Locals To Vote on $1.3 Billion School Bond

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Voters in the Garland Independent School District (GISD) have begun voting on the biggest bond package in the district’s history, with much of the potential funds slated for campus security upgrades.

The $1.279 billion bond consists of three propositions that will be on the ballot this cycle.

Proposition A makes up the bulk of the bond package and concerns school safety. GISD’s Board of Trustees voted in February to put $1.1 billion worth of building improvements and safety enhancements for every campus to voters, including new perimeter fencing, barrier upgrades, and “forced-entry resistant” film for windows and glass doors.

“What we want to do is buy time, keep our kids safe and put a film on there that makes that glass not shatter as easily. It gets responders there with enough time to be able to mitigate any threat that we have,” said GISD Superintendent Ricardo López, speaking with WFAA.

Proposition B calls for about $136 million to build “multi-purpose activity centers” at all GISD high schools for sports activities, marching band practice, and use as an evacuation zone for students and staff to gather in the event of some kind of emergency.

The cheapest part of the bond package, Proposition C, would put $40.6 million to use “acquiring and updating technology equipment” for staff and students.

GISD claimed that the bond package, if passed in its entirety, would cost the average homeowner living in the district roughly $15 more a month in district taxes, bumping up the cost of what GISD spent per student, which last school year was $5,048.

Despite a modest allowance budgeted per student, GISD managed to graduate roughly 95% of its Class of 2022 on time. In contrast, the Dallas Independent School District budgeted $19,897 last school year and only managed to graduate 81.1% of its Class of 2022 in four years.

Early voting lasts from April 24 until May 2, and election day is May 6.

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