With the election of the school bond less than a month away, the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees has been giving the community an overview of the bond, and the school district’s priorities.
Election day is Nov. 5, while early voting starts on Oct. 21.
Board members attended the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday at the Ramada Inn.
“In an effort to address the continuing housing development we’re seeing on the north side of town, the school district and the board (of trustees) have called for a bond for the construction of one brand new elementary school,” board member Joshua Overfelt said.
According to the presentation, campuses such as Buena Vista Elementary, are landlocked, thus there is no room for expansion.
Due to the increase in housing development on the city’s north side, attendance zones and classroom ratios for Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary and Buena Vista Elementary are at capacity, according to Overfelt.
The Texas Education Agency mandates a classroom ratio of 22 students per one teacher in grade levels kindergarten through fourth grade.
This school year, the school district requested five classroom waivers from the agency for Lonnie Green and Buena Vista combined.
The school bond consists of $19 million for the construction of a new elementary school, with funds including the acquisition of a 10-acre land plot.
The state of Texas will provide funds for 49.2 percent of the bond, equaling to an estimated $9.3 million. The school district will fund an estimated $9.6 million, approximately 50.8 percent of the initial bond.
After the 86th State Legislature approved House Bill 3, local taxes decreased from $1.1598 per $100 of appraised property value to $1.06173. The bond will increase local taxes to $1.11873, which is still $0.0570 cents lower compared to tax rates in 2018, according to the presentation.
Citizens will still see a decrease in taxes next year, as HB 3 requires the school district’s maintenance and operations tax rate to decrease by another $0.0135 cents by the year 2020.
If the bond is approved, the overall tax rate for 2020 would be $1.10524 and would be lower than the 2019 tax rate.
Early voting begins on Oct. 21 and citizens can vote at three locations; Val Verde County Courthouse, 400 Pecan St.; Buena Vista Elementary School, 100 Echo Valley Dr.; Lamar Elementary School, 301 Waters Ave.