Three categories make up total taxable property:
- Oil, gas, and other minerals at 52%
- Real property (excluding commercial and industry) at 32%
- Commercial and industry at 16%
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing buildings, land acquisition, technology, buses, and equipment, among other items. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses, such as salaries or utilities, which are paid for out of the district’s Maintenance & Operation (M&O) budget.
School districts are required by law to ask voters for permission to issue bonds in order to pay for capital expenditures for projects like building a new school or making renovations to existing facilities. Districts take out a loan and then pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their house.
The Midland ISD Bond Committee was comprised of approximately 100 parents, teachers, campus administrators, and community members. The committee met over the course of several months to study district needs at all grade levels and campuses and discussed the future vision for Midland ISD students. The group studied campus safety, a district-wide facilities assessment, demographic projections, school capacity and enrollment, grade reconfiguration, school finance, and other data and made their recommendation to the Midland ISD Board of Trustees for consideration. Their final recommendation was approved by the Board on August 15, 2023.
Midland ISD has grown by over 4,500 new students over the past 10 years. The district is projected to grow by almost 4,000 students in the next 9 years. Enrollment during the 2022–2023 school year topped out at 27,821. In five years, the district’s demographers project that number will top 30,000 and by 2032–2033, enrollment is expected to come in at approximately 32,146.
Currently, groundwork is underway on 1,200 lots across the district, and there are 10 active building subdivisions within MISD with seven future developments in the planning stages.
The district currently utilizes 115 portable buildings. MISD has turned to portables for more than 25 years as a response to growth—an approach that provides a limited solution for the coming growth because the increase will not simply impact classroom space. The two new high schools will enable the district to avoid purchasing 130 additional portable buildings over the next 10 years. These portables would cost the district over $19.5 million which would come directly from the M&O budget, the same budget used to hire and pay teachers and support staff.
While portables can help relieve classroom crowding, they do not address overcrowding of core spaces, such as the cafeteria, library and number of restrooms, dressing rooms and extra-curricular facilities. Furthermore, the introduction of more portable buildings does not offer a solution for parking lot capacity and drop-off/pick-up queue areas.
Improving the safety and security of all Midland ISD campuses is one of the top priorities of the 2023 Bond. This bond program will expand access control and place card readers/badge access at all campuses. It will also provide school lock-down systems for emergencies, intrusion resistant glass, security cameras and other safety items listed below. The goal of these enhancements is to enhance the safety of our students, teachers, and staff throughout the district.
Safety and Security Items
- Access Control (Badge System)
- Alert Systems
- Security Fencing
- Intrusion Resistant Window Film
- Security Cameras
- Security Vestibules
- Single Key System for Doors
- New Facilities; Security Resource Equipment and Offices
100% of the bond goes toward managing our enrollment growth, preparing for current and future students, improving safety and security, and maintaining existing schools. The bond will fund projects at 37 existing campuses plus build 3 new schools, the breakdown is as follows:
- New Legacy High School: $492,600,000
- New Midland High School: $492,600,000
- New Elementary School: $53,300,000
- Midland Freshman Campus Conversion: $22,500,000
- Abell Middle School: $19,000,000
- Alamo Middle School: $31,000,000
- Goddard Middle School: $23,200,000
- San Jacinto Middle School: $9,900,000
- Legacy High School Conversion: $17,600,000
- Renovations to Aging Facilities: $203,400,000
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing: $34,900,000
Building Interiors: $100,900,000
Site Improvements: $47,500,000
Building Exteriors: $20,100,000
- Safety, Security and Accessibility: $50,300,000
Accessibility and Code Improvements: $19,200,000
Safety and Security: $27,800,000
Safety and Security – Cameras: $3,300,000
For both Midland Senior High School and Legacy Freshman High School, a committee of stakeholders will be put together to begin discussions about these two sites, based on the facility index and available space, that could fit the needs of the district in another way. Those decisions have not been made at this time.
The Midland ISD tax rate is frozen for homeowners 65 years of age and older that have filed for their senior citizen homestead exemption. Generally, school bond elections do not impact these homeowners but if taxes go down, seniors could receive the reduction.
In addition to the proposed $100,000 homestead exemption on the November 2023 ballot, Texas homesteaders with disabilities and those 65 and older will continue to qualify for the extra $10,000 exemption they are already allowed to receive — for a total exemption of $110,000. If the constitutional amendment passes in November 2023, it would provide money for those homeowners who did not receive the benefit of prior statewide homestead exemption changes and it would ensure they benefit from any future exemption increases that might lower those taxes.
No. The district will only issue bonds to cover the cost of projects at the time they are needed and approved by the School Board.
Anyone who is a registered voter and lives within the Midland ISD district boundaries is eligible to vote in this election.
Voter registration applications are available in most government buildings and are available at all Midland ISD campuses. To vote in the November 2023 election, your voter registration application must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 10th.
To see if you’re registered, visit https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do
A school district’s tax rate consists of two parts:
· Maintenance and Operations (M&O) which funds the General Operating Fund, which pays for salaries, supplies, utilities, insurance, equipment, and the other costs of day-to-day operations; and
· Debt Service (Interest & Sinking or I&S) can be used for a variety of special purposes, assuming voter approval. For example, they may finance facility construction and renovation projects, acquire land, or purchase capital equipment, such as technology, and transportation, such as buses
From school bonds. Likened to a home mortgage, a voter-approved school bond allows a school district to borrow funds. The Board of Trustees authorizes bond elections, and Texas law grants the Board the authority to sell bonds.
Prior to any bond vote, a volunteer citizen committee is usually created to develop a bond package for presentation to the Board of Trustees. The Board approves the bond package – the specific uses of bond monies and the estimated costs for each project included in the bond.
After voter approval, the school district can sell bonds to investors who are repaid their principal plus interest. Payout is limited by law to 40 years. The district sells bonds that mature at different times, so bond expenditures for items with a shorter lifespan are paid off before the purchase becomes obsolete. This also allows the district to capture the lowest interest rates available.
Importantly, bonds do not cost the district anything until they are sold. A district receives a higher rating due to the guarantee by the Texas Permanent School fund, having a strong fund balance, and maintaining a record of financial management excellence. Of course, market conditions will affect the actual interest rates, which may be higher or lower than the original estimates.
Likened to a home mortgage, a voter-approved school bond allows a school district to borrow funds to finance capital projects. The Board of Trustees authorizes bond elections, and State law grants the Board the authority to sell bonds.
Voters approve a specific dollar amount — or the maximum amount the district is allowed to sell without another election. The school district may then sell their bonds as ‘municipal’ bonds when funds are needed for capital projects, usually once or twice a year.
The interest rate paid is based on the district’s bond rating and the interest rates in effect at the time of sale.
Districts benefit if they have a higher bond rating, meaning a lower interest could be charged. Principal and interest on the bonds are repaid over an extended period with funds from the Debt Service tax rate. (Source: TASB)
Thus, there are two parts to any bond process:
1) bond authorization that specifies the amount of bonds the district is authorized by the voters to sell, and
2) bond sales that may occur over a period of time with the date and amount of each sale determined by the Board on an as-needed basis. (TASB)
Note that a district is not obligated to spend all the authorized monies but cannot exceed the authorization.
As state agencies, school districts rely on M&O funds to pay for the day-to-day education of the district’s children.
Bonds allow districts to spread the cost of expensive projects across time without affecting the district’s normal educational operations. Also, bond funds all stay with the district, and they are not subject to state recapture, fluctuations in revenue due to state mandates, or other negative economic influences.
In short, bonds save and protect taxpayers while allowing for essential, ongoing facility development and other capital expenses to be funded.
Questions Asked at Community Presentations
If the bond passes, the classroom additions proposed at Abell, Alamo, Goddard, and MFHS will be actual classrooms built onto the existing building.
Without a bond, we’re projected to add 130 portables, at a cost of $19.5M, over the next nine years, bringing the district total to 245 portables. A single portable has a 25-student capacity and they supplement general classrooms at overcrowded schools. However, they are unsuitable to alleviate overcrowding of areas like the cafeteria, gym, and support spaces.
There are currently no plans to add a second story at any of our current facilities.
While no additional classrooms will be added to the existing school, due to site constraints, the following improvements are proposed: cafeteria expansion, library replacement, installation of fire suppression system, safety and security improvements and overall improvements to the building’s infrastructure, interiors and exteriors.
These conversion of MFHS and LHS into middle schools will use the same structure. No plans have been made/discussed to tear down and rebuild any facility.
MISD received a safety and security grant to address these very issues. New fencing has been installed at several locations to enhance security and the installation of intruder resistant film for the front entrances of all campuses is currently being scheduled and coordinated.
No plans have been made to construct a standalone natatorium.