A package of four proposed bond items for Amarillo Independent School District was rejected by voters on Saturday night.
Following an expensive campaign over the four proposed items that would have issued a combined $286 million in taxpayer-funded debt, voters made their voices heard loud and clear on Saturday night with a sound rejection of the four proposals. Proposition A, which would have funded general campus improvements and a rebuild of Austin Middle School, failed 45-55 percent. Proposition A was the issue that attracted the most attention from both the “for” and “against” campaigns during the election, with many criticizing AISD’s decision to opt for a proposed total rebuild of the Austin Middle School campus, as opposed to a less expensive renovation.
Proposition B, which would have funded renovations to Amarillo ISD’s flagship football stadium, failed 38-62 percent. Proposition C, which would have funded the construction of a new swimming complex for Amarillo ISD, failed 37-63 percent. Proposition D, which would have funded the construction of activity centers for Amarillo ISD campuses, also failed by a margin of 37-63 percent.
Following the results of the election, Amarillo ISD superintendent Doug Loomis issued a statement to the press, saying AISD now faces “some difficult decisions” following the defeat of the bonds.
“It’s clear voters felt the burden of a tax increase outweighed the basic needs and enrichment opportunities these propositions would have brought to AISD schools and students,” Loomis said. “Some difficult decisions are ahead, but as always, our District remains committed to this community and doing our best to make sure our schools remain strong, vibrant places for students to learn, grow and reach their full potential.”
Amarillo attorney Len Walker, who led the campaign against the propositions, issued a statement expressing approval with the results and calling on Amarillo ISD to “return to reasonable fiscal policies.”
“Once again, common sense prevailed, and the informed citizens of Amarillo came out to vote down yesterday’s bond proposals put forth by the tax and spend AISD radicals,” Walker said.
The results of the election were notable, marking the first time in Amarillo history that an Amarillo ISD bond had been rejected by voters. According to the Texas Bond Review Board, Amarillo ISD voters have approved five different bond packages for Amarillo ISD since 1987, totaling $406.7 million.