Frequently Asked Questions
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When will the 2021 bond election be held?
Election day is Saturday, May 1, 2021. Early voting will take place April 19-24 and April 26-27. Voting locations, hours, and other information can be found here.
What projects are included in the 2021 bond election?
The $127 million bond includes two new elementary schools, to open in the 2022-2023 school year; renovations to the current Coleman building to become a new high school; renovations to the Hancock building to house Coleman Junior High; expansion at WHS; construction of new transportation facility; miscellaneous campus renovations at four oldest elementary schools (Northside, Shackelford, Dunaway, and Wilemon); purchase of land for future school sites; and large maintenance items at campuses throughout the district. More information on the 2021 bond is available here.
When would the 2021 bond projects be implemented or completed?
We would begin working on these projects immediately upon the voters approving the bond, and expect the two elementary schools to open for the 2022-2023 school year. We anticipate the majority of the other projects to be complete by the 2023-2024 school year.
Who decides what projects are included in the bond?
The Board of Trustees makes the ultimate decision. In order to prepare to make this decision, the district has held a series of meetings open to the community in order to get input on the community’s desires for accommodating district growth.
How did you decide which schools will get renovations?
This is decided based on the age of the buildings and the ability to add classroom capacity for the district.
Why is another high school being contemplated?
In 2015, when the bond to build the new WHS building was passed by voters, the enrollment at Waxahachie High School was 2,003 and was not expected to reach the 2,550 mark until the 2023-2024 school year. Now, we expect to reach that mark during the current (2020-2021) school year.
As our community continues to grow, so does our district. We continue to experience unprecedented growth each year. In 2015, the projected population of WHS in 2023-2024 was 2,550; today, the projected population of WHS in 2023-2024 is 3,279.
Where will the new elementary schools be located?
We anticipate using land already owned by the district near WHS for one of the schools, and have been offered a donation of land in the Saddlebrook neighborhood for the other.
Will Waxahachie High School still play at Lumpkins Stadium? What about Richards Park?
Yes, we anticipate both high schools using these facilities for competition. However, high school #2 will also use Lumpkins as a practice facility, while extracurricular facilities will be expanded at WHS as part of the bond issue.
What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It 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. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.
How can bond funds be used?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions, and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, and technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs of the district.
Why can’t the district pay for new facilities and improvements out of the operating budget?
School districts in Texas operate under a budget consisting of two tax-supported portions. One is the maintenance and operations fund and the other is the debt service fund. Tax rates to support both funds are limited by state law. The maintenance and operations fund supports not only maintenance and operations of buildings, but also teacher salaries and benefits, student programs, curriculum, and technology. The I&S (debt service fund) supports larger capital improvements where it is not feasible to pay for an improvement within a given fiscal budget year. The debt is spread out over an extended period much like a homeowner’s mortgage.
How will the 2021 bond impact the tax rate?
We do not anticipate this bond issue impacting the tax rate for WISD residents.
How is it possible for the bond not to raise the tax rate?
As our district continues to grow, the increase in assessed values for property tax allows us to issue bonds without raising the tax rate.
Why does the ballot language say this is a tax increase?
In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring the ballots for all school bond elections to include a sentence that states, “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.” The sentence is required even if no actual tax rate increase will occur. For the 2021 Waxahachie ISD bond, taxpayers would not see an increase to the tax rate from the bonds based on the growth we are experiencing in our school district.
Is Waxahachie ISD required to sell the entire bond amount approved by voters?
No, the district only has to sell enough bonds to cover the cost of the proposed projects.
How will Waxahachie ISD ensure funds are spent on the projects proposed?
Our Board of Trustees and district administration are committed to financial transparency, and all district financial information is available to any community member who requests it. We also post regular financial reports on our website.
When was the last Waxahachie ISD bond?
The last Waxahachie ISD bond issue was in 2018, when voters approved the bonds required to build Max H. Simpson Elementary.
Who is eligible to vote in the 2021 bond election?
Anyone registered to vote within the Waxahachie ISD boundaries is eligible to vote in the 2021 bond election. If you reside within WISD and are registered to vote at that address, you are eligible to vote in the bond election. You DO NOT have to live within the City of Waxahachie to be eligible to vote.
How can I determine if I am registered to vote?
Information on voter registration can be found here. The deadline to register to vote in the May 1 election is April 1, 2021.