The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Apr 15, 2024

District bond election postponed

by Lauren Tsai | Co-Editor-In-Chief

NEISD recently announced its decision to postpone a bond election that will implement a range of campus improvements and projects across the District if passed.
“The Board of Trustees decided it was in the best interests of the District to postpone the bond election, due to tremendous uncertainty in public education funding and our national economic recovery,” Associate Superintendent for Business Services and Operations Dr. Brian Gottardy said.
The Board of Trustees, representing communities in NEISD, keeps faculty, student, and family perspectives in mind.
“The Board of Trustees has the most current and relevant information to make decisions and, in doing so, represent the voters of the District through their individual and collective decisions. Therefore, the decision to postpone the bond election by the Board of Trustees was conducted in a manner which best represents the interests of voters in this District,” Gottardy said.
Soaring gas prices and an increase in the cost of living have had some impact on the Board’s decision.
“It became apparent that the taxpayers of North East ISD deserved more stable conditions regarding local and regional economic conditions and public school financing before considering a bond election,” he said.
Despite the current state of the economy, the proposal can be justified.
“The planned facility improvements included in the bond package are well conceived and though out,” he said.
The proposal covers several areas. One part of the package addresses facilities; aging campuses demand updates.
“Facilities require periodic and necessary additions, renovations, improvements, and upgrades,” Gottardy said.
The need is partly due to school population growth.
“As our District has grown over the years, portable buildings have periodically been added to campuses to handle this student growth. The proposed bond package will replace over 61 portable buildings with new classroom facilities; the new facilities will have improved indoor air quality, better HVAC systems, and indoor access to restroom areas – overall, a much better classroom to attend school in versus a portable. The bond proposal will help address critical facility needs across the District and works to provide equitable facilities for our students,” he said.
The proposal also supports new educational programmatic changes. When Texas adopted new curriculum requirements that mandated 4 years each of math and science, schools had to adapt to the change.
“Our high schools were not designed to handle this new programmatic change, which has necessitated the requirement to construct additional science labs at our campuses. Until such time as additional science facilities can be funded and constructed with a bond program, campuses will have to make-do teaching science classes in portable buildings, undersized classrooms, or hallways.”
Though the facilities may fall short of expectations, the teaching standard has not.
“Science teachers across the District do a fantastic job educating students on a very challenging curriculum and achieving extraordinary results; this will only be made better through improved facilities,” Gottardy said.
Proposed initiatives are based on community feedback. Community representatives attended several Community Planning and Advisory Committee Meetings starting in November 2010 and concluding in February 2011. At the last meeting, a final list of projects was compiled for presentation to the Board of Trustees, after which a few adjustments were made before approval.
“The representatives [had] the broad goal of aiding the District in developing a comprehensive list of bond projects,” Gottardy said.
Though the initial proposed bond election was scheduled for May 2011, a delay has been ordered. At present, the District will review cost projections and potential changes in construction market conditions.
“Resulting cost adjustments could impact the make-up of the current bond proposal, but until such time as a new date is set for the bond election, no changes in the current project list are anticipated at this point,” he said.
The terms of the bond proposal will continue to be a reflection of the state education budget.
“The bond proposal does have a potential impact on the education budget. The funding to purchase new technology systems, school buses, and facility maintenance issues will have to come from the operating budget if a bond election is not held in the near future to meet these critical needs,” Gottardy said.

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District bond election postponed