DENTON ISD – The Denton ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to call a bond election for May 5, 2018. The Trustees’ action follows a unanimous recommendation from the district’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee to address growth, equity, and safety across the district. The proposed bond referendum would have $0 impact on the school district’s tax rate. “Thanks to continued growth in our area, the taxable assessed values of homes in our district, and our current tax rate structure, we are able to call an election that will have no effect on our total tax rate,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, Denton ISD superintendent of schools. “That’s a promise I made to voters during our 2017 Tax Ratification Election, and that’s a promise that our current school board members and citizens’ advisory committee are committed to uphold.” Development of the proposal involved an in-depth process of information gathering, research, and community input. Throughout 2017, the district conducted a comprehensive facilities assessment, facilitated staff interviews, and analyzed demographic and growth reports. In September, Denton ISD reconvened its 56-member Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) and committee members met eight times during a five-month period to study and prioritize the district’s current and long-term facility needs. The committee presented its recommendations to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
The committee’s recommendations included new schools to accommodate growth, new campuses to replace aging schools, capital improvements, upgrades to safety and security systems, and updates to facilities used for extracurricular activities. “Our committee was focused on growth, capacity, and equity across the district,” said Jeff Williams, a Denton resident and co-chair of the CAC. “We spent a great deal of time reviewing potential projects, prioritizing facility needs, and engaging in conversations to ensure we were considering everything from various perspectives,” he said. “We took an in-depth look at our older schools and developed recommendations for major renovations and updates at approximately 25 campuses,” explained Lauren Baccus, a Denton resident and co-chair of the CAC. “The projects in our bond proposal will touch nearly all of Denton’s 28,000plus students, which was important to all of our committee members. We wanted to make sure all students would benefit from the bond projects. The bond package totals $750.5 million and covers 109 proposed projects, including:
- New elementary school to accommodate growth in the district
- New middle school to accommodate growth in the district
- A replacement school for Denton High School to create equity
- A replacement school for Newton Rayzor Elementary School to create equity
- A replacement school for Woodrow Wilson Elementary School to create equity
- Renovations and upgrades to 25 schools to update aging facilities
- Expansion and updates to Career & Technical Education classrooms and facilities
- Safety and security improvements at every school campus
- Updates to facilities used for athletics and fine arts
“The committee members worked diligently to analyze projections and develop recommendations they felt met the needs of students, teachers and the community – all while continuing to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Dr. Wilson said. “The important thing to remember is this: we don’t sell the bonds until we have the tax rate that allows us to pay for it. As new growth comes into the community, that growth allows you to issue those bonds to do these projects, but regardless of if we had a bond election or not, the tax rate is going to stay at $1.54.” Denton ISD residents will have the opportunity to vote on the bond referendum during Early Voting, April 23 thru May 1, and on Election Day, Saturday, May 5.