EducationElections 2021Local NewsVoters Reject Leander ISD’s $727 Million Bond to Finance New Schools

Only one of three proposals from Leander ISD was approved by voters this week.
November 4, 2021
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The second-largest school bond in the state faced a narrow defeat Tuesday night as Leander ISD voters rejected the $727.2 million proposition. The proposal would’ve financed the construction of new buildings, including five new schools, and the renovation of two existing schools to expand capacity.

The final margin was one percentage point, amounting to 215 votes difference in the school district with over 40,000 students. Leander ISD said the bond, along with two others on the ballot Tuesday, was necessary for the population growth the district expects to come.

Those other two finished with slim margins, as well. Proposition B, a $33 million bond to finance technology upgrades including laptops for students and faculty, passed by 805 votes, and Proposition C, a performing arts center upgrade, failed by 765 votes.

While district leaders said the propositions wouldn’t increase the property tax rate, each would yield a property tax increase due to rising appraisals. The bond items specified on the ballot that each would increase property taxes, a requirement under a state law passed in 2019.

In 2017, Leander ISD voters approved a $454 million school bond by a substantial margin.

The Texan Tumbler

Leander ISD’s proposals were among 149 total across the state on voters’ ballots that collectively totaled $10.8 billion. The proposal one slot on above Leander ISD’s in terms of total cost, Fort Worth ISD’s $1.2 billion item, passed by only 42 votes.

The Central Texas school district, located in Williamson and Travis counties, expects 12,400 new students over the next decade as population growth surges.

“Growth continues across Leander ISD,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing said. “We have to re-engage our community to determine our next steps for supporting more students and taking care of our existing schools. As a public institution, we serve at the direction of our community.”

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.