Houston-area voters on Tuesday backed roughly $5 billion in bonds for new school buildings, technology upgrades and athletics facilities.
This election cycle, 10 school districts across greater Houston put bond issues on the ballot, ranging from $15 million to $2 billion, worth a total of $5.7 billion. In most cases, voters appeared to green light the initiatives, sending them toward passage.
School bond measures allow districts to borrow money for construction or other large investments. If voters approve, districts are pre-approved to borrow a set amount of money, which they pay back over time. For each proposition to pass, a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote is needed.
Conroe Independent School District in Montgomery County put forward the largest bond package at $2 billion. Most of the money will be used to improve existing campuses and purchase new sites, according to the ballot proposition. However, the district says it also will make other investments, such as a competition swimming pool and an agricultural barn for its career and technical education program.
Aldine and Katy ISDs presented the second- and third-largest packages at $1.8 billion and $840 million, respectively.
Houston ISD did not put a bond levy on the ballot, but new Superintendent Mike Miles said residents should expect one as soon as next fall. The last time HISD voters passed a school bond was in 2012, when a measure raised $1.9 billion for facilities upgrades. Miles says many of the buildings in Texas’ largest district are overdue for fixes.
Here’s how the Greater Houston bond packages fared:
Last updated 10:11 a.m.
Total value: $2 billion
What the bonds are for: School building upgrades, new school sites, new buses, elementary school gyms, competition swimming pool, educational agricultural barn
How did they do: Three of the four bond measures passed by large margins, according to the final vote tally. The fourth measure, the bond for the swimming pool, narrowly failed.
Total value: $1.8 billion
What the bonds are for: Campus improvements, new school sites, construction of a performing arts center, technology
How did they do: All three bond measures appeared likely to pass, with more than half of precincts reporting.
Total value: $841 million
What the bonds are for: School building construction and renovation, technology, athletic facilities improvements, swimming pools
How did they do: Of the four measures on the ballot, voters green lit two, accounting for a combined $807 million. Measures for athletic facilities and a swimming pool were shot down.
Goose Creek ISD
Total value: $386 million
What the bonds are for: Replacing Sterling High School, safety improvements, new school buses, renovation of an athletic stadium, technology
How did they do: All three bond measures failed by double-digit margins.
Clear Creek ISD
Total value: $302 million
What the bonds are for: School building construction, renovation, acquisition and expansion, technology
How did they do: Voters OK’d both bond issues.
Total value: $125 million
What the bond is for: New school buildings, properties and buses
How did it do: The bond measure failed by a wide margin, according to Liberty County’s unofficial results.
Santa Fe ISD
Total value: $93 million
What the bond is for: Construction, purchase and renovation of school buildings
How did it do: The bond measure failed in a tight vote, according to Galveston County’s unofficial results.
Total value: $92 million
What the bond is for: New career and technical education center, new police training facility, school safety improvements, school buses
How did it do: The measured passed with a majority of voter support.
Total value: $85 million
What the bond is for: School facilities
How did it do: Voters rejected the bond measure by a large margin.
Lamar Consolidated ISD
Total value: $15 million
What the bond is for: Renovation of athletic stadium
How did it do: The measure did not pass, according to Fort Bend County’s unofficial tally.