up-to-date technology and security, basic maintenance and capital upgrades.

Bond measures have become increasingly commonplace in the past four Best Southwest elections. Homeowners in Lancaster, Duncanville and Cedar Hill have recently approved bond measures.

Related: In the fall of 2015 DeSoto voters approved a tax ratification election. By doing so, DeSoto ISD was able to exchange debt tax money for operations tax money. In the end, taxpayers saved a penny while raising $4.6M per year for students.

Since 2009, Carroll, Coppell, Highland Park, Dallas, McKinney, Allen, Rockwall, Grand Prairie, Plano, Cleburne and Grapevine school districts have approved bond referendums to address debilitating district structures and expanding benefits to the communities.