Deer Park ISD

Instruction is our business

DEER PARK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
BOND ELECTION 2010
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Rev. 04.07.10
THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE FACTUAL INFORMATION RELATING TO DEER PARK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT’S 2010 SCHOOL BOND ELECTION.  THIS PUBLICATION DOES NOT ADVOCATE PASSAGE OR DEFEAT OF THE MEASURE AND IS PROVIDED ONLY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES.
BOND BASICS
What is a bond election?
A bond election is similar to a popular election in that voters have an opportunity to express their view on a particular issue.  Unlike a regular election, in which a voter expresses his or her support for a candidate, a bond election requires a person to vote in favor or against the district selling school bonds.  If the bond election is approved by voters, the district sells the bonds and uses the bond proceeds to pay for special projects or expenses.  The law restricts how a district can spend bond revenues.  Bond revenues can only be used for capital equipment or improvements such as new construction, renovation projects, furniture, library books, computers and network technology, school buses or other vehicles, and similar items.  Bond proceeds cannot be used for recurring costs such as teacher salaries and benefits, utilities, or insurance.
Why is the district having a bond election?
Just as a person’s home or vehicle requires maintenance or a tune-up, the district’s facilities and equipment need to be renovated, updated, or replaced.  Similarly, computers and other equipment wear out over time or become outdated and must be replaced. The difference is that, while it might cost a few thousand dollars to replace a home roof, it costs $1 million to replace a school roof.  And no public school district can afford to fund such expensive projects through their regular annual budgets.  Bond election projects can range from buying new library books or musical instruments to replacing school buses.
If the bond election passes, how will the bond proceeds be spent?

The district has conducted an extensive study to determine its needs over the next five years.  These needs have been divided into four major categories:

Instruction: $28.5 million
Safety/Security: $4 million
Support Services: $32.7 million
Facilities: $92.8 million
TOTAL: $158 million

For a more detailed listing of how bond funds would be spent, you can download a bond election brochure from the district’s website at www.dpisd.orgor call 832-668-7030 for a printed copy of the brochure.

How will the bond election impact my child’s school?
If it is approved, the bond election would fund many projects across the district.  Although the largest projects involve construction or renovation of selected facilities, most of the projects included in the bond election affect all schools in the district.  For instance, Instructional bond funds would pay for library books, new computers, and science lab equipment for all campuses.  Similarly, Support Services bond funds would pay for maintenance projects at all schools.  Bond funds in the areas of Safety & Security would also be used across the district.
If the bond election passes, how long will the money last?
This year’s bond election will pay for capital projects over the next five to seven years.
VOTING/ELECTION INFORMATION
When is the bond election, and where do I vote?

The election takes place Saturday, May 8, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.  Registered voters in the district should vote at the appropriate precinct polling place listed below.  If you are unsure of the precinct in which you live, call the district business office at 832-668-7027.

Precinct No. 1
Deer Park Community Center
610 East San Augustine
Deer Park, TX 77536

Precinct No. 2
Deepwater Elementary School
309 Glenmore Drive
Pasadena, TX 77503

Precinct No. 3
Lynchburg Crossing Baptist Church
301 Ilfrey Street
Baytown, TX 77520

Precinct No. 4
Fairmont Elementary School
4315 Heathfield
Pasadena, TX 77505

When does early voting take place?

Early voting takes place from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays from April 26-May 4. Early voting takes place at the Deer Park Independent School District Administration Building.  Requests for a ballot by mail should be directed in writing to Early Voting Clerk, Norma Hysler, Deer Park Independent School District, 203 Ivy Avenue, Deer Park, Texas 77536, ATTENTION: EARLY VOTING, or call (832) 668-7000 for an application form for an early voting ballot.

The district will make early voting even easier this year with Convenience Voting.  Registered voters who wish to vote early can do so at one of the early voting stations at the following locations:

Friday, April 30
6 - 9 p.m.
Relay for Life/Boys Gym
Deer Park High School – North Campus
402 Ivy Avenue
Deer Park, TX 77536

Monday-Tuesday, May 3-4
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
San Jacinto Elementary Field Days/McLean Stadium
Deer Park High School – North Campus
402 Ivy Avenue
Deer Park, TX 77536

What items do I need to vote?
Voting is easier than ever before.  Registered voters must bring proof of residency in Deer Park ISD.  Proof of residency includes a Voter Registration Card, a Texas Driver’s License, a utility bill (water, electricity, or gas), a mortgage statement, or similar item that includes an in-district address and the name of the registered voter.
I’m not registered to vote in Harris County.  How do I register?
If you would like to register to vote, please call 713-368-VOTE (8683) or go to http://www.tax.co.harris.tx.us/Voter/acquirevoterapp.aspxon the Internet.  On the website, you can download a registration card in English or Spanish and find other information.
BOND HISTORY
When was the last bond election, and how much was it?
The last Deer Park ISD bond election was held in 2005.  It was for $110 million.
Was the money spent according to the district’s plans at the time?
Yes.  All of the projects that were announced as part of the 2005 Bond Election were completed.  In fact, some of the projects were completed ahead of schedule and under budget, enabling the district to complete additional projects.
BY THE NUMBERS
How will the bond election affect my taxes if it passes?

Because of careful planning and strong financial management, the bond election will have a minimal impact on homeowners.  The district will repay the bonds over a 10-year period.  During that period, the average yearly tax increase for a home in Deer Park ISD would be:

Appraised Value
Taxable Value
(after Homestead)
Peak Monthly Tax Increase
$75,000 $45,000 $2.81
$100,000 $65,000 $4.06
$130,559 $89,447 $5.59
$200,000 $145,000 $9.06
$275,000 $205,000 $12.81

I’m over 65 years old.  Will the bond election affect my taxes?
If you are over 65 years old and have filed the appropriate paperwork with the Harris County Appraisal District, the amount of taxes you pay is capped.  Thus, if the bond election is approved, it will not increase taxes for people who have filed a 65 and over exemption.
Does the district have to share bond tax revenues with other districts and the state through the Robin Hood finance plan?
Absolutely not.  There are two parts to our district tax rate: the part that pays for the everyday operation of the school district (the maintenance and operations rate) and the part that pays back district bonds (the interest and sinking rate).  While the Robin Hood plan requires districts like Deer Park to share M&O taxes, 100 percent of every dollar of bond revenue stays in DPISD.
What will happen if the bond election does not pass?
Students will continue to receive the best education the district can provide.   However, the district will not be able to pay for most of the projects planned as part of the bond. Large renovations to existing facilities, purchases for items such as classroom computers, band uniforms, and library books, and other bond election projects would be canceled.
I don’t have any school-aged children.  Why should I support the bond election?
Our society depends on a well-educated populace, so when educators are provided with outstanding resources for students, our community benefits as well.  Also, a school district’s good reputation can have a strong impact on local property values.  Maintaining a successful school district also helps keep property values stable.
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