The $500 or $600 or $700 million that the district will end up asking us to vote for cannot be handled by the district in a span of time that makes it reasonable to give them that much money. Once we give it to them future boards will be free to “repurpose” it as circumstances change. They have done it in the past and will do it again.
As a case in point please remember that in 2007 we voted to give them $207 million.
Take a look at this June 29, 2016 presentation to the current facilities advisory committee:
Nine years after we voted to give them money they are still “In Design” for major projects.
EPISD tells us that changing demographics are causing them to have to close and consolidate schools.
If nine years after allowing $207 million the district has not even begun projects, what can we expect if we give them five or six or seven hundred million dollars today?
Their financial calculations (such as they are) assume that they will issue all of the new debt at today’s interest rate. The only way to guarantee that would be to sell all of the bonds immediately and thus have us pay interest on money that we cannot use because the construction planning and building process at EPISD cannot schedule all of their proposed projects at once.
The safer way for the public to do this is to grant the issuance of a significantly smaller sum of bonds and then watch to see if the district can complete the projects that we vote for in a reasonable period of time and with reasonable costs.
EPISD should ask for less money and then come back to the voters in following years if they have handled our money wisely.
Stay tuned over the next few days as we point out other problems with their plans as they stand now. Once again, our goal at this point is to try to help the school board see what we perceive to be problems with what the district is considering so that a reasonable bond referendum can be offered to the voters.
We deserve better