Bond 2019 FAQs

  • Has the Aledo ISD tax rate decreased this year?

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    Yes, it has. Aledo ISD has maintained the same tax rate of $1.5950 since the 2015-2016 school year. With the passage of House Bill 3 during the recent legislative session, AISD is projected to receive additional state funding that has permitted a required tax rate compression, or decrease, of 10 cents to $1.4933. Based on the 2019 average appraised home value ($360,394) in Aledo ISD, this tax rate decrease would result in a $341.00 savings. As you know, the actual amount of school taxes you will pay is significantly impacted by the appraised value of your residence that is determined by the Parker County Appraisal District.

    Not only did House Bill 3 provide for a reduced tax rate in 2019-2020, the bill also provides for additional tax rate reduction in future years based on the amount of local and state property value growth. Another measure included in House Bill 3 is designed to limit a school district’s adjusted tax levy to no more than 2.5% more than the prior year.

     

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  • How is it possible for this bond package to result in no tax rate increase?

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    The bond package will result in no tax rate increase due to local property value growth and the District’s management of debt over time.

    • Property value growth
      • The District has experienced significant property value growth in the past three years.
      • With the new residential development that is currently underway, and is projected to continue, the District’s property values are projected to continue increasing for the next several years.
      • This property value growth equates to more property tax revenue to pay bond debt without a tax rate increase.  
      • Based on conservative projections of property value growth and interest rates, the District’s tax rate won’t change as a result of this potential bond election.
         
    • Aggressively managing the District’s current bond debt
      • The District and its Financial Advisor actively manage the District’s outstanding bond debt.
      • The District has provided taxpayers more than $34 million in interest cost savings since 2006 by using financially conservative, yet aggressive, debt management strategies. At every opportunity, the District pays debt early and or refinances debt to save costs. More than 50% of these interest cost savings have occurred since 2014.
      • The debt management strategies utilized by the District are similar to an individual refinancing their home mortgage when interest rates decline.

    The District works with its financial advisors at BOK Financial to project the District’s ability to pay off the debt that will be associated with the 2019 Bond proposal if voters approve it. BOK and the District use historical data and current market conditions to conservatively project future value growth and market conditions like interest rates. Because student enrollment growth is rapid in the District, and demographic projections show the need for more schools beyond the 2019 Bond, BOK and the District have used only four years of property value growth when projecting the District’s ability to pay off the debt that would be associated with the 2019 Bond proposal.

     

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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 was the bond package constructed?

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    The community-driven Bearcat Growth Committee (BGC) was charged by the Aledo ISD Board of Trustees to examine the District’s increasing student enrollment growth data, financial information, district-wide facility needs, and instructional goals. The BGC, which was led by community co-chairs Christi James and Jim Scott and included 36 fellow community members. The BGC held 10 meetings from January to August and built a bond recommendation which focuses on student capacity and learning spaces at the middle and elementary school levels. Click here to watch the BGC's bond recommendation and explanation of the projects to the School Board.

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  • What is included in the 2019 bond package?

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    The Aledo ISD Board of Trustees approved the Bearcat Growth Committee’s (BGC) recommendation of a $149,950,000 bond proposal, which will be presented on the November 5 ballot as a single proposition and will not include a tax rate increase.

    The BGC, which was led by community co-chairs Christi James and Jim Scott and included 36 fellow community members, held 10 meetings from January to August examining the District’s increasing student enrollment growth data, financial information, district-wide facility needs, and instructional goals. The BGC built a bond recommendation which focuses on student capacity needs and learning spaces at the middle and elementary school levels.

    The bond package includes funding for two new campuses, renovations to three existing campuses, replacement furniture at three elementary schools, land for future school sites, and school buses.


    BOND PACKAGE- $149,950,000

    • Middle School No. 2 - $62,501,000
      -Grade-level (6,7,8) academic wings
      -Located on Old Weatherford Road
      -1,200 student capacity
      -Opens Falls 2022

    • Aledo Middle School Renovation/Expansion - $33,446,000
      -Grade-level (6,7,8) academic wings
      -New library, fine arts wing, cafeteria space, field house
      -1,200 student capacity
      -Opens Fall 2022

    • Elementary School No. 6 - $35,858,000
      -Grade-level academic wings
      -Located on FM 5 in Annetta
      -Opens Falls 2021

    • McAnally Intermediate Renovation to Elementary School - $9,611,000
      -Grade-level academic wings
      -Additional classrooms
      -800 student capacity
      -Opens Falls 2022

    • Vandagriff Renovation to Early Childhood Campus - $1,709,000
      -Pre-Kindergarten
      -Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities
      -Daycare for Aledo ISD employees
      -Opens Falls 2022

    • Coder Elementary, Stuard Elementary, McCall Elementary furniture replacement - $1,800,000
      -Supports collaborative learning and Aledo ISD's Instructional Focus

    • Land for future school sites - $4,525,000

    • School buses - $500,000

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  • When will the election be held?

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    The election will be held Tuesday, November 5. The Aledo ISD bond package will be a single proposition on the ballot. Election day polling locations include the Aledo ISD administration building, located at 1008 Bailey Ranch Road.

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  • When and where can I vote?

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    Early voting for the 2019 bond will be from October 21 to November 1. Early voting locations include the Aledo ISD Administration Building (1008 Bailey Ranch Road), the Willow Park Municipal Building (516 Ranch House Road) and the Parker County Courthouse Annex (1112 Sante Fe Drive). Click here to visit the Parker County website for all voting locations. For Tarrant Country voters, one of the nearby early voting locations includes the Benbrook Community Center (228 San Angelo St.). Click here to view a list of all Tarrant Country early voting locations. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 1. Click here to view the Election Day voting locations.

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  • Will this bond election impact taxpayers 65 years old and older?

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    According to state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years old or older cannot be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65. This amount remains the same regardless of changes in tax rate or property value unless significant improvements are made to the home. Individuals 65 and over must apply for this exemption.

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  • Why are there other projects in the 2019 Bond in addition to Middle School #2?

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    The only new school in the 2017 Bond Proposal was Middle School #2. Could the District wait to build the other projects?

    Since 2017, Aledo ISD’s middle school (grades 6-8) student enrollment has grown from 1,312 to 1,596. In that time, the District’s elementary school (grades K-5) student enrollment has grown from 2,649 to 3,017. The functional capacity of the District’s five elementary schools is projected to be exceeded next school year (2020-2021) and the maximum capacity is projected to be exceeded in two years (2021-2022). In addition, enrollment at Walsh Elementary School is expected to reach 150% of maximum capacity in two years (2021-2022).

    Given these student growth projections, and the fact that the design and construction of an elementary school takes approximately 18 months, the Bearcat Growth Committee made the decision to include additional capacity for elementary school students in the 2019 Bond Proposal. Waiting to build additional space for elementary school students would mean that elementary student enrollment would exceed maximum capacity at the District’s five elementary schools in two years.


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  • When would Coder, Stuard and McCall receive the new furniture, if the bond passes?

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    The new furniture would be received by Coder, Stuard and McCall in the Summer of 2020.  The existing furniture would be removed in early summer and new furniture would be delivered before school opens after summer cleaning and waxing.

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  • What is the life cycle of the new schools in this bond proposal?

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    The new schools proposed in this bond will have a life-cycle commensurate with all properly designed and maintained public buildings such as government office buildings, public schools, hospitals, etc., which is intended to be 50+ years.

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  • What would be the school colors and mascot for Middle School #2?

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    Keeping in tradition with all Aledo ISD campuses, Middle School #2 would use orange and black colors and the Bearcat mascot.

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  • What is the role of Aledo ISD’s new Director of Facilities & Construction?

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    In the fall of 2018, the Aledo ISD Administration and Board of Trustees created the District’s first Director of Facilities & Construction position. The Administration and Board created the position so that Aledo ISD would have a construction professional on staff to serve the facility needs of the rapidly growing student population, and to represent, above all else, the interests of the Aledo ISD students, staff, and community. Tyler Boswell was hired by the Board of Trustees in November of 2018, and he leads and coordinates all facility planning and construction in the District, including the planning and implementation of bond programs. Mr. Boswell has more than 20 years of experience in leading all phases of construction projects, and most recently worked in Arlington ISD as a project manager supervising 15 bond projects.

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  • If there is a future economic downturn, will AISD be able to pay off debt associated w/this bond?

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    With the conservative assumptions projected for future property value in the District, coupled with only using four (4) years of property value growth, the District will be able to pay off the debt associated with this bond proposal if there is a future economic downturn.

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  • How will the district provide space for students if voters do not approve the bond?

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    If voters do not approve the bond, the district anticipates taking a number of steps to include the following.

    • The district will call together a group of community and staff members to redraw elementary attendance zones prior to the 2021-2022 school year to redistribute students. In the 2021-2022 school year, the enrollment at Walsh Elementary School is expected to be 150% of the school’s maximum capacity, so it will be necessary to shift attendance zones. (Please note that, if voters approve the bond, the district will call together an attendance zone committee together to revise attendance zones due to the addition of Elementary School #6 and Middle School #2. See FAQ about the attendance rezoning process).

    • Since Aledo Middle School enrollment is projected to exceed maximum capacity next school year (2020-2021), some students attending AMS will be shuttled to McAnally Intermediate for some of their coursework/school day so that capacity at McAnally can be used to augment the lack of available capacity at AMS. The plan for this use of McAnally will be solidified in the spring of 2020 and will endeavor to disrupt student and staff school days to the smallest extent possible. The use of McAnally would continue in this way until that campus’ capacity is exceeded. (Please note that, if voters approve the bond, McAnally will be used in this way for two school years, until August 2022, when Middle School #2 and the renovated and expanded AMS would be completed).

    • The district will purchase portable classrooms using the district’s Maintenance and Operations budget. Given current demographic projections, the estimated number of portables needed to serve the growing student population is 21 in the next four years. These 21 portable classrooms would be placed at elementary schools, McAnally Intermediate, and AMS as needed. The estimated cost of 21 portables is $2.2 million.

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  • Did the Bearcat Growth Committee consider the District’s needs at the high school level?

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    Yes. The BGC studied student growth projections presented by the District’s outside demographer at every grade level served by the district. The demographer’s projections show that the student population at the Aledo High School/Daniel Ninth Grade Campus complex is expected to exceed the maximum capacity of the facilities around 2026 or 2027. The BGC made the decision that the need for capacity at the middle school and elementary school levels was more immediate, since maximum capacity is expected to be exceeded at Aledo Middle School in one year (2020-2021) and at the elementary level in two years (2021-2022). The BGC identified middle school and elementary school capacity, as well as land for future school sites and school buses, as the priorities for the 2019 Bond proposal that they recommended to the Board of Trustees.

    The decision regarding how to increase the District’s capacity to serve students in grades 9-12 is a significant one. Because it is such a significant decision, in the coming years, and in plenty of time to address the need for more high school-level space for students in 2026 or 2027, the District will facilitate a process through which community members are engaged in making this decision. There are multiple options other than constructing a second comprehensive high school, including expanding the current facilities.  The District expects that increasing high school-level capacity will be achieved through a future bond election.

    Comments (-1)
  • How will AISD select architects & contractors for Bond 2019 work?

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    If the Bond Election passes, Aledo ISD will begin selection of architects needed to complete the work outlined in the 2019 Bond proposal.   For the selection of architects, Aledo ISD will follow the guidelines shown in the Professional Service Procurement Act found in Texas Government Code Chapter 2254, which specifies a competitively bid process for qualifications. Click here to view the code.

    For Contractors, Aledo ISD will follow the guidelines shown in the Texas Government Code Chapter 2269 for Contracting and Delivery Procedures for Construction Projects, which specifies a competitively bid process for qualifications and fees. Click here to view the code.

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  • What is the status of the AHS Ag facility since the 2017 proposal was not approved by voters?

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    Because voters did not approve the Ag facility that was on the ballot in the 2017 bond election, the facility was not constructed. That facility was a new classroom at the Ag Building, renovation and expansion of the exiting Ag barn, and site drainage improvements. The cost of that proposed project at the time was $5.754 million.  In studying the data about the district’s demographics, facilities, and finances, the Bearcat Growth Committee prioritized other projects in the 2019 bond proposal. The district made the decision to use:

    • safety and security funds in the 2015 bond funds to add a ventilation/filtration system to the current Ag shop ($225,600),
    • maintenance funds in the 2015 bond funds to make drainage improvements on the Ag facilities site to address flooding issues ($533,733), and
    • budgeted maintenance and operations funds to expand the current Ag barn and provide needed program improvements in the current Ag classroom building ($252,630).

    Comments (-1)
  • Why are roadway improvements included in some of the projects in the proposed 2019 Bond?

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    The 2019 Bond proposal includes funds for improvements to two roadways in association with the proposed construction of Middle School #2 and Elementary School #6.

    If voters approve the bond, Middle School #2 will be located on Old Weatherford Road (see map of proposed bond projects). This road is under the jurisdiction of the City of Fort Worth. The City of Fort Worth requires that the district improve this road along the property frontage. In addition, Old Weatherford Road is in need of improvement, and as always, the district is working to (1) make passage to and from our schools as safe as possible and (2) avoid significant traffic delays to the largest extent possible.

    If voters approve the bond, Elementary School #6 will be located on FM 5 in Annetta (see map of proposed bond projects). FM 5 is a roadway on the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) system, and under TxDOT jurisdiction. Given that the school will create additional traffic flow to and from the school, TxDOT looks to the district to make improvements to the road to facilitate that additional traffic flow. In addition, as always, the district is working to (1) make passage to and from our schools as safe as possible and (2) avoid significant traffic delays to the largest extent possible.

    While the proposed bond includes funds for roadway improvements, the district is actively working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the TxDOT on securing other funding and coordinating efforts on both of these roadway projects.

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  • Why does this bond proposal call for creating a 6th-8th middle school campus?

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    In 2015, the district’s 2025 Committee, a group made up of community members and AISD staff, met to study the district’s growing student population and plan for growth. The 2025 Committee recommended that, as the district grew, it move to 6th-8th-grade middle schools. The Committee discussed an interest in decreasing the number of school transitions that AISD students have as they matriculate through the district’s schools. Currently, students transition schools at 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th grades. In addition, as AISD continues to experience rapid student enrollment growth, individual grade level campuses (like the current McAnally Intermediate 6th-grade-only model), are less efficient and difficult to scale to meet the need of the growing student population.

    The 6-8 grade grouping at the middle school level is quite common in Texas. The concept for both the new MS#2 and the renovation and expansion of Aledo Middle School is that each grade level, 6th, 7th, and 8th, would have its own academic wing. Sixth graders, for instance, would attend their academic classes in the 6th-grade wing together and would have a 6th-grade lunch together. This arrangement would be the same for 7th and 8th graders.

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Construction

  • Does the District receive state funding for the construction of schools

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    No, Aledo ISD does not receive state funding for the construction of schools. Aledo ISD is budgeted to receive a minimal amount of state funding (approximately $250,000) during the 2019-2020 year to assist with the repayment of the District’s annual debt service payments.
      
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  • When would construction begin, if the bond passes?

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    If the bond passes, Aledo ISD would begin selecting architects and contractors in November to begin project designs. Site work would begin in the Spring of 2020 on the new elementary school (ES #6) and Winter of 2020 for the remainder of the projects.

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  • Will school be held while the buildings are being renovated?

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    Yes, school will be held concurrently with construction, as is very common in K-12 construction projects. The bulk of the construction that may impact students/staff will occur over the course of (2) summer periods. The contractors, along with the architects and AISD (owner), will work together to phase the work around the campus schedule and needs. This involves barriers, fences with screening and temporary partition walls to maintain separation from the contractors and students/staff. The contractors will have a fenced area with screening to house a job trailer, material laydown yard, portable toilets, and worker parking. AISD utilizes a third-party background check badging program for all contract construction workers to be permitted on-site.

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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.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do construction costs of the new schools in the proposal compare to other projects in the area?

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    Proposed Elementary School #6

    ES#6 in the 2019 Bond proposal has as a total cost of $35,858,000. This includes $3,300,000 for off-site infrastructure costs needed for utilities and road improvements. The purpose of the road improvements is an effort to avoid significant traffic delays on FM5. The project cost for the school, including all fees and furniture, fixtures, and equipment, is $32,558,000. Within this amount, the 2019 construction cost is $27,405,000. The construction cost for the anticipated bid date in the Spring of 2020 is $29,391,863. Given the fact that the current construction market is resulting in significant cost escalation, the 2020 projected cost includes an inflationary rate of 7.25% per year. 

    Click here to view chart of recently bid elementary school projects in the North Texas area.

    Proposed Middle School #2

    MS#2 in the 2019 Bond proposal has a total cost of $62,501,000. This includes $1,500,000 for roadway improvements along Old Weatherford Road, which are required by the City of Fort Worth. The purpose of the road improvements is an effort to improve safety and avoid significant traffic delays on Old Weatherford Road. The project cost for the school, including all fees and furniture, fixtures, and equipment, is $61,001,000. Within this amount, the 2019 construction cost is $47,964,000. The construction cost for the anticipated time at bid in the Fall of 2020 is $51,441,390. Given the fact that the current construction market is causing significant cost increases, the 2020 projected cost includes an inflationary rate of 7.25% per year.

    Click here to view chart of recently bid middle school projects in the North Texas area.

    Comments (-1)

Demographics

  • 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.

    Comments (-1)
  • How and when will attendance zones be constructed if voters approve the 2019 bond?

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    If voters approve bonds to construct a new campus or campuses, approximately 12-18 months prior to the opening of the campus, an attendance zone committee will be appointed by the Board of Trustees. The committee will be constructed in a way that is similar to how the BGC has been constructed, with a diverse community and AISD staff representation. This committee will work, over a period of months, to review, analyze, and synthesize data to include up-to-date student demographic projections, housing development projections, campus capacities, instructional programming needs, AISD transportation data, and community feedback.

    Like with the BGC, information about the attendance zone committee process and the committee’s work will be available to the community through the AISD website and frequent communications with staff, parents, and community members through social media, e-mails, community presentations, Board of Trustees meetings, press releases, and newsletters.

    The attendance zone committee will recommend proposed attendance zones to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will have the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions to be considered by the committee. Ultimately, the Board of Trustees will be asked to approve attendance zones prior to the opening of new campuses.

    Please note that, if voters do not approve the bond, the district anticipates that elementary attendance zones will be redrawn in advance of the 2021-2022 school year in an effort to more equally distribute the student enrollment among the existing five elementary schools. The new attendance zones will be redrawn using the process described above.

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  • What impact is the future large Bear Creek development expected to have on AISD's growth?

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    In February 2019, the media announced that a Dallas-based developer had purchased a 2,000-acre tract of land on Bear Creek Road in the southern part of Aledo ISD and is planning a large residential subdivision for the location. Given the information that is available to the District, after meeting with a representative of the developer, and in consultation with the District’s demographers, the District expects that this planned development will most likely not begin to impact enrollment in the next 5 years, but may do so in the next 10 years. However, please note that circumstances may change, and the District will diligently monitor the situation to have the best understanding of the timing and extent of the planned development.

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Demographics Cont'd

Land & School Location

  • If voters approve the BGC's 2019 bond proposal, where will the new schools be located?

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    Middle School #2 would be located on land owned by Aledo ISD on Old Weatherford Road east of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. Elementary #6 would be located on FM 5 across from the Annetta Cemetery.

    Comments (-1)
  • What size land does the District need for a school?

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    The amount of land needed for school sites vary given topography, access, availability of water and wastewater utilities, etc. In general, the following are the sizes of tracts that Aledo ISD pursues for future schools.

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

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the District doing to find land for new schools?

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    The District is actively looking for property for new schools, and has engaged a real estate broker to pursue tracts that are both on- and off-market. The District is also actively negotiating with residential real estate developers to obtain donated tracts for schools.

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Finance

  • What are the two components of the tax rate?


    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. Recapture is the primary means by which Chapter 41 school districts send local property tax revenue to the state for redistribution among other districts.

    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.

    tax rate

    If the District takes on more debt on the Interest & Sinking side of the budget, does that mean less money goes to teachers and classrooms?

    No, that is not the case. As the graphic above shows, there are two parts to the District’s tax rate/budget. The Maintenance & Operations (M&O) side pays for the day-to-day operational expenses of the District.

    The Interest & Sinking (I&S) side, also known as Debt Service, is used to repay debt for long-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. By law, I&S funds cannot be used to pay M&O expenses, which means that voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase teacher salaries, the number of teachers or other staff, or any other operational expense.
     

    What types of revenue does the District receive in the General Fund?

    The District’s General Fund is where the day-to-day operational expenses of the District are paid. In this fund, the District receives three types of revenues, local revenues, state revenues, and federal revenues. The primary source of General Fund local revenues is property taxes from the M&O portion of the property tax rate. Some of the additional local revenue sources are athletic revenues, fees from the rental of district facilities, and interest income earnings.

    State revenues in the General Fund come from the Texas Education Agency with the amount being determined according to the public school finance funding formulas set by the Texas Legislature. Federal revenues in the General Fund are reimbursements from School Health and Related Services (SHARS). The chart below reflects the General Fund revenue sources for the current and prior fiscal years.

    general fund chart

    Why does the District have to take on debt for construction?

    Much like an individual needs to borrow money to construct a home, school districts borrow money to build schools. Most families simply do not have the available monies to build or purchase a new residence without a mortgage. This same concept also applies to school districts. School districts simply do not have the financial resources available to pay for large capital expenditures, such as building new schools, renovating schools or building without taking on debt.

    In Aledo ISD’s case, the District has approximately $20 million in the fund balance of the District’s operating fund. Each year, the fund balance is used to pay 3-4 months of operating expenditures (including payroll) from September until tax monies are collected starting in December. In addition to Aledo ISD’s need to use the $20 million fund balance for operations in certain months of each year, the amount in fund balance is not sufficient to fund the 2019 bond proposal constructed by the Bearcat Growth Committee. Bond rating agencies take the amount of a school district’s available fund balance as a percentage of its annual expenditures into account when determining the district’s “credit worthiness” or bond rating.

    What has the District done to pay off debt?

    When interest rates are low or decline, a family will often refinance their home mortgage to take advantage of these lower interest rates. Much like that family, the District has prudently managed the District’s outstanding voter-approved bonds. Whether by refinancing bonds at a lower interest rate, prepaying bonds before final maturity, or utilizing variable rate bonds, the District has provided its taxpayers with more than $34 million of direct savings since 2006.

    Much more detail on these debt management practices and savings may be found in the report the District’s Financial Advisor, BOK Financial Securities, recently presented to the District’s Board of Trustees and Bearcat Growth Committee.

    BOK report  
    BOK report

     

    Since property values are increasing, why doesn't the District just lower the Interest & Sinking tax rate?

    Rather than lower the District’s Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax rate, the District has determined that the most prudent course of action would be to prepay bonds before their scheduled maturity in an effort to save interest costs. For example, in February 2018, the District prepaid $1,275,000 of bonds before their scheduled maturity. This action resulted in $552,750 of savings for the District’s taxpayers. Additionally, in February 2019 the District prepaid $2,240,000 of bonds before their scheduled maturity. This prepayment resulted in $588,600 of savings for the District’s taxpayers. As mentioned above, since 2006, the District has saved over $34 million in interest costs due to managing its debt in this way.

Finance Cont’d

  • What are the District’s bond ratings?

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    S&P Global Ratings assigns a “AA” credit rating to the District, defined as “Having a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest rating only to a small degree.” Fitch Ratings, Inc. assigns a “AA” credit rating to the District, defined as “Very high quality. A “AA” rating denotes expectations of very low default risk and very strong capacity for payment of financial commitment.

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  • What does bond capacity mean?

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    Bond capacity is defined as the amount of new debt the District can issue in light of the District’s current Interest & Sinking tax rate and within the limitations of state law.

    Comments (-1)
  • How long would it take to pay off this bond?

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    Based on market conditions at the time of selling these bonds, the District typically issues 30-year bonds. Much like a home mortgage, a portion of the bond principal is paid off each year. The final bond principal payment would be made 30 years after issuance.

    Comments (-1)
  • If buses and furniture are purchased with bonds, does the District pay these over 30 years?

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    No, the District does not do this. The District fully repays bonds issued for projects based on their estimated useful lives. Repayment schedules are 10 years for school buses and furniture.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does Aledo ISD’s amount of debt compare with other school districts?

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    This question may be answered by looking at the District’s outstanding voter-approved debt in a variety of ways. Many different comparisons may be found by reviewing the report the District’s Financial Advisor, BOK Financial Securities, recently presented to the District’s Board of Trustees and Bearcat Growth Committee. Click here to view the report.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is the District’s Interest & Sinking tax rate subject to recapture?

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    No, the District’s I&S tax rate is not subject to recapture. The District keeps 100% of the property taxes collected from the I&S or debt service portion of the District’s tax rate.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the relationship between local revenues and state revenues?

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    Under current public school funding formulas, there is an inverse relationship between local revenues and state revenues. If local revenues increase, there is a corresponding decrease in state revenues. Alternatively, if local revenues were to decrease then state revenues would increase.

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Bearcat Growth Committee (FAQs)

  • What is the Bearcat Growth Committee?

    Posted by:


    The Bearcat Growth Committee is a group of 38 Aledo ISD community members, parents and teachers from each campus that was appointed by the Aledo ISD Board of Trustees in December of 2018. 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 was 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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  • How were members of the Bearcat Growth Committee chosen?

    Posted by:


    The following is the list of the 38 Bearcat Growth Committee members and how they were chosen.

    Arlene Shelton, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Bobby Taylor, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Brent Cummings, Website Application
    Carolyn Rekerdres, Website Application
    Chad Tregellas, Board Member Appointment - Forrest Collins 
    Christi James, Administration nomination
    Dan Reilley, Website Application
    David Nance, Website Application
    Dawn McNair, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Deven Jacobs, Administration nomination
    Jaime Saenz, Administration nomination
    Jeff Streetman, Website Application
    Jeff Wade, Board Member Appointment - David Lear
    Jennifer Gamez, Website Application
    Jeremy Pruett, Website Application
    Jeremy Thompson, Website Application
    Jim Scott, Administration nomination
    Kathy Fry, Website Application
    Kelly Arnold, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Allison Dearman, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Kelly Dishman, Website Application
    Nicki Dover, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Lakeshia Jarreau, Administration nomination
    Lauren Stockon, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Glenna Loftin, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Maggie Lozano, Administration nomination (staff member)
    Mandy Wurster, Website Application
    Matt Morris, Board Member Appointment - Jennifer Loftin
    Mercedes Mayer, Website Application
    Michael Fernighough, Website Application
    Nick Lester, Board Member Appointment - Jessica Brown
    Paul Heckathorn, Administration nomination
    Peter Healey, Administration nomination
    Robert Cox, Board Member Appointment - Hoyt Harris
    Ryan Pipkin, Website Application
    Shawna Ford, Board Member Appointment - Bobby Rigues
    Sterling Naron, Website Application
    Suzi Prokell, Board Member Appointment - Julie Turner

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  • Who is on the BGC?

    Posted by:


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

    Posted by:


    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.

    Comments (-1)
  • Who led the BGC meetings?

    Posted by:


    The BGC meetings were 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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  • When did the BGC meet?

    Posted by:


    The BGC held its first meeting on January 24, 2019, and met frequently through May 9, 2019. The BGC also met in August 2019 to construct a bond proposal for recommendation to the Aledo ISD Board of Trustees. Click here to view the BGC meeting schedule. The meetings, unless otherwise noted, were held at the Aledo ISD administration building, located at 1008 Bailey Ranch Road. Meetings were open to the public.

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  • Where can I find information from the meetings?

    Posted by:


    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.

    Comments (-1)
  • What was discussed at BGC meetings?

    Posted by:


    During the BGC meetings, committee members examined Aledo ISD information provided by the District's demographers, financial advisors, as well as a school architecture firm hired to support the work of the BGC. They also toured facilities and evaluated, analyzed and synthesized data about enrollment, finances, instructional priorities and facility needs, as well as community, staff and student feedback. The committee members also created a bond proposal that they recommended to the Board of Trustees to consider.

    Comments (-1)