What to know about the Bellville ISD 2021 Bond Election

Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Aging school buildings, a growing student population and the need for more programs are all at the the center of debate over how to pay for it all.

BELLVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- In the Bellville community, a school bond election is at the center of debate.

Aging school buildings, a growing student population and the need for more programs are among the long term issues the school district faces.

"The junior high has a leaking roof, leaking windows," said Jessica Gordon, a parent and supporter of the 2021 bond. "It does not have the capacity for the lunch time. I'm told they are short 40 lockers this year."

According to Bellville ISD website, the Long Range Planning and Capital Improvement Committee, took almost a year to come up with a list of proposed solutions to help with the ongoing issues while accommodating anticipated future growth.

"We think that this bond will help improve those conditions for our students and our families," said Phillip Shackelford with the Capital Improvement Committee. "I want to see this for our children."

The Bellville ISD board of trustees unanimously voted for the $112.4 million bond election that will appear on the ballot with two propositions.

Proposition A includes building a new high school, transitioning students and improvements to other school buildings.

Proposition B includes a new sports complex, including facilities for baseball, softball and tennis.

Some residents, like John Robertson, oppose the bond election due to the suggested property tax increase.

"It's poor mismanagement," Robertson said. "We don't need it. They don't need it. They need to be more frugal with what they do have and use what they do have responsibly, and then they won't need this increase."

Based on the average home value of $200,000, if approved, taxpayers will see an increase of about $32 per month on their property tax bill. For residents 65 or older, there is an exception. If you apply for it, then your school taxes won't increase under the proposals.

Gordon and others have been vocal about misinformation that's spread regarding what could happen if the bond passes, including the false claim that parents would have to pay tuition for their student to go to school. Bellville ISD would still remain a public school district, which means free education for students who live within its boundaries.

"This is a bond issue, and it's related to property taxes, and so students don't have to pay. Families don't have to pay to go to school here," Shackelford said.

The district has been hosting informational meetings for the community regarding the bond proposals. The Bellville ISD website has more about them and what's ahead.

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