Elissa Palmer is a student at HISD’s Young Women’s College Prep Academy. The school is only two years old, but the building they’re in was built in 1925. Along with substandard science labs and overcrowded classrooms, Palmer says the building has other problems that often make it hard to learn.
“We have no heat in the entire school. So during the winter you’ve got to bring extra jackets and stuff because we have no heat at all, so it gets really cold.”
Palmer was one of the students at HISD headquarters speaking in support of the Houston Schools Bond proposition. The bond issue would fund new campuses for 20 high schools.
It would also pay for the partial replacement of four high schools and renovations at four others. Revenues would also fund work at several elementary and middle schools, as well as technology upgrades systemwide.
Carla Sarno is a student at Madison High School. That’s one of the schools set for replacement.
“We have over 2,000 students, and the facilities that we have right now are not really made for such amounts. The classrooms are overcrowded. Our fine arts department, sometimes we don’t have room. We don’t have room for other after-school activities.”
If the bond issue is approved, it’s expected the average homeowner would see their property taxes rise by about $70 dollars a year. Opponants of the bond issue question HISD’s transparency, and whether borrowing such a large amount of money would actually improve education.