Voters in Gregory and Portland have once again demonstrated their support of public education on Saturday, according to a press release from Gregory-Portland Independent School District.
Unofficial election results showing reasonable indication that a $176 million school bond proposition has been approved by approximately 65% (1,357 votes).
San Patricio County recorded 2,092, thought likely some absentee ballots still have to be counted before the final results are compiled, the release states.
“We’d been hearing a lot of positive feedback in the last few weeks regarding this school bond. These election results reveal that our community actively supports our students, staff, and the long-term advancement of public schools,” Cavazos said. “With this support, we’ll be able to access revenue generated for school bonds."
The bond will include the fund to fund several projects:
- Adding hands-on learning opportunities at four GPISD elementary schools that are aligned with learning models at the new Early Childhood Center
- Construction of a replacement campus, baseball and softball turf fields for T.M. Clark Elementary School
- Cafeteria renovations at two schools
- A new G-P High School band hall
“We are extremely fortunate at this time in our history to be able to offer this bond with no increase to the total tax rate due to industrial growth in our area," Cavazos said. "We know that these kinds of opportunities will not always be available in the future."
"It is important that we strategically plan to maximize student success right now through bond opportunities, and I am exceedingly grateful to our community for understanding that need and answering our call for election with their votes ‘FOR’ Bond 2023.”
Because of the district’s status under current Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 49 “Robin Hood” law, Cavazos said she realizes that G-PISD’s state recapture payments will be increasing over time.
“This is one important reason for us to offer bonds to our community while we can do so with no increase to the total tax rate,” she said.
She also emphasized the ‘window of opportunity to have industry cover up to 90% of bonds with no total tax rate change is anticipated to last only about 10 years based on current industrial contributions.
School Board President Tim Flinn agreed, saying his time on the board has included a ‘crash course in Robin Hood law’ and a number of financial planning sessions including revenue and recapture projections through 2038.
“It’s quite a wake-up call when you understand the complexity of the school finance system and the way that wealth equalization works in the state," he said. "It causes our school board to have to weigh every possible circumstance and outcome before making key financial decisions."
Flinn said there is a lot of financial responsibility that the school board needed to be aware of when making tough decisions for the district.
“I am proud to be a Wildcat every day of the week and every week of the year," he said. "Today, you can really see why – because our community has once again decided to stand behind our kids. They are standing for teachers and school staff. They see that the future is bright and they want to be part of it. They’re voting “YES” to make our schools, the heart of our community, even better — and that gives us every reason to be proud to be ‘G-P.’”
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