Superintendent Speaks on Future Bond Issue

Photo+provided+by+KISD+2015+bond+website.+

Photo provided by KISD 2015 bond website.

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During a board meeting on Jan. 12, members unanimously voted for a $498.1 million bond referendum to address rapid enrollment growths and long-range capital projects.

“The Klein ISD Community will see their taxpayer dollars at work in five categories: growth, renovations, technology, buses, and safety/security. They are all an important part of the bond,” Superintendent Jim Cain said. “Due to projected enrollment growth (a conservative estimate from our demographer of 13,000 students over the next 10 years) new schools were identified to accommodate the growth over the next five years.”

Plans for the 2015 bond have been in the works even as the 2008 bond – the bond that provided for the renovation of Klein High School – took effect. Meetings regarding the 2015 bond began once the 2008 bond neared completion in 2014, according to the KISD website.

“We analyzed our facilities and our instructional programs with the assistance of several consultants, then brought together a Steering Committee of 120 parents, students, community members, and employees who met on four occasions during the fall semester,” Cain said. “We also took input from two sessions where the Klein ISD Community was invited to provide input and critique the work that was underway. The Steering Committee analyzed all of the ideas, the data, and the needs.”

According to the KISD website, parts of the proposed bond will start projects concerning the construction of a new schools and the addition of more school buses to account for every kid in the school district. This bond will be split among existing schools as well, addressing needs such as repairs in old facilities, incorporation of the 1:1 tablet program, and advancement in fine arts organizations. Specifically, Klein High receives $9,861,950 to cover needs listed above and also in security equipment, library curriculum, and technology infrastructure. The end result: new opportunities for students to learn.

“More energy efficient renovations will allow taxpayer dollars to be used in classrooms, career and technical education programs will be enhanced, and more technology will be provided for student and teacher use in all classrooms,” Cain said.

Yet everything planned is not set in stone. For example, according to the 2008 bond website page, decisions were made to postpone the construction of new school and a childcare center, as well as to relocate funds, in order to account for needs such as the construction of Klein High and two new elementary schools.

“The bond is a blueprint that is subject to change if factors intervene that are beyond our control – accelerated or slowed enrollment growth, economic factors, and so on. The Board of Trustees always makes the final determination for the projects and the timelines,” Cain said. “If the bond dollars are not there, you can either modify certain projects or delay them for a later time.”

Residents of the Klein community will be able to vote on the bond on Saturday, May 9. Early voting will also take place from Apr. 27 to May 5. For online information on the proposed bond, including a breakdown of funds by school, financial accountability, and an extended Q&A section, visit http://www.kleinisd.net/users/Bond2015/bond2015/index.html.

“We already have a great deal of information on our district website. There will be information going to the public in hard copy, and we will be providing information in face-to-face meetings with individuals and groups,” Cain said.