Let’s Get Real About ISD Bond Elections (Audio)

Two Bell County school districts – Belton ISD and Temple ISD – are asking taxpayers to approve new bond proposals in the upcoming May 7 election. Information is key for voters (from any school district!) determining support or opposition to this additional spending. A new podcast discusses recent columns and offers perspective which won’t be found at school district presentations.

As Bell County ISDs Seek New Bond Debt, Voters Deserve Real Numbers is a column that details current debt levels for both Belton ISD and Temple ISD. A prior article, Texas Sees Rise in Local Government Spending Fever, Affluenza Outbreaks; Bell County No Exception was written as a primer to this bond election season. It provides detailed information on bond debt as well as instruction on verifying debt information and searching the Texas Bond Review Board database to gather similar information on other entities. Temple, Texas School District Not Taking “No” For An Answer With Failure Of Bond Issue discusses Temple ISD’s new pass at a bond proposal package.

The podcast, Let’s Get Real About ISD Bond Elections, can be accessed below.

More getting real

My friend, Erin Anderson, has a great column out today at Texas Scorecard. Austin’s South by Southwest event is currently underway and with a desire to leave no ideologically liberal stone unturned, a SXSW Edu component has been added.

Without wanting to steal the thunder of Erin’s column, I’ll tease this:

Shaken by a drop in the pass rate for school bond propositions to an all-time low of 61 percent last November, Texas educrats got “artful” advice last week on ways to overcome voters’ resistance to approving big bonds that are paid for with property taxes.

One of the strategies proposed: confuse voters about property tax increases—by increasing tax rates.

The strategy was featured in The Art & Science Behind Passing a Bond Election, one of dozens of panels at last week’s SXSW EDU, an education conference that’s an offshoot of the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

It reveals a disconnect between the people who promote school bonds and the voters who are taxed to pay for them—with some being taxed out of their homes.

Ever thought bond election campaigns seemed contrived, formulaic, cookie-cutter? The presentation on which Erin reports offers great “behind the curtain” insight.

To learn more, check out Panel Exposes Disconnect Between School Bond Promoters and Property Taxpayers.

Lou Ann Anderson worked in central Texas talk radio as both a host and producer and currently hosts Political Pursuits: The Podcast. Her tenure as Watchdog Wire–Texas editor involved covering state news and coordinating the site’s citizen journalist network. As a past Policy Analyst with Americans for Prosperity–Texas, Lou Ann wrote and spoke on a variety of issues including the growing issue of probate abuse in which wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney are used to loot assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.

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