February 13, 2023
The Leander Independent School District is considering a bond election in May. During a special meeting, the district discussed the citizens’ Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) and Long-Range Planning Committee recommendations and other items to incorporate the Long-Range Plan, prioritize district needs, and build it into the CFAC’s bond recommendations.
The Long-Range Plan, created after two failed bond measures in 2021, focuses on four key areas: student access to learning experiences that interest them, facility optimization, fiscal responsibility, and changes in population over time. The Long-Range Plan aims to provide students with access to learning experiences that interest them and aligns with the CFAC’s bond recommendations.
As the district begins the implementation of its Long-Range Plan, it wants to ensure that the entire community is informed. The district is also considering a rezoning scenario in conjunction with the CFAC’s bond proposal. The first step in the rezoning plan is to address the population growth at the secondary schools in the central and north end of the district and optimize facilities to remain stable and balanced. The plan could result in rezoning for students currently attending Cedar Park Middle School, Danielson Middle School, Henry Middle School, Leander Middle School, Running Brushy Middle School, Stiles Middle School, Wiley Middle School, Glenn High School, Leander High School, Rouse High School, Cedar Park High School, and Vista Ridge High School. The feeder pattern for the southern part of the district at Vandegrift High School is not expected to be impacted.
The district has drafted the first set of middle and high school scenarios and is ready to review them with the community.
Chief Financial Officer Pete Pape presented to the Board explaining the district’s tax rate and its functions. The district has a bond debt capacity of up to $1.4 billion over the next four years without increasing the tax rate. Board President Trish Bode emphasized that the bond debt capacity may not be the same as a called bond and that future growth, bond rating, and state funding are essential factors that need to be considered.
The district is considering a bond election that could include New Hope High School, Early Childhood Centers, additional administrative offices, the Leander HS master plan, technology, and security. The district has added a special meeting on February 16th to continue discussions on this topic and possibly call for a bond election. The deadline to call an election for May 2023 is February 17th.