Just three months after voters rejected Conroe Independent School District’s massive $807 million bond proposal, the district is looking to resurrect much of the package and place another bond on the ballot for the November 2019 election.
Conroe ISD’s last bond was defeated 54-46 percent back in May, after a robust opposition campaign waged by local conservative activists and the Montgomery County Republican Party.
At a July 29 meeting, the board of trustees discussed a proposal presented by Superintendent Curtis Null for a $683 million bond package. Trustees discussed splitting the proposal into two separate propositions: a $660 million, slightly pared down version of the last bond, and a $23 million proposition to pay for artificial turf.
While the revised proposal is largely similar to the package rejected by voters, it leaves off funding for a new teacher training center, an agricultural center, or decommissioning of the Jett Center.
One of the main criticisms leveled against the May bond was that it contained items, like new technology, which would be financed over a much longer period than the life of the item itself. The new proposal would leave most of the fluff in, reducing the technology portion from $36 million to $20 million. According to Conroe ISD, the new technology would be financed over 10 years, meaning taxpayers will still be paying the bill long after the technology would be replaced.
Null’s plan would also remove a proposed 9th-grade campus addition to Conroe High School; however, the idea of removing the project received pushback from Board President Datren Williams.
According to Null, Conroe ISD would keep its property tax rate the same if the bond passed. However, this would constitute a tax increase for most homeowners, since they will still be paying more due to Montgomery County’s skyrocketing property appraisals.
The board will hold another meeting on August 6 to discuss the proposal. The deadline to place a bond on the November ballot is August 19.