Conroe, August 6 – Voters’ almost-landslide rejection of the $807 million Conroe Independent School District (CISD) bond package in a May 4, 2019, referendum didn’t result in teacher layoffs, firings, or any decisions at all about spending of CISD on teachers. During the bond election, especially during a presentation he made at The Woodlands High School, CISD Superintendent Curtis Null threatened that the school district would fire or lay off teachers, if the $807 million bond package failed to pass.
In fact, under House Bill 3, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law on June 12, 2019, the school district cannot mix Debt Service tax collections with tax collections for Maintenance and Operations, or vice versa. In other words, when CISD raises taxes for its operating budget, that usually has nothing whatsoever to do with borrowing or expenditure of funds for capital projects, which, by state law, is all that a school district such as CISD may include within a bond package.
During the past week, since CISD announced that it is directing its Board of Trustees to put a $683 million bond package on the November 5, 2019, General Election ballot, and that bond package is almost identical to the one voters rejected on May 4, some CISD employees have begun rumors which they’ve placed on social media that CISD is reducing personnel, reducing expenditures on teachers, and laying teachers off as a result of the voters rejection on May 4.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
On June 4, 2019, CISD’s administration made a full presentation to the Board of Trustees in which the administration told the Board what budget they expected them to adopt. That budget substantially increases overall expenditures and spending for teachers in particular.
As the budget shown directly above reveals, CISD intends to increase funding for teachers, librarians, and nurses by $9.6 million in the next budget. The school district plans to increase spending overall by $34.36 million.
One of the reasons it’s clear that CISD will increase funding for teachers in the school district is that House Bill 3 requires all school districts to do so. In a slide simple enough even for the CISD Board of Trustees to understanding, the administration told the Board they must increase teacher funding.
Additionally, CISD is actually increasing personnel, not laying people off. What follows is a general policy statement contained within another slide the CISD administration presented to the Board of Trustees during a June 4, 2019, Board workshop.
Clearly, Null and the school administration want teachers and the public to believe layoffs are coming, if the voters reject the next bond package as well. Nevertheless, the next bond package has nothing whatsoever to do with operational expenditures for the school district. In reality, the $683 bond package is all about keeping PBK Architects and the other corporate vendors who control CISD as happy as possible.