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Midway ISD To Hold November 5 Bond Election

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Ms. Jenna Simpson’s class from Spring Valley Elementary. ";

One growing McLennan County School District is preparing to vote in November on a $148 million bond proposal - aimed at solving an overcrowding issue among other concerns. 

Three schools in Midway Independent School District are over 100% capacity – 2 elementary schools - South Bosque and Castleman Creek and Midway Middle School. The $148 million dollar bond proposal would create a new elementary school, eliminate the intermediate schools Woodgate and River Valley and repurpose them. 

Woodgate would become an elementary school and River Valley would become a middle school. 

At a State of the School luncheon this past week – school officials met to update the community and talk about the proposal - as well as how to prepare for the projected growth of an additional 2,000 students expected to enroll in the next 10 years. 

George Kazanas, the superintendent at M-I-S-D, said the bond proposal would also add on an addition for Career and Technical Education to Midway High School. 

"If we have this new facility then we can renovate those classrooms for general education type classrooms like English or math – and at the same time meet the growing demand in our student interests in career and technical education which also though leads to them being prepared for college or for career," Kazanas said.  

M-I-S-D has one of the lowest property tax rates in McLennan County. It recently dropped to $1.25 after staying a consistent $1.32 since 2008. The drop was a result from the last Texas legislative session where lawmakers approved HB3, a bill that increases school funding by $6.5 billion dollars and sets aside $5.1 billion dollars to lower school district taxes. 

“The other part of these new dollars in public education is to fund more from the state level instead of the local property collections that have been occurring," Kazanas said. 

The M-I-S-D tax rate structure consists of two funds: Maintenance and Operations which pays for day-to-day operations – like salaries, utilities, supplies, repairs and fuel – and Interest and Sinking, a debt services fund which are principle and interest payments on debt issued for new construction, renovations and more. 

The tax rate for the Maintenance and Operations fund dropped from $1.04 to $.97 in August as a result of HB3 while the tax rate for Interest and Sinking remained the same at $.28. 

If the bond proposal passes in November – the full tax rate could drop another cent to $1.24. 

Kazanas says the additional drop is due to rise in property values in the district – which has added capacity in the amount the school can borrow. 

“The fact that we don’t sell bonds over 20 years – any excess dollars that we collect have been applied toward paying down our principle in interest and so that has added more capacity – and so we actually can lower it one more penny if this bond is approved by our voters," Kazanas said. 

Early voting begins on October 21 – November 1st. The bond election is on November 5th