Mesquite

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Bond Election FAQs

New questions and answers about the bond election will be answered and posted here as they are received. If you have a question about the bond election, click here to submit your question for review.

Several frequently asked questions and answers are available in video format. Click here to be directed to the video FAQ page.


TOPIC:  Choice Career High School

What academic changes will be made at the other high schools?

 

Mesquite ISD plans to offer several four-year academies at its traditional high schools (JHHS, MHS, NMHS, PHS and WMHS). These academies will offer more in-depth programs based on some classes already being offered. For example, the cosmetology and welding programs would be expanded to include additional classes so that students are even better equipped to pursue college or career paths right out of high school. Students could choose to enroll in a four-year program at a school outside their attendance zone. For example, a student in MHS zone who wants to enroll in the cosmetology academy at PHS would be able to transfer to PHS.

When will applications be available for the choice career high school?

MISD is still in the planning stages for the new choice career high school, so the opening will be at least 3 years away. Applications will likely be accepted a few months prior to the opening of the new school as 8th-graders are registering for their high school classes.

Does MISD plan to open any choice middle or elementary schools?

Not at this time.

Would a student with dyslexia be able to enroll in the new choice career high school?

Yes. The only issue that might prevent a student attending the new choice high school is if he/she is at risk of not passing the state assessments. The reason is that students will not have time in their schedules for remediation. In other words, they would not be able to retake a core class or receive tutoring for the state assessment because their schedules will be full with other required courses/electives.

Where will the new Choice Career High School be located?

Mesquite ISD owns land near the softball complex in the southern portion of the district. This is where we plan to build the new high school.

Will transportation be provided for the students who choose to attend the new high school but live more than two miles from the campus?

Yes.

When is the new high school expected to open?

Our current plans are to open the new high school as early as the the fall of 2021.

How many students will the new choice career high school serve?

Our preliminary research indicates that this type of school experience is very appealing to many students and parents, so we expect to enroll between 1,500 and 2,000 students there.


TOPIC:  Tax Revenue and the Tax Rate

Why must the district hold an election to complete the projects included in the bond package?

MISD’s operating budget, which is funded through local tax revenue and state allocations, is limited and cannot cover these large expenditures. The district must have approval from voters before it can take on additional debt to fund these projects.

How can I find out how much my property taxes will increase if the bond package is approved by voters?

The average home value in Mesquite ISD (with a homestead exemption) is $128,000. For this home value, the increase will be about $62 per year or $5.15 per month. If your home’s value is higher, the increase will be greater for you, and vice versa.

Go to the page titled, “Two Parts of the Tax Rate” and follow the instructions for calculating the impact on your home’s taxes.


TOPIC:  Portable Buildings

Why is MISD so focused on eliminating portable buildings?

Portables provide flexibility for campuses where enrollment grows beyond capacity; however, many portables in our district have become perpetual additions to our campuses. By expanding the permanent structures to house all of the students enrolled at a campus, we create a safer, contained, more appropriate learning environment. In addition, the appearance of our neighborhoods improves without multiple temporary buildings to clutter the landscape.


TOPIC:  Use of Bond Funds

Can bond funds be used to pay our teachers more?

No, bonds can only be spent on capital expenditures, such as new buildings or infrastructure upgrades, among other large one-time purchases. Salaries are recurring expenses and must be paid out of the district’s Maintenance and Operations (M&O) budget.

If voters approve the bond package, are the proposed projects guaranteed to happen?

MISD intends to complete all of the proposed projects; however, unknown factors such as rising construction costs, unexpected enrollment gains or losses at certain campuses and property values all play a part in the final project outcomes. Because of these factors, the district must remain flexible in determining the timing and order of the projects. In addition, the $325 million proposal includes a flexible margin of $16 million over the estimated costs in the event those funds are needed.


TOPIC:  School Safety

With so much attention currently on school safety, will the district use bond funds to improve security at our schools?

MISD is always striving to improve school safety, and the district is exploring measures we can implement to make our buildings more secure. These upgrades, however, will come from dollars set aside in our reserve accounts rather than bond dollars.


TOPIC: High School Auditorium Upgrades

What kinds of upgrades are planned for our high school auditoriums?

All five of our high school auditoriums will receive improvements, which may include upgraded sound systems, lighting enhancements and/or new seating. The condition of the auditoriums vary, so they will be evaluated and addressed individually.


Miscellaneous Topics

How does building more buildings help students learn better?

MISD plans to build more campuses to address the overcrowding at our middle schools and high schools. Nearly all of our secondary schools are serving more students that they were built to house, so many portables have to be placed at the campus to provide additional classroom space. Portables are not an ideal learning environment and they are not as safe as a classroom located inside the school building. In some cases, class sizes may also be reduced if there are fewer students at a campus.

How would these projects help the MISD staff (in terms of pay and benefits)?

Construction projects and salaries/benefits come out of two different funding sources. The projects in the bond package do not affect salaries and benefits. Click on this link to see how MISD's funding systems work.