Conroe, January 31 – The Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an election order and notice for a May 4, 2019, bond election at their meeting on January 15, 2019.
The Trustees voted in favor of the bond election after an hour-long sales pitch from Superintendent Curtis Null who provided little detail about the expenditures the District intended. To date, the Conroe ISD has refused to provide detailed backup to support the proposed bond expenditures.
At the September 18, 2018, Board of Trustees’ Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the report of the 2018 Facilities Planning Committee, comprised of 27 community members, for the purpose of reviewing the District’s continued growth, facility, and instructional needs for the next four years. The Facilities Planning Committee was also charged with making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to address those needs while impacting the tax rate as minimally as possible.
Since the Conroe ISD has spent every penny it has been able to spend, while allowing instructional expenditures per student to decline, the administration and Board of Trustees knew that any bond issuance would involve a tax increase. The Board of Trustees has failed to evaluate expenditures or to find any cost savings but rather merely adopted spending proposals from the opaquely-managed administration.
At the January 15, 2019, Board of Trustees’ Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved an $807,000,000 bond referendum for the May 4, 2019, election.
The bond referendum includes the construction of new schools and classroom additions to enlarge the real estate empire of the governmental entity; improvements and renovations to aged buildings and facilities to sustain capacity and accommodate the desire for governmental largesse; funding for Career and Technical Education facilities including robotics, automotive technology, and engineering design programs as well as an Agricultural/CTE Complex; a Teacher Training Facility; and the continuation of life cycle improvements and safety and security upgrades.
The tax impact from the bond referendum is estimated to result in a one cent per $100 valuation tax rate increase for next year, which means that school taxes would rise for every property owner in the District. Over the life of the bond, it is anticipated there would be a tax rate increase of 3 cents per $100 valuation.
Based on a $300,000 home in Conroe ISD, a $0.01 increase would result in a $27.50 annual impact to the homeowner. A $0.03 increase would result in a $82.50 annual impact to the homeowner.
The election will be held jointly with other Montgomery County governmental entities, although few other entities with the Conroe ISD are holding such elections. By holding the bond election on May 4 rather than in November, Conroe ISD will more easily depress voter turnout among voters who are not directly involved as parents, teachers, or administrators in Conroe ISD.
The Montgomery County Election’s office will conduct the election. The Order and Notice calls for early voting sites and election day voting sites for the May 4, 2019, bond election to be the voting sites provided by Montgomery County. Early voting by personal appearance will be held Monday through Saturday, April 22, 2019, through April 30, 2019. Early voting hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the exception of certain dates set by the County when voters can vote between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.