Burleson ISD school board calls $85 million bond election for May 6
BURLESON – The Burleson ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to present voters with an $85 million bond package and tax ratification election on May 6.
According to recommendations from a special committee, these proposed measures would address proposed expansion at two middle schools, facilitate collaborative working areas at Burleson High School, and raise the district tax rate on each household by an estimated .13 cents per $100 valuation.
Shawn Minor, school board president (Place 1) explained to audience members at the packed meeting that, unlike a municipality or a county, a school district needs the approval of voters to raise the tax rate.
“We can’t do what we need to do without a tax renovation (election),” Minor said. “ … This is the process that we must follow.”
Brenda Mize, the district’s chief financial officer, explained to the board before its vote that to absolutely determine the tax rate, the next step is to get preliminary tax values in March from the Johnson County and Tarrant County appraisal districts.
The proposed tax rate would be based off these values, Mize said.
The Burleson ISD’s Facilities Advisory Committee, which was established in October and extensively reviewed the matter, released its formal recommendations to the school board earlier this month.
According to those recommendations, the monies from the bond election would be used for the following:
• $22 million – Hughes Middle School would be expanded to accommodate students and increase its capacity in the fine arts and athletic areas. The renovation would make it comparable to the STEAM Middle School.
• $3.4 million – Kerr Middle School would be repurposed from a home campus. The district will renovate and make improvements as funds are available and as the district deems necessary.
• $1.9 million – new collaborative learning areas at BHS. Areas of available academic capacity will be converted to spaces for collaborative learning to extend outside the classroom.
According to the committee, a tax increase of 13 cents per $100 valuation would mean:
• An extra $97.50 yearly or $8.13 monthly for a home valued at $100,000 (or $75,000 after $25,000 state exemption);
• An extra $176.87 yearly or $14.74 monthly for a home valued at $161,050 ($136,000 after $25,000 state exemption);
• An extra $227.50 per year or $18.86 monthly for a home valued at $200,000 ($175,000 with $25,000 state exemption; and
• An extra $337.50 per year or $29.79 a month for a home valued at $300,000 ($275,000 with $25,000 state exemption).
Beverly Volkman Powell, Place 6, made the motion for the board to formally call for the bond election. It was seconded by Ryan Richardson, Place 3, and unanimously approved by the school board.
Also Monday, the board also voted unanimously to call the next school board trustee election for May 6. The motion was made by Michael Ancy, Place 2, and seconded by Powell.
The deadline to file for candidacy in Place 3 or Place 4 – the trustee slots with the respective expiring three year terms of school board trustee Ryan Richardson and school board trustee Andy Pickens – started Jan. 18 and will expire Friday, Feb. 17.
Candidate packets can be picked up in the office of Burleson ISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., 1160 SW Wilshire Boulevard.
If any candidates run unopposed, their election will be canceled and they will be proclaimed the winner.
The elections were called through a joint resolution with the city of Burleson.
The Burleson Star will explore the May 6 school board election in greater detail next issue.