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Eanes And Hutto Independent School Districts Ask Voters For Bond Money In May 4 Election

Julia Reihs

Residents in two Central Texas school districts will decide whether to pass bonds in the May 4 election.

Eanes ISD is asking voters to approve an $80 million bond, and Hutto ISD is looking for $194 million. If approved, neither bond would increase the tax rate in those communities.

Here’s what each district is hoping to do with the money.

Eanes ISD

Most of the $80 million from the Eanes ISD bond would go toward improving district facilities, academic programs and technology. The bond earmarks $28 million for roofs, HVAC systems and general building improvements. Another $28 million would go toward improving classroom technology, fine arts equipment, athletic equipment and seatbelts on buses, among other things.

Superintendent Tom Leonard said the district is turning to a bond because of its high recapture payment. This year, Eanes ISD is paying $101 million of its property taxes back to the state. He said the district tries to use as much money as it can from property taxes on salaries.

“To do that, we try to pay for as many things as we legally can through bond funds,” he said.

The bond would also put $5 million toward energy efficiency in schools and $11 million toward improving the aquatics center, wrestling space and robotics program. The bond includes another $8 million for school safety and security.

“We will not turn our buildings into maximum-security prisons, but we do believe we can do some things better with security cameras, access control and notification systems,” Leonard said.

Find your closest early voting location here.  

Hutto ISD

Hutto’s bond proposal of $194 million would help the district’s schools match its growing student population.

Todd Robison, a spokesperson for the district, said the last time Hutto proposed a bond was in 2008, when there were around 4,500 students. This year, about 7,500 students are enrolled in the district.

Much of the money would help expand and improve schools. Hill and Hutto elementary schools would get new roofs and HVAC systems, and improved kitchens.

If the bond passes, the district hopes to build a new middle school, as well as make building improvements at the two current middle schools.

Robison said a second high school wouldn't be built for another six or seven years, so it's not included in the bond.

"But significant additions [and] renovations to the existing high school are a big part of it,” he said.

Some of the high school improvements include expanding the band hall, theater programs and career and technical education programs and facilities.

Find your closest early voting location here

Early voting ends April 30.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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