UPDATED: November 7, 2019 10:55 am
One McLennan County school district's long-deliberated bond issue was passed by voters on November 5th. Midway Independent School District's $148 million dollar bond proposal is mostly aimed at solving an overcrowing issue in a growing district. On Election Day 65.49 % of voters approved the proposal - or 4,415 people of the 6,741 who voted.
On Election Day At Woodway First Baptist Church KWBU spoke with voters about the bond.
Patty Davis, who voted yes on the proposal, said her children went to Midway and now she has grandchildren enrolled there also.
“I feel like it will help my property to have great schools and… Children need to be educated… we need all these facilities upgraded... so classes are not crowded and everything else," Davis said.
Three schools in MISD are over capacity - South Bosque, Castleman Creek and Midway Middle School. If approved by voters - the bond would create a new elementary school, eliminate the intermediate schools Woodgate and River Valley and repurpose them.
Ella Whitley is a retired educator from Midway Middle School. She says she voted yes because the schools need all they can get and overcrowding is a problem for students in MISD.
“You’re having more students in a smaller area which restricts their learning environment,” Whitley said.
But not all voters are for the bond. Levi Vlietstra said he thought the bond seemed like a lot of money for an issue he didn’t think was pressing.
“I don’t really support the school system as is, public schools, I don’t like them. I support the private schools, I think people should have the choice, get government out of schools," Vlietstra said.
One person who spoke to KWBU did not want to be named. She said she was unsure if her property tax values would actually decrease, as district officials have indicated. While another voter expressed his dissatisfaction with how the district handled the last bond election in 2013.
MISD has one of the lowest property tax rates in McLennan County – with it recently dropping to a a$1.25. Earlier this year Texas lawmakers approved House Bill 3, which increases school funding by $6.5 billion dollars and sets aside $5.1 billion dollars to lower school district taxes.
The Waco Tribune Herald reported MISD superintendent George Kazanas said "more voters cast ballots in favor of the bond issue in this election than in any previous bond election."