EDUCATION

Concerns about whether a $426 million bond issue would pass on a May 5 election led to another option being presented as Tuesday night’s Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees workshop topped four hours.

“Board members said they had heard some concern from the community about the cost of the renovation” to Killeen High School, which is listed on the bond proposal at $80 million, according to Terry Abbott, KISD chief communication officer.

As the workshop discussion progressed, KISD superintendent John Craft suggested the $426 million package be split into two propositions: One for $235 million, and the other for $191 million.

A $235 million proposal, school officials said, would allow voters to approve funds for three projects on the bond issue:

• Renovations to bring existing campuses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and address security/safety issues.

• A new high school to open for the 2022-2023 school year.

• A new elementary school to open for the 2022-2023 school year.

A $191 million proposal would give voters the opportunity to fund consolidation of existing schools into newly built campuses, and renovate other schools over 50 years old:

• Consolidation of East Ward and West Ward elementary schools with construction of a new East Ward school.

• Consolidation of Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf elementary schools, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School, and construction of a new Pershing Park school.

• Renovation and expansion of Clifton Park Elementary School, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School.

• Renovations to Killeen High School.

Craft stressed the need for a new high school, with three of the four existing KISD high schools exceeding student capacity. A new high school, estimated to cost $171 million, could not be built in the district without approval of a bond issue.

“It is critically important to the quality of education in Killeen ISD that we build a new high school. The current enrollments and the projections make that clear,” Craft said during the board workshop.

KISD student enrollment is expected to be close to 45,000 next school year.

“The idea (to split the $426 million bond) seemed to have broad general support from the board members,” said Abbott. “Several expressed the belief this approach would give voters more flexibility and options.”

The board discussed how “making the bond election two propositions would give voters a chance to focus on the schools to relieve overcrowding and to improve safety and access for people with disabilities and, separately, on the improvements needed at the older schools,” Abbott said.

The KISD board must vote whether to call a bond election for the May 5 ballot by a Feb. 16 deadline. The vote has been placed on the agenda for the board’s Feb. 13 regular meeting.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

(5) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

It does not matter to me 'how they divide up the pie', it still doesn't add up to a good proposal. I will vote 'no' on any and all of the segregation that they apply, it still will be over priced for all of the total number of entities that they are presenting to the public.
And the fact that this city along with the KISD board have been working all along with this concept that they 'now' want to pursue and they are single minded about it. This is the only plan that they can come up with. This is the cost for the only plan they can come up with.
I still say I will vote 'no' on this single minded approach and will continue to vote 'no' until they get something more reasonable and identifiable.
Just like the city, they are intent on building the roadways that will support the new high school, and we are now 'in the throes of diminishing returns, aren't spending what it would take to adequately maintain the roadways now, and it will continue to get more severe. And all they can think about is 'Money, Money, Money', it will take more money to keep this city in the state they want.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

If any government entity wants MORE of your hard earned money, just say NO. NO to new taxes, NO to new fees, just say NO. My number one rule during the entirety of my life has been to say NO to whatever anyone asks of me. A NO can always be changed to a YES easily. A YES is much harder to change to a NO. A NO never costs you more money. A YES can often cost you more money, effort, time, or force you to go out of your way. If you have a choice, always say NO. On rare occasions, you can say MAYBE. MAYBE is a very weaselly way to say NO, or not say YES. A MAYBE is a great stalling tactic. If you've ever been a parent, I'm sure you've said MAYBE. MAYBE can easily become NO, or force the person asking to simply slither away. In summation, heed former first lady Nancy Regan;s wise advice, "JUST SAY NO."

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

Amazing, simply amazing. I can hear them now: Hey folks, the voters might not approve a $500,000,000 bond, so why don't we TRICK 'EM? Say what, boss? If we split the bond in half, they'll approve TWO $250,000,000 bonds! Boss, you is a JEANYUSS, just a JEANYUSS. We gonna get our money after all, hooray!

eyewatchingu

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/43qged/voters-deal-with-confusing-ballots-in-several-states

https://www.thecampaignworkshop.com/ballot-language-matters

Ballot Language Basics
Ballot language for ballot initiatives matters more than anything else but don't take our word for it. It has long been said that ballot measure language can be the difference between winning and losing. Here are some basics on ballot measure wording and how it can make or break your measure:

Just Say No: It’s easier to get people to vote against something than for something. Similarly, tearing down an idea is easier than engaging in positive dialogue for something. Be cognizant of this, as your opponents will capitalize on ballot language to get folks to vote no. Bottom line: if your language is unclear or obscure, it makes the measure harder to pass.
Unintended Consequences: One of the easiest ways to erode support for a measure is to show that it will create a result that people would never want. Trying to counter these unintended consequences in advance (whether by preparing for the argument or trying to remove the objection from the language) is an important preparatory step.
Taxes and Fees: Simply using the word tax makes a measure harder to pass. We have seen a number of examples of ballot measures losing when they are forced to use language that mentions taxes or fees.
Long and Confusing Wording: The longer the wording, the more it will seem like you are trying to hide taxes, fees or unintended consequences.
When a Yes Means a No: Depending on how a question is put on the ballot, a measure can become confusing when a no vote is turned into a yes vote, or the reverse. In these situations, voters find it difficult to understand their decision, which, as mentioned above, makes it tougher to pass.
What To Do When You Are Unsure of Your Language?: Test your exact language. Whether it’s with a small group of people around a kitchen table, or through polling or focus groups, learn to understand how the language you use on you ballot measure will affect how people vote.

eyewatchingu

Watch your ballots carefully, they will try to trick you in the wording. Make sure it is not worded on the ballot when you get it so if you vote No your actually approving the other one. This is a trick that has been used in many cities, and have left citizens with out an option to say no to both.
These are how they get bonds approved under the noses of citizens. Make sure you demand to see the wording before it is on the ballot.
Remember the same guy believes that polls are scientific.

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