Round Rock ISD is back to the drawing board after their $572 million bond was rejected by voters. They will need to take another look at funding in order to keep up with the district's growth. Those who opposed the bond say it was wasteful. If another bond is proposed, they want it to be community-driven.
As Round Rock ISD grows, so do their needs. But, a $572 million bond that would address some of that failed to pass Saturday.
"Voters rejected this because it was excessive, because we had cost escalation. We had wasteful projects and we had a lot of questions that weren't properly answered," says Patrick McGuinness, Round Rock Parents and Taxpayers Association.
The bond was split into three propositions which included: a new elementary school, a new high school, additional classrooms on six campuses, replacing aging technology and a visual and performing arts center. Leading up to Election Day, the Round Rock Parents and Taxpayers Association had launched a campaign in opposition of the bond. They garnered a lot of support.
"There are some growth needs. One of the things we were pointing out however, is that the growth is 0.7 percent a year. So while there are some needs, what they were doing in the bond package was in our view, overbuilding. There were a lot of growth projects that were not totally necessary or which weren't properly sized," says McGuinness.
Round Rock ISD says they've grown by 9,000 students in the last ten years. They continue to grow by about 500 annually.
"There are four ways you can really address growth in a district: you can grow new schools, you can expand existing schools, you can put portables on the ground, or you can redraw attendance areas. The first two generally require a bond. So we're working with our board to find what we feel is in the best interest of kids across our district," says Corey Ryan, spokesman, Round Rock ISD.
The district will now need to find funding elsewhere for many of their projects. The Board of Trustees is currently putting together their annual budget for next year.
"You know, since February we've been talking a lot about facilities, technology and the items of this bond but truth be told, the teachers in Round Rock ISD are really what we want to be talking about. We're excited for that opportunity to go back and talk about the great things happening in our classrooms," says Ryan.
A budget will be adopted in June and then the Board of Trustees will set a tax rate around September.