COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – There has been a major decision in the Frisco Independent School District. Monday night the school board voted to approve a referendum for voters to decide on a nearly $800 million bond proposal, that would include building 14 new schools.
The proposal includes a tax increase and both those in favor and opposed spoke out during the school board meeting.
The 14 new schools will come at a cost of $775 million. The approved referendum is the second largest bond proposal in Frisco history. Voters will cast the final yay or nay at the polls in May.
Frisco parent Buddy Minett said, “I think the vast majority of the community will support it, because we’ve done a great job in the past.”
Minnet is on the committee that presented bond proposal plans to the school board Monday night. In addition to the new schools, some of the money would go toward improving technology, transportation and security on existing campuses.
If approved, the new schools would consist of eight elementary school locations, three middle schools and three high schools. Frisco ISD enrollment is expected to grow by 20,000 students in just six years.
Student body enrollment is the main reason parent Debbie Pasha is for the bond. “I wholeheartedly support it,” she said. “It truly is a responsible way to meet the needs of a growing student population.”
If voters approve the proposal the bond could raise property taxes on the average home by about $200 a year.
Some of those opposing the bond believe the plan is too ambitious and warn the debt could put the city at risk, because paying back the money depends on a good economy.
“If there’s a recession and we are at the tax rate and property values drop, like they did five years ago the amount of revenue coming in will not be sufficient to cover bond payments,” said Tom Fabry, who is a member of the Frisco Tea Party. “So they’ll have to take the money out of the general fund and that means teacher cuts and teacher salary cuts.”
Frisco ISD already has some land set aside for schools but will have to buy more if voters approve the massive bond proposal.
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