BGC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the Bearcat Growth Committee?

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    The Bearcat Growth Committee is a group of 38 Aledo ISD community members, parents and teachers from each campus. The BGC was constructed from a combination of appointments by the Aledo ISD Board of Trustees, nominations from campus administrators and applications submitted by interested community members. The purpose of the BGC is to represent the Aledo ISD community in the study of data related to enrollment, finances, instructional priorities and facility needs, and in recommending to the Board of Trustees a bond program to address district-wide facility needs due to growing student enrollment and aging facilities.

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  • Who is on the BGC?

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    The BGC includes teachers from each campus, parents and community members. The members are from a wide range of professional backgrounds and also include those without children in the district.

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  • Who leads the BGC meetings?

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    The BGC meetings are led by Aledo ISD community members and Co-Chairs Christi James and Jim Scott. Having community co-chairs driving the BGC process as representatives of the community is an adjustment the District has made in the process.

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  • What is the charge of the BGC by the School Board?

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    The Bearcat Growth Committee is charged by the Board of Trustees to:
    -represent the priorities, expectations, and values of the entire community,
    -consider the needs of all of the district’s students,
    -use facts and data to make informed decisions,
    -recommend a program that meets the district’s building capacity needs for as long as possible and extends the life of facilities where possible,
    -understand the district’s finances to develop a program that is fiscally sound, and
    -recommend to the Board of trustees a bond program and the associated request of voters for a possible November 2019 bond election.

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  • What do they discuss at BGC meetings?

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    During the BGC meetings, committee members examine Aledo ISD information provided by the District's demographers and financial advisors. They will also tour facilities and evaluate, analyze and synthesize data about enrollment, finances, instructional priorities and facility needs, as well as community, staff and student feedback. The committee also works toward building a bond program recommendation for the Board of Trustees to consider.

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  • Where can I find information from the meetings?

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    Informational documents from each meeting are shared on the Aledo ISD district website on the Bearcat Growth Committee pages. These webpages will provide all information related to meetings and information presented and will be continually updated. Click here to visit the BGC webpage.

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  • When does the BGC meet?

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    The BGC held its first meeting January 24, 2019, and will have additional meetings in February, March, April, May and August. The schedule is subject to change by the BGC. Click here to view the BGC meeting schedule. The meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held at the Aledo ISD administration building, located at 1008 Bailey Ranch Road. Meetings are open to the public.

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Finance FAQs

  • What are the components of the tax rate?

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    Public school taxes involve two figures, which divide the school district budget into two “buckets.” The first bucket is the Maintenance and Operations budget (M&O), which funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, utilities, etc. Approximately 82 percent of the district’s M&O budget goes to teacher and staff salaries.

    The second bucket is the Interest and Sinking budget (I&S), also known as Debt Service, and that is used to repay debt for longer-term capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections. Proceeds from a bond issue can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of land and the purchase of capital items such as equipment, technology and transportation. I&S funds cannot by law be used to pay M&O expenses, which means that voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase teacher salaries or pay rising costs for utilities and services.

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Bond Overview

  • What is AISD Doing Differently During This Bond Planning Process?

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    • Bearcat Growth Committee meetings are led by community member co-chairs instead of outside consultants.
    • AISD now employs a construction professional, the Director of Construction & Facilities.
    • AISD is communicating consistently with the community about the work of the Bearcat Growth Committee.
    • AISD will engage in a competitive process to choose professional service providers for any bond projects.
    • AISD’s consultant architecture firm will not bid on any bond projects.

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  • What is a bond?

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    A bond is comparable to a home mortgage. A bond is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Bonds are utilized by most schools in the state to finance facilities.

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  • What is a bond election?

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    School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors in order to raise the capital dollars required for projects such as renovation to existing buildings or building a new school. Through this, voters are giving permission for the district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.

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  • How can bond funds be used?

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    Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisitions, technology infrastructure, buses and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utilities, instructional materials, fuel and insurance.

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Construction

  • What is the difference between functional and maximum capacity? And who sets this?

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    The maximum capacity of a school is having every seat filled in every designated teaching space for every period of the school day. Building and life-safety codes may be impactful on this number. Functional capacity takes into consideration schedule flexibility, average designed student-to-teacher ratio, and desired use of spaces. Capacity values for a school are determined by the physical space available.

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  • What size land does the district need for a school?

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    The ideal property size for school sites in Aledo ISD are as follows:

    Elementary: 15-20 acres
    Middle School: 35-40 acres
    High School: 75-100 acres

     

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  • How long does it take to build a new school?

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    A typical delivery schedule for a new elementary school to include planning, programming, design and construction is 24 months. A typical delivery schedule for a new middle school to include planning, programming, design and construction is 30 months. Delivery schedules may vary based on site and construction market conditions.

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  • What land does the district own for future school sites?

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    The district currently owns two tracts of land that are intended to house instructional facilities in the future:

    • 20 acres on FM 5, across FM 5 and just north of the Annetta Cemetery
    • 135 acres on Old Weatherford Road adjacent to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

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Demographics

  • How accurate were the demographic reports prior to the past two bond elections in 2015 and 2017?

    These charts reflect the actual student enrollment by campus over the course of the instructional year noted and the related demographic projections. The demographic projections are compared to enrollment on the October date noted, as this is the date the demographers use to make their projections.

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