If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Two months after a $250 million bond was narrowly rejected by Cleveland ISD voters, the district’s board of directors approved a $198 million bond election to be held during the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. According to Cleveland ISD Superintendent Chris Trotter, the bond this time around will come at zero cost to the taxpayers.
“We are so pleased that this bond referendum will not cause district residents to see an increase in the school tax rate. In combination with the property tax reduction from the legislature this year, residents will see an overall reduction in their school tax rate,” said Trotter. “Cleveland ISD is the fastest-growing school district in the state and this bond will help ensure that our facilities and infrastructure keep pace with that growth.”
The $198 bond will include funding for:
- Improvements and renovations to Northside Elementary
- Improvements to the existing baseball and softball fields at Cleveland High School
- Two new elementary campuses that will relieve overcrowding at Eastside Elementary and address continued growth
- One new middle school to relieve overcrowding at Cleveland Middle School and address continued growth
- Improvements to the new administration building
“This bond will address our fast-growth enrollment and reduce the use of portable buildings, which will improve the learning environment for our children,” said Board President Chris Wood. “In addition, the bond will allow us to continue to address safety and security needs of the district.”
Trotter will work with the school board and the Community Facility Committee to develop a comprehensive long-range master plan that will address the next 5-10 years of growth for the district. The master plan will detail the phasing of capital improvements and address instructional, safety and security needs.
In May 2017, Cleveland ISD voters approved an $80 million bond that paid for construction of Cottonwood Elementary in the Plum Grove area and the expansion to Cleveland High School. These new facilities will be complete and ready for the fall of 2020. The bond also funded construction of a new service center for the district’s auxiliary departments, such as the police department and transportation.
The end-of-year attendance numbers for Cleveland ISD on the last day of school in June was 6,719 students. Trotter is projecting to see between 6,825 and 7,200 students on the first day of school in August with more students enrolled after Labor Day.
In May 2019, voters narrowly rejected the district’s proposed $250 million bond, with 312 residents in favor and 354 against.