Amid a politically manufactured affordability crisis that has seen rent rates and property taxes skyrocketing, taxing jurisdictions in Texas’ capital city are pouring gasoline on an already raging inferno.

Austin Independent School District and the Austin City Council are collectively asking voters to approve nearly $3 billion in new debt. Ostensibly, these would support “facilities upgrades” and so-called “affordable” housing. Additionally, these figures only cover the principal (interest costs would be an additional expense).

The largest expense by far comes from Austin ISD’s $2.4 billion bond proposal. Advertise as providing “facilities upgrades” for district campuses, the detailed proposal appears to be a thinly disguised act of patronage for district employees and politically aligned vendors. All of this comes at a time when academic performance and district enrollment are in long-term decline.

Academic failure and declining enrollment are not the district’s only issues. In recent years, Austin ISD has become a tragi-comic poster child for the most radical forms of far-left gender ideology.

Lesson plans in 2022 included “Coming Out and Pronouns Days” for middle-schoolers, “trans” and “non-binary” teachings for kindergartners, and “community circles” (teacher-led conversations with kids about LGBT behaviors, where children as young as 4 were instructed to not repeat anything from the discussions). District officials later tried to walk back the instruction after the plans went viral online.

Austin ISD even finished off the week with a district-wide “pride” party for kids featuring scantily clad drag queen performances, “pride” paraphernalia (including “pronoun buttons”), and LGBT organization booths promoting more deviant sexual behavior and gender confusion instruction in children’s school materials.

Now, they are asking Austin taxpayers for an additional $2.4 billion.

Not to be overlooked, however, the Austin City Council is asking for $350 million (plus interest) in bonds for so-called “affordable housing.” This follows $250 million in 2018 and $300 million in 2020 that failed to solve the city’s housing challenges. Some have suggested the proposed bond could be an act of patronage for labor unions with close ties to city hall.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm.

Both bonds will be at the bottom of this fall’s general election ballot.

Adam Cahn

Adam is a longtime conservative activist and an avid UT and Yankees fan.