Some congratulations are in order for a group of concerned taxpayers who successfully denied their school district’s wasteful and misleadingly advertised bond on Saturday.
Round Rock ISD asked voters to approve three propositions totaling $572 million on the May ballot. Officials made the case that the bond measure was necessary for Round Rock’s growth. Critics argued the measure was wasteful in its extravagance. Worst of all, however, was the unethical and misleading manner in which the package was sought.
Proponents advertised the $572 million package as costing the average homeowner only $2.23 per month – a figure opponents argued didn’t comport with basic calculations that put the real figure closer to $350 per year. The package would have also increased the district’s debt-service burden by a staggering 80 percent.
Despite a heavily funded, misinformation campaign – of which 93 percent of around $68,000 came from debt financiers and contractors – all three school bonds were defeated on Saturday. The district is expected to come back with a new proposal soon.
That being said, the group who successfully opposed the measure says their work isn’t done yet. Round Rock Parents and Taxpayers is encouraging anyone concerned about the bond process to attend the district’s meetings to make sure their concerns are heard.
“The board needs to listen and respect the community and needs to shape up the administration to do the same,” said RRPT in a post on their Facebook page. “We cannot have another bond unless it is first developed via a truly bottom-up community-driven process, prioritizes real student needs in the schools we have (as well as real growth needs), and is fiscally responsible.”
“This bond package lacked all those elements and that’s why it failed,” RRPT concluded.