PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - The Pflugerville ISD school board has voted to call for three elections this November.
Pflugerville ISD says it is now deemed a property-wealthy district by state standards due to the sharp increase in property values seen in Central Texas, so it is now required to send funds back to the state through recapture or "Robin Hood".
The Attendance Credit Election, or ACE, is a state required, one-time election that asks voters to allow Pflugerville ISD to make the mandatory recapture payments. If approved, PfISD can make the required recapture payments to the state.
If rejected, TEA will then identify a portion of land within PfISD to detach and send to a neighboring district in order to reduce PfISD’s total property value. The portion of PfISD land chosen by TEA will be annexed to the new school district.
Accordingly, students living in this annexed area will attend the new school district and taxpayer dollars will belong to the new school district as well. At this time, district officials do not know which portion or portions of land could be chosen by TEA for detachment.
The Board also adopted the 2022-2023 tax rate, triggering a Voter Approval Tax Ratification Election (VATRE) which will reduce the Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate by ten cents and approve four cents being added to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) rate.
This will result in a 12-cent decrease in the overall tax rate, while also providing an additional $6.9 million in funds that could be used on everyday expenses like teacher salaries, classroom materials and recurring operating expenses.
The Board’s unanimous vote to call a VATRE follows months of reviewing financial predictions, studying the state’s school funding structure, and planning for district operations, says PfISD.
The Board voted unanimously to move forward with the Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC)'s recommendations, along with a recommendation from PfISD administration to include affordable teacher housing, and call a $367,604,000 bond election.
The bond package is designed to accommodate safety and security needs, growth in student enrollment, aging conditions, evolving student programs, and equity across campuses.
The ACE, VATRE, and bond referendum will appear on the ballot as eight separate propositions:
Proposition A: ACE, authorizing PfISD to purchase attendance credits from the state and keep all existing district territory.
Proposition B: VATRE, ratifying the tax rate of $1.2646 for the current year, lowering the Interest and Sinking rate by 10 cents and asking for four cents back on the maintenance and operations rate. The M&O rate was lowered by six cents due to compression as a result of HB3, therefore, resulting in a 12-cent decrease to the overall tax rate.
Proposition C: Authorizing PfISD to issue $190,280,000 in bonds for school buildings, infrastructure, and improvements, including the following projects:
- District-wide Safety and Security Upgrades
- Additions and Renovations at multiple campuses, including elementary, middle, and high school campuses
- The purchase of land for future projects
- HVAC and mechanical upgrades
- Capital Improvement Projects to address aging conditions and equity across campuses
Proposition D: Authorizing PfISD to issue $54,000,000 in bonds for network security, infrastructure, and devices for students and staff
Proposition E: Authorizing PfISD to issue $3,000,000 in bonds for Pflugerville High School Performing Arts Renovations and sound system upgrades at CHS, HHS, PHS and WHS
Proposition F: Authorizing PfISD to issue $400,000 in bonds for the wiring of the Pfield for headsets and microphones and new Hendrickson High School scoreboard
Proposition G: Authorizing PfISD to issue $76,000,000 in bonds for the design and construction of a district-wide Career and Technical Education (CTE) center
Proposition H: Authorizing PfSID to issue $43,924,000 in bonds for the purchase of land and the construction of affordable housing for teachers in PfISD
The committee that developed Propositions C-G was made up of local citizens, parents, and civic and business leaders. Members met eight times over the course of four months to consider the educational needs of students in Pflugerville ISD.
The committee studied enrollment projections and reviewed the district’s facility assessment, results from a community survey and district financial information, according to the district. The committee also received reports from campus and department leaders about challenges and successes within their facilities and programs.
Proposition H was recommended by district administration in an effort to recruit and retain teachers in what has increasingly become a community with limited affordable housing options for teachers, says PfISD.
The proposed bond package (C-H) will not increase the school district debt service tax rate used to fund bonds. Additionally, if all three elections are approved by voters, the district’s overall tax rate will still decrease by 12 cents.
The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 11. Early voting begins October 24 and runs through November 4.