Numerous school districts across the nation had bond proposals on the ballot in Tuesday's elections, but the largest funding requests were in Texas.
Five school districts in the Lone Star State put forth bond requests before voters that totaled more than $1 billion. Not every element of those requests won approval, but each district--Prosper, Conroe, Aldine, Midland and Lewisville--has been given authorization to issue more than $1 billion for facility upgrades.
Prosper: Voters approved three ballot questions that authorized a total of $2.7 billion in bonds. A fourth ballot question, seeking $102 million for athletic facility upgrades, including a $94 million football stadium, was defeated.
Star Local Media reports that Prosper voters approved Proposition A, a $2.4 billion proposal. That includes about $1.7 billion for new schools and facilities, including six elementary schools, two middle schools, a second early childhood school, a fifth high school, the completion of Richland High School (the district's fourth), an outdoor learning center and an administration and professional learning center. It also earmarks about $417.8 million to modernize existing facilities. Bonds also will be used to upgrade security and acquire future school sites.
Voters also approved Proposition B, which provides $140 million to upgrade technology, and Proposition D, which allocates $125 million to build a new performing arts center.
The stadium proposal, included in the $102 million Proposition D, was rejected 54% to 46%.
Conroe: Voters here also approved three ballot questions and rejected a fourth. Community Impact reports that the three approved requests authorize the district to spend more than $1.97 billion, which will be used to build eight new schools, update technology and add gyms to all elementary campuses. Voters rejected a $22.9 million proposal that would have paid for an outdoor swimming pool and upgrade to Conroe’s existing natatorium.
Aldine: Voters approved three propositions authorizing more than $1.8 billion in bond funds. The district says it will spend about $1.62 billion to rebuild and redesign several campuses, upgrade security and carry out infrastructure improvements. About $122.3 million is earmarked for construction of an Education and Performance Center, and $65.5 million will be allocated for instructional technology upgrades.
Midland: The Midland district’s bond request of more than $1.4 billion was contained in just one ballot proposal, and 56% of those voting approved the proposal, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reports. The bond was more than eight times greater than the largest bond previously passed in Midland’s history—$163 million in 2012. The funds will pay for two high schools to replace existing campuses, a new elementary, security upgrades, middle school improvements and other upgrades to existing facilities.
Lewisville: Voters in the Lewisville district approved the two largest bond requests on the ballot, totaling more than $1 billion, but rejected four other proposals. The Cross Timbers Gazette reports that a $960.6 million package received the support of 61.9% of voters; it will pay for maintenance, repairs and renovations to district campuses and facilities, including safety and security equipment and technology, replacement of the transportation center and the purchase of school buses. A $69.6 million package will pay for instructional technology equipment.
The four proposals that were defeated totaled about $200 million. They would have provided funds to renovate football stadiums and aquatics centers and build other athletic facilities.