The Judson Independent School District board of trustees unanimously voted Thursday to call for a $302.5 million bond election that will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The bond package consists of three separate propositions, totaling $302.5 million. The first proposition would fund $252.3 million in renovations to existing school facilities and the purchase of land for new facilities and buses. The second proposition would pay for $14.9 million in updates to recreational facilities, and the third proposition would allow the district to make $35.3 million in upgrades to instructional technology and to acquire new technology.
The bond issue would not require the district to raise its tax rate, which was about $1.28 per $100 property valuation in 2020.
A growth and planning committee made up of staff, community members, parents, business leaders, and trustees began meeting in March to examine Judson ISD’s growth, its programs, other school districts’ programs, and what the district can offer students in the future, Superintendent Jeanette Ball said at Thursday’s meeting. The committee met seven times this year.
Ball said the committee arose out of discussions with board members who want to ensure Judson ISD is “competitive across not only Bexar County but the state of Texas.”
“We want our students to stay in our district, and the only way we can get them to stay is by providing them the very best,” she said.
Helen Keaton, executive director of facilities, said the bond package also would fund new academic programs, update infrastructure, and install air conditioning in all school gymnasiums. Additionally, it would pay for improvements at athletic fields at all three high schools and new technological infrastructure and devices.
Stacy Adams, father of two Judson High School graduates and booster club president, served on the committee. He said the members wanted to address the “needs and deficiencies” in schools, such as a lack of air conditioning in gyms. He also believes the district should not only keep up with ever-changing technology but become a leader in providing students and staff with the technology they need.
“We have to make sure that every student in our district has the same advantages and the same opportunities,” he said. “We should provide the type of schools that each student deserves in the Judson ISD.”
Trustees Jose Macias, Rafael Diaz Martinez Jr., and Jennifer Rodriguez served on the growth and planning committee. Each voiced support for the bond package at the board meeting. Rodriguez said she was glad the committee represented many different perspectives and that she wants to see the community involved in future decisions related to the bond, if it passes.
“That’s my next push is how are we getting [the] community voice in really meaningful ways and that information flowing back out into the community, as well, not only about how their money is being spent but the outcomes that it is leading to, particularly on the academic side,” she said.