Cleburne Independent School district

Bond 2016 » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
 
How do we pay for this?
The Cleburne ISD Interest and Sinking Fund is the accounting fund that makes the debt payments for the District.
By state law, all taxes assessed in the Interest and Sinking fund can only be used to repay bonded debt of the District.
 
1) How will the District get the money to pay for the bonds?
The District contains approximately 206 square miles of property in its borders referred to as "Taxable Valuation". This property is taxed by the school district, which provides the money to pay the principal and interest on the bonded debt of the district. The taxable value divided by $100 and then multiplied by the adopted I&S tax rate equals the amount of revenue to pay debt service annually.
 
2) The proposed bonds are scheduled to be repaid over 25 years; how will the district determine the tax rate that will need to be assessed in order to collect enough money to make the payments for each year?
Much like an individual borrows money from a bank, a school district sells bonds to (borrows from) an investor or investors. In order to determine how much revenue will be available annually, assumptions have to be made regarding the taxable valuation of the property for each year. In other words, there must either be growth in the taxable valuation, no growth in the taxable valuation, or a decline in values in the taxable valuation. At the time the bonds are sold, a payment schedule is created (annual payment amounts) based on the aformentioned taxable valuation of the District's property base.
 
On the Proposed Bond Amortization Schedule, 2 years of history (2014 & 2015) was included to provide a historical perspective on both taxable valuation and bond payments (existing debt service). The taxable valuation increased in 2015 by .44%.  In 2016, a constitutional amendment was approved by voters to increase the homestead exemption by $10,000, resulting in a decrease to the taxable valuation of the District of 2.31%. This decrease was fully realized in 2016, and will only be realized for the 2016 year.
 
The assumptions used in the proposed bond were to reduce/decline the taxable valuation of the District's property by 5% for the upcoming year, show no growth for the next 4 years, then begin to show 1% growth for years 6 through 10, which would bring the District back to the approximate tax valuation of the current (2016) year.  Thus, the District would not need to realize growth in the taxable valuation to pay for the bonds as provided in this amortization schedule, providing a conservative approach in determining the tax rate necessary to make bond payments.
 
In column 13 of the Proposed Bond Amortization Schedule, the projected tax rate based on the taxable valuation assumptions indicates that the tax rate would decrease in year 2022 due to the acceleration of principal payments attributable to the technology purchases in the bond.
 
3) What will the annual payments be for the bonds, and how is that determined?
Payments will be made annually for the bond consisting of principal and interest - much like a mortgage payment. The amount of interest/interest rate that will be charged on the bonds would be determined when the bonds are sold by bond underwriters to investors at the time they are sold. Interest costs in the scenario provided are estimated at interest rate that is 0.75% higher in rate than the current market rate of 3.5% to ensure the district can afford to make annual payments; it is expected that the District will realize a rate lower than what is provided for in the Proposed Bond Amortization Schedule, which means the annual payments would be lower.
 
What is a bond election?
Texas public schools rely on the support of local taxpayers to fund the construction and improvement of school facilities. Similar to homeowners borrowing money in the form of a mortgage, a school district borrows to finance the design, construction, expansion and renovations of schools and facilities.
 
Bonds must be approved by voters in a bond election, then sold to investors in the competitive investment market.
 
When was the last time Cleburne ISD passed a bond and what was the amount?
In 2013, voters approved a $10 million capital improvements bond for CISD which had no impact on taxes. The bond referendum involved safety and security initiatives at all CISD schools, instructional technology and technology infrastructure, facility improvements at several campuses including Wheat MS and Gerard Elementary, the purchase of buses and passenger vans, and improvements to the Transportation Service Center. Components in the bond also addressed fine arts and athletics.
 
In the past 41 years, voters have approved a total of five bond referendums for CISD students.
 
Is this school bond really needed?
The average age of CISD facilities is 27 years. Cleburne High School and the CHS Career Center opened in 1976. A lot has changed in education curriculum, standards and programs since that time. The last addition to CHS was in 1998 when a new band hall and new library/media center were constructed. The campus is serving 500 more students than it was in 1988, and the number of Career/Technical Education (CTE) programs at CHS has expanded, with 1,400 students reporting to the Career/Technology Center daily.
 
The content and number of vocational classes and programs at CHS has evolved dramatically over the past 25 years, reflecting the move toward career and technology in education, training and the achievement of industry-level certifications by the time of graduation.
 
The implementation of House Bill 5 in 2014 has provided more flexibility in public education at the high school level, by enabling students to either pursue a traditional path into college or the transition into the workforce immediately following graduation, with skills to land above-entry positions. The District is partnering with community business and industry leaders to gain insight into the local job market, skill shortages and workforce needs, while also seeking opportunities for students.
 
Cooke and Coleman Elementary Schools are educationally sound, with larger classrooms than those in our newer elementary schools. The bond would provide for renovations and upgrades at these campuses to address additional safety measures including security doors, more surveillance cameras, security door hardware for exterior classrooms and front entrance upgrades. At Coleman, the exterior access to the gym will be secured. Roofing and HVAC replacement projects at both campuses will also be completed. Repairs and replacements to floors and ceilings will be addressed; restrooms will be upgraded and electrical repairs and upgrades are included, along with additional outlets. Interior and exterior painting for the schools will complete the renovation.
 
A detailed list relating to each bond project can be found on the
CISD website under the Bond 2016 tab.
 
Who decided what projects to include in the bond and its amount?
Projects to be included in the May 7 bond were determined by the 59-member CISD Citizens’ Bond Committee, made up of parents, grandparents, retirees, business owners, civic leaders and educators representing a cross-section of our community. The committee met over a 5-month period in which they reviewed and researched facility, classroom, program and student needs, growth projections and related information in developing a recommendation which was presented to Trustees on February 8.
 
The Citizens’ Bond Committee also created a long-range facility plan for the District. The plan extends to 2027 and includes the construction of new elementary schools, land acquisition, a new stadium and other district projects to be addressed in future bond referendums.
 
How will the new high school be designed?
The new CHS will meet all modern building codes and standards, and reflect a 21st-century learning environment with technological and safety features. However, the actual design of both the new school and the renovated high school will not begin until the results of the bond are determined.
 
In the pre-bond process, a conceptual master plan of the entire campus was developed to reflect the location of the new facility, consolidation of athletic facilities in one area and renovation plans for the current high school into a Career/Technical Education and Fine Arts facility. An architectural rendering of what the new high school might look like, along with a fly-by 3-D model of the entire campus, have also been created and are included in the bond information along with the site plan and conceptual floor plans for the renovated CTE/Fine Arts facility.
 
If the school bond is approved, will the tax rate go up?
If the bond is approved, the estimated maximum tax impact is anticipated to reflect a $0.26 increase to the Interest and Sinking (I & S) portion, resulting in a maximum tax rate of $1.63. For a homeowner whose residence is valued at $100,000, who has applied for and received the Homestead Exemption, the projected tax impact per month would be $16.46, or 54 cents per day.
 
I am a senior citizen. How would this affect my taxes?
Taxpayers who have applied for and received the Over 65 Homestead Exemption will not have their taxes go above the frozen levy ceiling that was established whenever the exemption was granted. If improvements are made on the home (other than normal repairs or routine maintenance) the tax ceiling may go higher because of the new additions.
 
When will this bond be decided?
Registered voters who reside in the CISD boundaries can participate during Early Voting or go to the polls on Saturday, May 7. The voting information is listed below.
 
EARLY VOTING
MONDAY-SATURDAY April 25-30 8 AM-5 PM
MONDAY -TUESDAY May 2-3 7 AM - 7 PM
LOCATIONS: Cleburne High School, Cleburne Conference Center, Cleburne City Hall
 
ELECTION DAY MAY 7
7 AM-7 PM
LOCATIONS: CISD Central Offices, Cooke Elementary, Gerard Elementary or Booker T. Washington Recreation Center
 
To participate in this election, the voter registration deadline is April 7, 2016. You may register online at: http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/
 
Voter registration forms are also available at all CISD campuses.
 
What will be the wording on the bond election ballot?
"The issuance of $130,558,461 of bonds by the Cleburne Independent School District for the construction of a new comprehensive high school, renovations and expansions at existing high school for use as a career and technology education facility, renovations at Cooke and Coleman Elementary Schools, and acquisition of technology equipment, and levying the tax in payment thereof."
 
The above is the exact wording that will be on the ballot in Early Voting and the May 7, 2016 bond election. Voters will indicate "For" or "Against" in casting their vote.