In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring the ballot for all school district bond referendums to include the sentence, “This is a property tax increase.”  The sentence is required even if no actual tax rate increase will occur.

A school bond is similar to a mortgage on a home. The school district is asking its voters to be able to borrow a specific amount of money, in this case, $381.6M. If we voters approve the bond, the district will then begin to sell tax-free municipal bonds as needed to finance the construction and implementation of approved projects. Districts repay the bonds through revenue generated from property taxes collected by the district. In this case, it is estimated that the district will be able to pay off the debt without an increase in the school tax rate. 

Bond dollars can only be put towards capital projects – the construction and renovation of school facilities – transportation, technology, equipment, and land acquisition. Bond dollars cannot be used for teacher and staff salaries. 

provides challenging career pathways for all students, utilizing real world practices and evolving skill sets, attitudes and behaviors. CTE classes and pathways range from business/finance to engineering and health/science to agricultural and veterinary science, architectural design, welding, computer science, graphic design and culinary arts. CTE allows our kids to explore an interest that may spark a passion or give them an opportunity to see if it’s something they like — or maybe don’t like. Giving kids the chance to explore a host of possibilities that can shape their future – is what makes CTE programming such an educational gem. 

Due to a new state law, you will see “This Is a Property Tax Increase” on your ballot, but your tax rate will not increase as a result of this election. When you go to vote, REMEMBER Props A & B will not change your tax rate. This is standard language required on all school bonds.

SBISD has always had a reputation as a well-regarded, high-performing district. When the district built its current Career & Technical Education Center — The Guthrie Center — back in 1972 — it was the standard by which other districts measured. That was 50 years ago. Industry and technology have progressed well beyond the walls of Guthrie, and now is go-time for the district’s central CTE facilities — The Guthrie Center and the Agricultural Science Center (The Ag Farm) be brought into the 21st century. This CTE-focused bond is the direct result of a commitment made after the successful passing of the 2017 bond to develop a world-class CTE vision with facilities built to accommodate and evolve  according to industry-standards. 

This bond is 4.5 years in the making. Hundreds of SBISD parents, community members, teachers, students, campus staff, industry professionals and district staff have researched, studied, toured CTE centers around the state, assessed and discussed the formation of the world-class CTE vision that has been developed and is now on the May 7 ballot. Giving our kids access to real-world, industry-standard, hands-on career experiences that they can walk away from high school with industry certifications, college credit and marketable, employable skills is not only a game-changer, it’s a life changer. The roughly $291M directed to CTE facilities, classroom and lab replacements, expansions and/or enhancements aligns with the  recommendation of the Career & Technical Education Bond Advisory Committee. The board has the discretion to honor that recommendation and tweak, as board members see fit. In the case of this bond, the board is also addressing some immediate district needs: an additional classroom wing at Valley Oaks Elementary (due to an unexpected but welcome student population growth) and stormwater detention requirements made as a result of Hurricane Harvey that are affecting current builds (from the 2017 bond). 

No! Due to the fiscal responsibility of Spring Branch ISD, this increase in the amount of debt taken on will not necessitate a higher tax rate in order to be paid off within the legal timeframe. Property taxes may rise depending on changes in underlying property values, but that is determined by Harris County’s appraisal district, not Spring Branch ISD.

Over 60% of all SBISD high school students and 41% of SBISD middle schoolers are taking a CTE class on their home campus and/or at The Guthrie Center and/or The Agricultural Science Center (Ag Farm).  

Most importantly, the need to keep SBISD competitive and well-regarded will not go away. The fact that SBISD’s CTE facilities are undersized and outdated will remain, which would directly impact our kids by limiting the number of students who can participate in CTE programs and short change them by limiting access and exposure to real-world, hands-on industry experiences. Passing this bond demonstrates the community’s commitment to providing SBISD kids with the facilities and infrastructure to ensure a well-rounded educational path to the future. 

Early voting is April 25-May 3 and Election Day is May 7. 


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