Another School District Proposes Hefty Bond

Granbury ISD School Board Meeting
Granbury ISD School Board Meeting | Image by WFAA

Granbury ISD has proposed to hold a special election for a $161 million bond even though two previous bonds over the last two years failed to earn voters’ support.

The district announced the May 2024 bond election in February after the school board voted 5-2 in favor of putting it to voters.

The bond would fund a new elementary school, provide renovations across nine of the district’s 10 campuses, a new transportation center, 30 new school buses, and further upgrades to instruction, technology, and safety, according to Hood County News.

During the school board meeting where the bond was approved, several community members addressed the board, voicing either support or opposition to the bond measure.

“In time, we will be the ones paying for this at some point in time,” Jim Brown, a community member, said during the meeting, HCN reported. “I just want to make sure that I feel comfortable that you, the board, represent these students, and your community is fiscally responsible and not grabbing for too much money.”

Another community member, Sharee Westlund, called the bond an “investment in our community.”

The two board members opposing the bond, Trustees Karen Lowery and Melanie Graft, said their constituents were not in favor of the bond, citing the debt that would be placed on residents.

The trustees in favor of the bond, Barbara Townsend, Courtney Gore, Billy Wimberly, Mike Moore, and Nancy Alana, all stressed how much the bond was needed.

“This is not a want list or wish list. This is a need list,” Moore said during the meeting, according to HCN. “This is a necessity, and I’m 100% behind it.”

“Granbury ISD is always committed to providing the best possible education and experience for our students and a destination workplace for our teachers and staff,” Superintendent Jeremy Glenn said in a district news release. “I’d like to thank our Board of Trustees for calling for this Bond Election to address important issues across our district.”

The bond will not increase the district’s tax rate of $0.9342 per $100 valuation, but the phrase “tax rate increase” will be printed on the ballot as required by law due to its issuing of new debt that will be collected with property taxes.

Granbury ISD residents will have the opportunity to vote on the bond starting on April 22, the first day of early voting. The last day of early voting is April 30, and election day is May 4.

The bond is similar to a previous bond put to voters in November 2023 that fell short of passing by just two votes. The bond totaled $151,725,000. The election had a historic voter turnout, with over 12,000 votes cast.

Looking at academic performance, Granbury ISD received a B rating with a score of 83 for student achievement outcomes, according to the Texas Education Agency 2021-2022 accountability report. Some 55% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams that school year, and the district clocked an on-time graduation rate of 95.2%.

In comparison, Dallas ISD received a C rating of 78 for student achievement. Additionally, only 41% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams, and almost 20% of the district’s graduating Class of 2022 did not earn a diploma in four years despite the hard work of Dallas ISD’s dedicated teachers.

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