Just as homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home, a school district borrows money in the form of bonds to finance construction of new schools and renovation projects. Both are repaid over time, but in order for a school district to sell bonds, it must go to the voters for approval. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses, which are paid from the district’s maintenance and operations (M&O) budget.
The $1.3 billion bond, with two separate propositions on the ballot, include school renovations and technology upgrades. Under Proposition A, the funds generated from the bond would address significant renovation needs for 36 campuses. This includes 21 schools whose main buildings have not been fully renovated in more than 50 years, and most with 30-year-old infrastructure. In addition, funds would go toward the final phase to complete campus renovations at 15 schools that received partial renovations under Bond 2016 or Bond 2010.
All SAISD schools would receive security upgrades. All outdated air-conditioning chillers would be replaced, benefiting another 30 campuses. Additionally, funds will go toward buildings housing new school models, including Rodriguez Montessori Elementary and Young Women's Leadership Academy – Primary, to renovate classroom spaces as grade levels are added.
Under Proposition B, technology upgrades in every classroom would provide high-speed connectivity, individual devices, support tools, interactive smart boards and audio systems.
Get more details about the propositions on our Propositions page.
Taxpayers would not see a tax rate increase from the bonds, based on District projections. A few combined factors have put SAISD in this position, including continued downtown development, the paying down of debt and low interest rates.
For residents 65 years and older, their SAISD tax bill will not increase even if their property value increases (excluding property improvements) as long as an approved Homestead and Over-65 exemption application is on file with the Bexar County Appraisal District, and homestead property has been owned as of Jan. 1, of the tax year.
Learn more, on our Tax Impact page.
In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring the ballots for all school bond elections to include a sentence that states “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.” The sentence is required even if no actual tax rate increase will occur. For the SAISD Bond 2020, taxpayers would not see an increase to the tax rate from the bonds, based on current projections, if voters approve the two bond propositions on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot. Together, the proposals total $1.3 billion. No increase in the total tax rate is anticipated to pay off the bonds associated with these propositions.
36 campuses will receive significant renovations: This includes 21 schools whose main buildings have not been fully renovated in more than 50 years, and most with 30-year-old infrastructure. In addition, funds would go toward the final phase to complete campus renovations at 15 schools that received partial renovations under Bond 2016 or Bond 2010.
The list of schools, along with the improvement they would receive, can be found on our School Renovations page.
The District has developed a long-range facilities plan identifying schools with the highest need. Of the 43 schools with the oldest infrastructure on the long-range facilities plan, this bond would fund renovations for nearly half of them, and completely renovate the majority of the largest schools.
A general schedule for major projects includes a year of design, three months of bidding and award to contractors and two years of construction. Some projects may require as many as three years of construction due to phasing to ensure safety and limited interruption of students and staff.
Phasing may involve moving functions within the campus, adding portable classrooms, or other solutions particular for each campus. These particulars would be addressed by campus after the design teams are assigned.
Much was accomplished in the $450 million Bond 2016, but future bonds are needed to renovate additional aging buildings and complete the final phase of renovations at schools that received partial renovations under Bond 2016 or Bond 2010.
The Bond is on track to complete on schedule and at budget. Several Bond schools are already substantially or partially complete with some or all instructional spaces occupied, including at Bowden Academy, JT Brackenridge Elementary, Irving Dual Language Academy, Davis Middle School, Tafolla Middle School, H. Rogers Middle School, Brackenridge High School, Edison High School, Fox Tech High School, and Sam Houston High School. The majority of the remaining construction are targeted for completion next summer, 2021. Due to the complexity and phasing of some projects, completion will extend beyond that date for limited areas including at Burbank, Jefferson and Lanier high schools, and H. Rogers Middle School. Find out more.