HOW WAS THE CLEBURNE ISD 2021 BOND DEVELOPED?
In the fall of 2020, a panel of parents, community members and teachers, called the Academic Alignment Advisory Committee formed to review data on student learning and development from grades 5 through 8. Through their work, the committee found that a grade realignment would best serve our school district and presented this to the Board of Trustees, which accepted this recommendation. The new alignment requires adjustment to current facilities, so a new committee made up of more than 25 parent and community representatives called the Facilities Advisory Committee formed to review facility options that would address both the proposed new grade alignment and other needs of our school district.
The committee met over 5 months to evaluate the need for facilities renovations and new construction in the district. During its meetings, the committee received presentations from industry professionals, toured Cleburne ISD facilities, and took into consideration current and future needs. The committee’s final recommendation was presented to the Cleburne ISD Board of Trustees for review on January 19, 2021. On February 8, 2021 the Board approved the recommendation and unanimously called for a bond election.
HOW WILL THE 2021 BOND IMPACT THE CURRENT GRADE ALIGNMENT?
The projects proposed by the 2021 Bond will allow Cleburne ISD to realign so that Smith Middle School becomes an intermediate school serving grades 5-6 and Wheat Middle School consolidates and serves grades 7-8. Creation of a 5/6 intermediate school will help better design instructional programming that meets socio-emotional needs of upper childhood (ages 10-12). When Cleburne ISD had a 5/6 intermediate campus prior to 2007-08, state assessment results were significantly stronger than after the split into two middle school campuses.
If the 2021 Bond is not approved, the existing grade alignment will remain.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE 2021 BOND, AND HOW MUCH IS IT FOR?
If approved by voters, the proposed 2021 Bond will provide funds for various renovations, additions and new construction across our district. The bond will fund a significant renovation to Wheat Middle School, a renovation to Smith Intermediate School, and renovations to the Don Smith Performing Arts Center at CHS, provide a new Student Activity Center at CHS, improve student access to the existing track and field, provide additional parking at CHS, and construct a new tennis center at Wheat Middle School.
The Cleburne ISD Board of Trustees called for a $90,730,934 bond to fund these proposed projects.
HOW WILL PASSING A BOND AFFECT CURRENT PROPERTY TAX RATES?
Thanks to conservative fiscal management by Cleburne ISD and property growth within our district boundaries, if approved by voters, the 2021 Bond will produce NO TAX RATE INCREASE for taxpayers.
WHY ARE THERE MULTIPLE PROPOSITIONS?
Recent legislation has required that specific bond items be presented to voters for consideration in separate propositions. Construction, improvement, or renovation of a recreational facility other than a gymnasium is one of those items, as well acquisition of technology devices, which is why the Cleburne ISD 2021 Bond will appear on the ballot as Proposition A for $66,884,249 Proposition B for $22,456,685 (Athletic Improvements and Parking), and Proposition C for $1,390,000 (Technology Devices).
WHAT WILL THE BALLOT SAY?
Proposition A: “THE ISSUANCE OF $66,884,249 OF BONDS BY THE CLEBURNE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES AND THE PURCHASE OF LAND, BUSES AND VEHICLES AND LEVYING THE TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”
Proposition B: “THE ISSUANCE OF $22,456,685 OF BONDS BY THE CLEBURNE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES AND LEVYING THE TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”
Proposition C: “THE ISSUANCE OF $1,390,000 OF BONDS BY THE CLEBURNE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND LEVYING THE TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”
IF THE TAX RATE WILL NOT INCREASE, WHY DOES THE BALLOT FOR EACH PROPOSITION SAY “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE?
Recent legislation now requires all ballot language for school bond elections to include the phrase “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE”, regardless of whether or not the district tax rate will increase due to the bond election. Cleburne ISD does not have control over local home valuations, just the district tax rate. Voters may see an increase in the amount of overall property tax they pay if they make improvements to their home or their appraised value increases, but the Cleburne ISD tax rate they pay will not increase. Again, Cleburne ISD does not control the appraised value of taxpayers’ homes, which determines the amount of total property tax paid (to the county, utility districts, school district, etc.).
I’M 65 YEARS OR OLDER. HOW WILL THE 2021 BOND IMPACT MY TAXES?
Taxes for homeowners 65 years and older (with a homestead exemption) are frozen and will not increase above your current exemption ceiling if the 2021 Bond is approved.
DOES THE 65+ EXEMPTION APPLY TO MULTIPLE PROPERTIES?
No, neither the homestead nor the over 65 exemption can be applied to multiple properties other than the principle residence. Texas law requires school districts to offer AN ADDITIONAL $10,000 residence homestead exemption (above the standard $25,000 exemption) to persons age 65 or older or disabled. Texas Tax Code Section 11.13’
HOW HAS THE CLEBURNE ISD TAX RATE CHANGED RECENTLY?
Cleburne ISD has decreased the total tax rate over the last two years, from a previous $1.6300 to the current $1.5147 (10.17-cent decrease in 2019-20; 1.36-cent decrease in 2020-21).
WHERE AND WHEN CAN I VOTE?
You may vote early from April 19 – April 27 at the Cleburne Conference Center located at 1501 W. Henderson Street.
Early voting will be open from 8:00am to 5:00pm April 19 – April 23 and 7:00am to 7:00pm on April 26 and April 27.
Early voting will not be open on the weekend.
Election Day is Saturday, May 1. Polls will be open from 7:00am – 7:00pm.
Precincts 6 and 18 vote at the Cleburne ISD Administration Building at 505 N. Ridgeway Drive, Suite 100.
Precincts 14, 15, 17, and 33 vote at Cooke Elementary School 902 Phillips Street
Precincts 9, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, and 36 vote at Booker T. Washington Recreation Center 100 Mansfield Road.
Precincts 16, 19, and 23 vote at Gerard Elementary School 1212 S. Hyde Park Boulevard