The measure, if passed, would rebuild or renovate 28 high schools, 8 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and convert 4 schools into Kindergarten-8th grade campuses.
Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez says no one disputes the fact that schools need to be replaced or refurbished in the district.
“But HISD’s bond proposal of $2 billion dollars, first of all, doubles the overall HISD debt. The cost to the average taxpayer for the average property at $190,000 dollars over the course of the bonds is more than $2,400 dollars. That’s a heavy tax burden to bear.”
He believes this is not the time for such an extravagant expenditure. (Updated: 10/22/2012, 4:24 p.m.)
“That’s a lot of money to ask the taxpayers to shoulder for an anticipation, without any statistics, that the student body population in HISD is gonna grow.”
Sue Davis is with the P.A.C. Citizens for Better Schools. With some of the schools literally falling apart and outdated technology, she says students and teachers deserve to be in the best environment possible.
“And if you let a school go away, the neighborhood goes away. The school is the foundation of a neighborhood. Let’s get these schools fixed, build those communities back up, and the enrollment will come with it. Enrollment is the highest it’s ever been, the graduation rate’s the highest it’s ever been at HISD. Let’s keep that going.”
She adds that the favorable bond market should give the HISD measure a good chance to pass. Both Davis and Sanchez remind citizens to look at bottom of the ballot for all the proposals presented.