Tours of Area Schools Offered on October 19

September 19th, 2017

NWACA is committed to providing our neighborhood with as much information on the upcoming AISD bond as possible. To that end, we will be holding a forum on October 18th at 7PM at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, to go into more depth on the bond and its potential impact to taxpayers and families with children in our schools. In addition to other work, this comprehensive district-wide plan includes improvements to Hill, Doss, Murchison, and Anderson to address overcrowding and critical facility issues including safety and security, technology, buses, and providing 21st century learning spaces as a first phase to modernize all ALL AISD schools.

Some more bond details … did you know that ….
• Based on a combination of tiered projects and projected appraisals, the 1.05 billion-dollar bond is structured so that there will be NO tax rate increase. Property taxes may still rise, but this would be due to a higher property appraisal, not due to the AISD Board of Trustees having to raise the tax rate to fund the bond.
• AISD tax amounts for homeowners who have an Over-65 Homestead Exemption registered with the county will NOT increase with the passage of this bond.
• AISD is great at managing bond dollars and finances as shown by their bond ratings: Aaa(Moody’s), AA+(S& P), AAA/AA+(Fitch).
• 100% of approved bond dollars stay local. The state cannot recapture this money collected from the I&S tax rate.
• AISD estimates that approximately $534 million of Austin taxpayer education dollars (over 50%) collected through the M&O tax rate will be recaptured this year by the state of Texas, and cannot be used for the educational needs of our district's students.
• Each of the 130 schools in AISD will get some improvements from the bond – this includes technology and/or facility upgrades
• Improved infrastructure decreases maintenance and operation (M&O) needs in the long term. (Newer buildings + less portables = lower M&O). With an average age of 40 years for AISD schools, this bond addresses many critical needs and begins to bring classrooms into the 21st century. AISD’s current budget cannot cover the maintenance needs for its current aging infrastructure.

For the vertical that serves most of NWACA families, did you know:
• Doss Elementary is the second most overcrowded school in the district – currently sitting above 160% capacity? And that being so crowded means children start eating lunch at 10:30am?
• There has been no major addition at Murchison in its 50-year history? And that in that time it has gone from being a 600-student school to a 1400-student school. It is also the most overcrowded junior high school in the district.
• There is no space at Murchison large enough for the band to all practice in the same room.
• Some Doss Elementary school students will spend twice as much time in portables during their school tenure as they did in the building.
• Hill Elementary school has as many portables as it can possibly hold on its grounds.

Online, there is a full view of all projects, by school, for the proposed bond here

The administration of Doss Elementary, Hill Elementary, and Murchison Middle School would like to invite you to tour the campus facilities, all of them over 45 years old! - and the impact it has on our students. Doss Principal Janna Griffin, Murchison Principal Bradley Clark, Hill Principal Beth Newton, FABPAC member Kristin Ashy, and School Board member Julie Cowan will conduct the tours.

The tours will be on October 19th:
• Murchison Middle School at 9:30am in their library
• Doss Elementary at 10:30am in their library,
• Hill Elementary at 11:30 in their library

For Doss and Murchison, you will be able to travel between the two schools on foot. We encourage you to park on North Hills Drive between Murchison and Doss, and to proceed to Murchison for the first presentation. Proceed to the administration building entrance off North Hills to sign in as a visitor. Bring questions!

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