FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Does this bond include technology?
What are interactive white boards? An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a large, interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computer's desktop onto the board's surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger, stylus or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or floor stand.

Will the district have to lay off teachers due to the State's budget shortfall?
No. Most school districts in Texas are facing extensive budget cuts and major staff reductions due to the state's budget shortfall. However, several years ago, the HEB ISD anticipated such a shortfall and planned accordingly. For example, the district built up its savings over the past several years to help offset a reduction in state funding. Also, the district has taken measures to reduce its operating expenses like utilizing private water wells instead of the city's infrastructure to water athletic fields and being more efficient in our energy consumption by turning off lights, computers and other electronics when not in use.

Because of the district's foresight and prudent financial planning several years ago, HEB ISD will only need to cut our budget by $5,000,000 in the coming school year. This cut will not require a Reduction in Force (RIF). The district will reduce some staff positions by attrition, such as through retirements and resignations. The district will also closely examine filling any job openings in the future.

Recently, our local new stations have highlighted HEB ISD's fiscal responsibility. Please visit the following links to learn more.

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/education/030711-HEB-ISD-Defies-Odds-amid-Budget-Crisis

http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/H--116352569.html

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/03/01/hurst-euless-bedford-isd-officials-ready-to-handle-shortfall-without-layoffs/

What is a bond?
A school bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with a low-cost interest rate 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.

When was the last HEB ISD bond election?
The last bond election in HEB ISD was held 14 years ago (1997), and the amount approved by voters was $171,235,000.

What projects were included in the last bond election?
The bond included improvements such as classroom and other instructional additions, building renovations, roofing upgrades and HVAC upgrades.

What will the proposed upgrades to air conditioning, heating and roofing accomplish?
The upgrades are proposed to increase efficiencies by replacing components and systems that have exceeded their useful life.

Why can we not pay for some of these projects out of the current operating budget or general fund?
A school district’s general operating expenditures include payroll, utilities, supplies and other costs associated with the ongoing operations of the school district. While districts may be able to address smaller capital items using general operating funds, school districts do not receive enough funding to cover the cost of large construction and/or renovation projects like those proposed in the bond.  

Does this bond include technology?
Yes. The technology proposed in the bond consists of short life, medium life and long life assets. Short-life assets (5 to 6 years) include computer replacement and upgrades for students and teachers, interactive whiteboards, projectors and document cameras for all classrooms where appropriate. Medium-life assets (10 to 12 years) consist of replacement and additional network electronics, servers and upgraded support infrastructure. Long-life assets (25 years) consist of fiber connecting new buildings or structures.

Did the district receive federal stimulus dollars to pay for new technology, and how was it used?
Yes. The district received federal stimulus funds that could only be used on campuses and classrooms that qualified based on certain federal guidelines. The monies were spent on providing interactive whiteboards, projectors, document cameras and computer replacements for those schools. Funds for these same technologies are included in the bond proposal for those campuses not able to receive this federal funding.

Will we incur long-term debt to pay for technology?
The district is proposing to finance technology in one of three ways: short-life assets with 5 to 6 year bonds (computers, interactive white boards); medium-life assets with 10 to 12 year bonds (servers, support infrastructure); and, long-life assets with 25 year bonds (fiber).

When is Highway 183 going to be expanded, and how will it impact HEB facilities?
The North Tarrant Express project will rebuild and expand 13 miles along I-820 and SH 121/183 from I-35W to the SH 121 split.  The project will rebuild the existing four to six main lanes, add four toll-managed lanes, plus frontage roads and auxiliary lanes to approximately double the existing capacity. The project was given full notice-to-proceed from TxDOT on December 31, 2009. Final design, right-of-way and utility coordination are currently underway. TxDOT has made offers to HEB ISD for the property needed for the highway expansion. Today, the property in discussion houses portions of the district’s Auxiliary Services Facility and Career & Technology Center. Construction of the first phase of the freeway expansion began in late 2010, with segments 1&2W to open for traffic in 2015. For more information about this project, please visit www.txdot.gov and search for the “North Tarrant Express” project.

If TxDOT is taking part of the district’s property, will the district be reimbursed for it and, if so, how will these funds be used?
TxDOT has made offers to purchase parts of the district properties adjacent to the proposed frontage roads for the 183 expansion. The HEB ISD Board of Trustees has rejected three offers because the offers were deemed insufficient and now faces an eminent domain action. However, at some date in the future, the school district and TxDOT will come to an agreement. Any funds derived from the sale of district land and facilities will be used to reimburse the costs associated with relocating the district’s Auxiliary Services facility.

What programs will use the new indoor activity centers?
When the high schools were originally built in the late 1960’s, the district offered fewer than five girls’ sports and fewer than 10 boys’ sports. The district now has 31 athletic teams representing 20 boys’ and 20 girls’ sports. The new facilities will be used by a variety of extracurricular activities in addition to athletic teams: band, drill team, P.E., cheer and color guard. The new facilities include space for locker rooms, showers, weight rooms, laundry facilities, meeting space and storage for multiple programs. They also include a 60-yard indoor turf practice field and a full outdoor turf practice field that can both be used year round regardless of weather conditions.

How many students will be able to use the new activity centers?
More than two-thirds of the 4,000 high school students will utilize the activity centers in some capacity. Among the groups that will use the facility are athletic teams, physical education classes, marching band, cheer squads, drill teams and color guard.  The facilities will be able to accommodate multiple groups at the same time. For example, by using “curtains” that will roll down from the ceiling and divide the practice space, the baseball team, softball team, boys’ soccer team and girls’ soccer team will be able to conduct practice simultaneously. In cases of inclement weather, groups will be able to utilize the activity centers to conduct practice or rehearsal. Construction of a new activity center will also allow for the expansion of the LD Bell Band program.

What is a Career and Technology Center, and does the district currently have one?
HEB ISD has had a Career and Technology Center since 1971. Today, the Career and Technology Center is designed to give students hands-on, real world experience to prepare students for multiple career choices. Students are able to use existing and emerging technologies as a part of their education. Career programs include: Animation, Architecture, Audio/Video Production, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair & Refinishing, Computer Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Education, Engineering, Health Science and Law & Public Safety. Each career pathway leads to an industry certification/licensure and/or college credit. Last year, 1020 students received an industry certification/license and 3,494 college credit hours were awarded to students through the Tech Prep agreement with Tarrant County College. 

Why is a new Career and Technology Center proposed in the bond?
The existing Career and Technology Center facility is 25,000 square feet and is undersized for the student population and program offerings. For example, the current facility serves over 900 students in 10 programs in a facility designed for 250 students in four programs. Each trimester, the district turns away approximately 200 students. In addition, Airport Freeway (183) will be expanded within 30 feet of the campus’s front door in the next five years.

What programs does the Career and Technology Center offer?
Currently, the Career and Technology Center offers: Animation, Architecture, Audio/Video Production, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair & Refinishing, Computer Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Engineering and Health Science. The district plans to move several additional career programs from the current high schools into the new facility, which will free up space at the high schools to increase instructional space.

How many people does the Auxiliary Services department employ?
Currently, the district employs 524 people in the maintenance, transportation and child nutrition departments: 203 child nutrition employees responsible for serving 12,000-13,000 students each day; 99 transportation employees including 89 bus drivers/monitors who transport students to/from school, between campuses and to/from extra-curricular activities; 77 maintenance employees including general maintenance crews, electricians, heating/air conditioning technicians, plumbers, mechanics, groundskeepers, locksmiths and other trades required to support district facilities and staff. 

How many buses and maintenance vehicles does the district own and operate?
The district owns 100 buses and 90 support vehicles.

Is the district growing?
Yes. Over the past five years, the student enrollment in HEB ISD has grown by 808 students, or 4 percent. In the 2006/07 school year, the district had 20,238 students which increase to 21,046 students this school year.

What is the district planning to do with the 50 acres it owns on Harwood?
The Harwood site is being held by the school district in case a third high school might be needed in the future. At present, a third high school might seem to be a wild notion.  However, it is important to keep in mind that both of the district’s current high schools, Bell and Trinity, each have over 2,100 students, grades 10-12. One thing is clear; there are no sites that are the size required for a high school available in the central part of the school district.

There is a sign on Highway 10 for a New Elementary School campus. What are the district’s plans for this campus?
While it has been 14 years since the district’s last bond election, it is anticipated that a future bond election will be needed within 5 to 6 years due to increasing enrollment. Anticipating additional schools, the district purchased a site for an elementary campus on Highway 10 close to the Bell Helicopter plant. This 10-acre site will be developed into a new elementary school facility for 750 students. Approximately 800 homes are planned for the area southwest of that site and will be constructed over the next 10 years.

Will this bond require additional staff?
No. The Texas state budget crisis will have an impact on all Texas school districts – HEB ISD included. The district expects to receive fewer dollars from the state in the coming years and has planned accordingly. The bond package will not require additional personnel. For instance, the Career and Technology Program currently has 67 teachers, and these positions are already in the district’s budget. Likewise, the district has technology support personnel to assist existing staff to use the new technology that would be purchased if the bond election is successful.

When will the next bond election be held?
I
t is anticipated that a future bond election will be needed within 5 to 6 years due to increasing enrollment. The bond will likely propose to construct additional schools and continue to keep technology current.

How will this bond affect my taxes?
The estimated tax increase of this bond is 15.48 cents for a total tax rate of $1.44. For a home valued at $100,000, this represents an increase of approximately $11 per month.

What if I am over 65-years-old or disabled?
If you have applied for and received the Age 65 Freeze on your homestead, your school taxes will not be raised above their frozen level if the election is successful.


What are the tax rates of other local school districts?


District

M&O Rate

I&S Rate

Total Tax Rate

Burleson ISD

$1.04

$0.50

$1.54

Crowley ISD

$1.04

$0.50

$1.54

Keller ISD

$1.04

$0.49

$1.53

EMS ISD

$1.00

$0.50

$1.50

Mansfield ISD

$1.04

$0.46

$1.50

Irving ISD

$1.04

$0.43

$1.47

Birdville ISD

$1.04

$0.39

$1.43

Carroll ISD

$1.04

$0.38

$1.42

Northwest ISD

$1.04

$0.34

$1.38

Arlington ISD

$1.04

$0.30

$1.34

FWISD

$1.04

$0.28

$1.32

GCISD

$1.04

$0.25

$1.29

HEB ISD

$1.04

$0.25

$1.29

If the bond is successful, what is the proposed schedule for construction?
If the bond election is successful, the proposed construction schedule is as follows: in January 2012, the existing Transportation facility and part of the Maintenance facility will be demolished, and the new Auxiliary Services facility will begin construction with completion scheduled for Spring 2013. Also in January 2012, construction of the two new activity centers would begin with completion in early 2013. In the Spring of 2012, construction would begin on the new Career & Technology Center with completion in early 2014. The roofing and HVAC upgrades will be done in phases and will stretch out over a 3 to 4 year period of time.

































































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