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.

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(1) comment

randyb

This is Rosalinda Molano Blount.

I attended two sessions in order to get all my questions asked, though my ques. were not recorded that I know of. I continue to have questions and they are as follows:

1. How did the Board come up with the figure of $19 million? Especially since they shared that they have plans to hire an architect. If thats the case what did they use to come up with $19? Today's news article is the first time I hear of a 10 acre plot of land. This leads to question #2.

2. 10 acres of land sounds very much like the radio jingles we hear on a daily basis, so other than school children who else stands to benefit from a purchase of a 10-acre plot? We know how Ramiro Ramon went down, is there any one selling land that is related to this Board?

3. The only people moving north are people who can afford new mortgages and land prices. The people who can't move are those in San Felipe and Chihuahua. I am curious to know where Board members live.

4. The basis of the Board's argument is the 22 to 1 teacher to student ratio criteria, the need to submit 5 waiver requests, the overcapacity in Buena Vista and Lonnie Green and the transportation from the north side to the south side Elementary school is elevating fuel cost for buses.

-The board is envisioning that the building of an Elementary school will relieve the problem, so what happens when these kids graduate from Elementary school what middle school will they be channeled to that will not affect fire codes, fuel and bus cost, what middle school has enough room to contain those graduates that were a part of the overcapacity at BV and LG ?

If we have been at overcapacity in these elementary schools it would seem to me that the Fire Marshalls would have publically voiced their concerns a long time ago. Perhaps we need to consider another high school or are we saying that the current HS is large enough to contain all of these overflows without ever building an elem. school? Perhaps we need full disclosure of a year's worth of fire marshall assessments and if overcapacity isn't the issue than waivers seem to be a less costly answer along with hiring more teachers.

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