An initial plan presented to the Dallas school board proposes a record $1.59 billion bond election in November to pay for new schools, additional classrooms, and facility and technology upgrades.
The preliminary package from the district's Future Facilities Task Force, a 27-member citizen community group, proposes more than $550 million in spending to build new schools (two high schools and seven for various elementary grade configurations); $500 million for "facilities functional equity" (upgrading roofs, HVAC, building envelope, plumbing, interiors and other site improvements); $208 million for "educational adequacy improvements" (upgrades of school technology, libraries, labs, auditoriums, performing arts spaces, gyms, competition facilities and cafeterias; $172 million for additional classrooms at 15 existing campuses; $85 million for land acquisition; and $75 million to provide facilities for new education programs.
The district estimates that between now and 2025, it will have $4.37 billion in school facility needs.
In presenting the plan to the school board, Mike Koprowski, the district's chief of transformation and innovation, told board members that the resignation of Superintendent Mike Miles earlier this week should not deter them from moving forward with addressing pressing facility needs in the schools.
"I think the comprehensive plan is one of those plans that matters to kids and cannot and should not wait," Koprowski says.
Task force co-chair Craig Reynolds says polling indicates that 62 percent of Dallas constituents would support a capital improvement initiative that would not raise property taxes. Initial projections indicate that the district could structure a $1.59 billion initiative that would not raise property taxes.
The Dallas district’s last bond election was in 2008, when voters approved a $1.35 billion proposal. In 2002, voters approved a $1.37 billion bond program, the largest in district history.