Members living in the Keller Independent School District (KISD) were encouraged through the end of October to take part in early votes, and vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election on the 2019 KISD Bond. While the election could’ve gone either way, the proposed 2019 KISD Bond ultimately passed with 53.46% of the votes.
One graphic displayed on the Tarrant County website updated on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2:12 a.m., displayed a total number of voters to be 17,287, 53.44% of them voting for the bond’s approval. However, the total number of voters reported late on the night of the election is not synonymous to the number of ballots cast in the cumulative report done by Tarrant County.
It is important to note that out of 113,643 registered voters in the area, only 17,792 ballots were cast, 15.66% of the eligible voting population. Only 15.44% actually voted on the bond, as 239 votes were ‘undervotes.’ This small percentage of voting participation should be taken into consideration when looking at how many people will be affected by the implementation of the bond, as anyone registered to vote within the district was eligible to vote in the 2019 KISD Bond Election.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that out of the total eligible registered voting population, only 8.26% voted for the approval of the bond, while close to 7.19% voted against it.
The community’s responses surrounding the bond is largely divided. The main point of contention that those who oppose the bond is the possible rise in property taxes as a result of improvements in the school, while those who approve of the bond focus on the safety and security upgrades to each school in the district.
The $315 million dollar bond’s projects include:
- District-Wide Safety & Security Upgrades | $19,679,692
- District-Wide Mechanical & Life Safety Upgrades | $30,800,715
- District-Wide Technology Upgrades | $24,328,980
- Florence Elementary School Replacement | $30,091,373
- Heritage Elementary School Replacement | $30,091,373
- Parkview Elementary School Replacement | $33,521,597
- Whitley Road Elementary School Replacement | $32,328,758
- Fossil Hill Middle School Additions & Renovations | $18,321,041
- Keller Middle School Additions & Renovations | $25,414,950
- Indoor Extra-Curricular Program Facilities at High Schools | $48,626,734
- New Industrial Trades and Agriscience Center | $21,509,217
Although the bond has been approved, it cannot be issued immediately. According to a statement made by KISD Chief Financial Officer Mark Youngs in August, KISD will distribute bonds over the next three years while the district prepares to work on each project.
“Our community believes in providing exceptional educational opportunities, and we appreciate its trust and confidence in us as we begin these projects that will impact all of our 42 schools,” KISD Superintendent Rick Westfall said in a prepared statement. “Now, we begin the design work for our construction projects as well as begin creating the processes for rolling out the updates for safety and security, technology and mechanical systems.”
While the projects will certainly take time to implement, according to Westfall the community of representatives that selected what projects to include in the bond and he is “excited that the rest of the community showed support for the projects their neighbors and peers selected.”