After weeks of speculation, Houston Independent School District is moving closer to formally asking voters to approve a $4.4 billion school bond, the largest in the district’s history, this November. 

The district’s last bond was in 2012, and they are saying that, as a result, there are more than $10 billion in upgrades needed to facilities. 

The District has said it will explore a bond of $4-5 billion to allow the District to prioritize the most urgent needs – Safe and Healthy Schools, FutureReady Learning Environments, and Modernized Schools – without raising taxes.

The Community Advisory Committee was formed by the district and headed by Scott McClelland, HEB’s former president; Garnet Coleman, a former state representative of 30 years; and Judith Cruz, a former HISD trustee and board president. 

The committee is hosting a series of meetings for the community to learn more about the bond. 

According to local reporting, $2.05 billion of the bond would go to school upgrades while $1.35 billion would go to making campuses “safe and healthy,” which includes HVAC upgrades, campus security, and making sure environmental standards are met. The last $1 billion would go to advancing career and technical education.

The next virtual meeting will take place on Saturday, June 1, and the next in-person meeting will happen at Fondren Middle School on June 4 starting at 6 p.m. 

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.