ROISD Bond Election Set For May 7, 2022
(RED OAK, TX) — On January 24, 2022, the Red Oak ISD School Board approved the Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee recommendation to call for a $230.1 million bond election for May 7, 2022.
The approved bond proposal will be divided into four propositions. Voters will vote on each proposition. This separation of projects follows legal changes by the 86th Legislation.
Proposition A – $156.8M
- High School –
- NEW Career & Technical Education (CTE) Addition
- Campus Practice Gym Addition & Renovations
- Middle School –
- NEW Middle School on the west side of town (land already acquired)
- Safety modifications to existing middle school
- Elementary Schools –
- Addition to Wooden ES (8 classrooms, new cafeteria)
- Addition to Eastridge ES (8 classrooms, new cafeteria)
- District-Wide Maintenance Items
- Playgrounds (All 5 elementary schools)
- Energy Management System Upgrades
Proposition B – $45M
- Goodloe Stadium
- Rebuild Stadium to Current Codes
- Additional parking and Seating
- 8 Lane Track (UIL) and LED Field Lighting
- New Restrooms, Locker Rooms, and Concessions
Proposition C – $9.3M
- High School Athletic Improvements
- NEW JV Stadium – Track and Turf Field
- Baseball/Softball Artificial Turf at Existing Fields
- Resurface Existing Tennis Courts
Proposition D – $19M
- Transportation Facility
- NEW Facility and Parking
Since fall 2021, a Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee (CFPC) of just under 50 diverse members has been meeting to develop a plan for the future facility development of the district. They have sat through hours of presentations on growth and demographics, facility assessments, financial situations, and implications of various scenarios for building construction, improvements, and renovations. The CFPC then worked through committee decision processes and consensus building to determine which potential projects are needed for the future of the district and should be recommended to the Board for a bond to be sent to the voters.
CFPC Co-Chair Tally Ward said, “We agree as a committee that all community members deserve the right to decide. With the ability to place projects on different propositions, we can allow the community the final decision.”
While the amount seems large, Red Oak ISD has not had a bond approved in 15 years while growth in the area continues to increase. The last bond, in 2007 for $97 million paid for the construction of Red Oak High School and Shields Elementary School. Meanwhile, the district continues to see steady growth. Nearly 300 students have been added just since last year, and the projected enrollment will top 7,100 by 2026, just four years down the road. Data from the City of Red Oak states more than 2,200 new single-family homes are on track to be completed in the next five years, with an average of 2.95 people per home.
Tax Rate and Community Impact
To say school financing is complicated is an understatement. But in general, school districts get funding based on the number of students enrolled AND attending school. The Average Daily Attendance formula also gets complicated by weighted sub-populations of students including special education, career and technical education, and more. Red Oak ISD, due to growth in the area, has been able to reduce the district tax rate each of the past three years.
Since 2017, the district has utilized funds from Maintenance Tax Notes, Operating Funds (M&O), and the 2018 sale of the Live Oak complex and the fields to the City of Red Oak to purchase land, complete smaller district capital improvement projects, and enhance district facilities for ROISD students. But, the building of large-scale projects needs a larger funding source.
In addition, the district has paid down indebtedness to increase the bonding capacity and bond rate. The district can currently ‘borrow’ just over $200 million in bonds without raising the current tax rate. Should all four propositions be approved by voters, the ROISD I&S tax rate would increase by $0.0410, from $.3653 to $.4063. The rate change if all propositions are passed is an 11% increase of the current .36 cents for an increase of .04 cents.
For a homeowner, that translates to just under $25.00 per year for a $100,000 home, and just over $106 per year for a $300,000 home (tax increase includes the anticipated $40,000 State Homestead Exemption change).
“The Committee was excited to bring this recommendation to the Board,” said CFPC Co-Chair Bryan Bell. “This Committee agrees that the propositions will allow the community to decide.”
Additional information about the Red Oak ISD Bond is available online at www.redoakisd.org.
KEY VOTING DATES:
- Deadline to Register to Vote – Thursday, April 7
- Early Voting – April 25 through May 3 (locations and times vary)
- Election Day – Saturday, May 7, 2022; Polls 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- For more information, visit the Ellis County Elections website – https://co.ellis.tx.us/312/Elections