By NAYELLI QUIROGA
Special to the PRESS
The Point Isabel Independent School District held a joint board workshop and bond committee meeting on August 3.
The meeting began with updates by PIISD Financial Advisors, Estrada, Hinojosa & Co. Because of the Robin Hood plan, when the state finances schools, they take from wealthier districts and disburse the funds towards lower income districts. PI-ISD falls under a higher tax bracket, not because the students’ families are economically needy, but because Port Isabel has obtained a lot of high value real estate. The city’s property values are worth $4.0299 billion.
The current Total District Tax Rate (TDTR) is $1.009 per $100 of property value. The district’s financial advisors calculated that the district could borrow $42.5 million dollars without facing a tax rate increase. With the additional money the district will gain from the M&O, the state will not dictate how the district will spend it. The current M&O is about $0.95 per $100 of property value and is not set to change more than 2 cents in either direction in the coming years.
The draft spreadsheet for assumptions of the new bond’s objective was to maximize the bond amount with No Total Tax Rate Increase. The bond amount would be $42.5 million dollars and it would be sold over time from March 2022 through June 2026. There will be two issues of this bond, one for $30 mil. and the other for $12.5 mil. The financial advisers are predicting a 1% increase in property values through 2026.
The board also discussed district needs. The wish list for the high school included an auditorium upgrade, gym sound equipment, AV equipment, better lighting in the lecture hall and cafeteria, and a transition house. At the junior high, they requested locker room upgrades, an outdoor area, canopies for drop off areas, bleachers for the gym, a gym renovation, an outdoor learning center, and an expansion to the life skills classrooms. Air curtains, science lab upgrades, and all-around fencing were included in the wish lists for all campuses.
The board tentatively announced that the district was awarded a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission for $287,000 to expand the district’s medical education programs. The district was told the news that morning and were awaiting the public announcement from Texas Workforce. The district has been gifted with over $5 million in grants, so it is very possible that their wish lists will be granted.