September 18, 2014

POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing

By Ed Sarlls
Member of the 2014 Katy ISD Bond Committee
GOP Precinct Chair -- Precinct 644

Government debt is ballooning in many areas of the country, potentially leading to local and state bankruptcy. Yet free market investors who see the value in Katy ISD stand ready to fund our school construction needs by paying premium prices for AAA rated Katy ISD bonds. Even in today’s low interest rate environment, taxpayers need to be vigilant in analyzing requests for additional debt. Such is the case with the 2014 Katy ISD bond proposal. Used properly, building with low-interest debt today can save millions in inflated costs later. Careful consideration in these areas is important to determine the worthiness of the proposal:

  1. Is the debt growing faster than the ability to pay? Katy ISD’s debt to property value ratio shows a steady decline. The Texas Comptroller and other oversight organizations recognize Katy ISD for financial integrity, and transparency.
  2. Is the debt growing faster than the need for the services provided? Katy ISD inflation adjusted debt per student is similar to other large fast-growth districts in Texas and is stable, even with the proposed bond added.
  3. Did voters approve the projects funded by the debt? The recession created low interest rates and lower construction costs that created a surplus from the 2010 bond authorization. The Board used this surplus to build two additional elementary schools, postponing the next school construction bond by a year. Notably, the board did not use these funds to build a stadium.
  4. Is debt funding recurring expenses? I agree with some bond opponents that recurring expenses should be in the maintenance budget. This includes items such as periodic replacement of flooring, roofing, buses, copiers, and computers. Converting from bond to budget funding for these items requires adjustment of priorities and planning. This change is a long-term objective that should be a subject of discussion for candidates for the Katy ISD School Board election in May.
  5. Are the proposed projects required at this time? With Katy ISD growing by 3000 students each year, we must build additional schools (48% of the proposal). Some schools already have six lunch periods starting before 10am and use separate bell schedules for each grade due to crowding in the cafeteria and hallways. Other facilities (30%) need renovation, replacements, or expansion to restore educational utility and implement current school standards. Scheduling our current seven high schools for varsity football games requires an additional stadium facility (8%) to avoid distant school-night games. This directly affects hundreds of students in each school’s football team, band, drill team, cheerleaders, and color guard. Short-term bonds allow replacement of copiers and computers (7%). Medium term-bonds fund replacement of 96 old buses, 100 new buses, and portable buildings needed over the next three years.

In summary, Katy ISD is a financially stable, well managed, and recognized district. While not perfect, Katy ISD has steadily improved over the last decade. The Bond Committee process itself, once more controlled by the School Board, changed to include over 200 self-nominated members of our community. After months of presentations, questions, and debate, the recommended projects passed a line-item vote by at least 2/3 of the community Bond Committee. The proposal builds six schools; providing space for 8890 new students, including the ones crowded into existing schools. Further delays in building schools will not only increase taxpayer costs, but also will significantly affect students in the growth areas with increased portable building usage, reduced parking space, and more traffic congestion. In listening to the community that voted down the dream stadium proposed in 2013, the Committee cut over $250 million in project requests, including scaling down the stadium project by $19 million. Adding the new stadium to the existing Rhodes facility saves over $25 million in land cost and uses the recently expanded traffic corridors to I-10 and the Grand Parkway. This central location is equally convenient to all district schools and keeps additional traffic out of other more congested areas. Katy ISD voters should be comfortable supporting the many necessary projects in this bond proposal while working to continue future improvements to the management and operation of our district.

|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing

TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing'.

Comments on POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing

If the stadium is in such dire need for the District then why was it voted down even bundled with STEM, FFA? Why is it bundled into this bond proposal? Why is it not standing on its own as it should be? Just an observation, Why is a stadium needed when students needs, not wants, especially special education, are ignored and or denied by the District? I would vote for the bond package if the District looks after all of the students needs instead of a few who are getting special treatment such as a new stadium. All of the programs that will / have used the stadium(s) are EXTRAcurricular activities! And for those who suggest that grades are improved due to sports, those students should be involved with the public sector such as pony baseball,football,volleyball, etc. leagues. It should not be run by government agencies who fail at everything they do.(VA, ISD, HHS, etc.)

|| Posted by William Casey, September 18, 2014 09:36 PM ||

Here are my charts related to the bond proposal.
FaceBook Photo Album

|| Posted by Ed Sarlls, September 18, 2014 10:25 PM ||

1) The 2013 proposal was for a 14,000 seat stadium with a lot of extra features added. It was an architects dream project rather than what was needed. The Bond Committee reduced the approved stadium budget by $19 million. I wanted to go still lower but 2/3 of the committee wanted to spend that amount.
2) The Bond Committee voted 80% in favor of a combined bond proposal. The Board agreed. For some this is a sticking point. Since the stadium and schools are both needed, I don't think it's a big issue. We don't separate out facilities for other programs for separate votes.
3) Our community elected a Board that has agreed to support extracurricular activities in our schools. If we wanted to cut those out, we would not need to build more schools because people would move elsewhere. And our property values would go down. Many hundreds of students in these activities are involved in every game, in addition to their own contests and performances. These are a core part of the total education experience we provide for our students.
Thanks for reading and commenting.

|| Posted by Ed Sarlls, September 18, 2014 10:35 PM ||

William, to add to Ed's comments, I would like to add a few points. There are a great many students who participate in school related athletics and activities for whom participating in private leagues is not a choice. These outside programs cannot only be cost prohibitive, but rely extensively on the parent's ability to get their child to practices which are often somewhat far away (or the parent is working and cannot go at all). The academic requirements for student athletes and other UIL participants most definitely makes these offering a "plus". I would most certainly agree that the focal point of funding and energy should go to academics within any school district, however we need to recognize the educational value of extracurricular activities in today's world. In an ever increasing digital age, personal connections, team building, and goal setting can be very well taught on a playing fields, in orchestra and band halls, through debate, robotics and many more areas which are facilitated through our school system. Let us also not forget, that in today's market, when a family is "shopping" for a school district, they often consider the strength of fine arts and athletic programs IN CONJUNCTION WITH the quality of academics. This is how we build the well-rounded students that are seriously in demand by colleges. (fyi - I do not have a child involved in school athletics, I happen to be a parent who pays to have their child participate in a sport that is not offered by KISD. I am also the parent of a student who graduated from KISD and was a participant in the Orchestra program). I also think that some of the community mistakenly thinks that the stadium will replace Rhodes stadium because it is being called a "new" stadium. This is an additional stadium due to lack of space to accommodate all our students (it seems you already are aware of this, but I am not sure all readers are). Thank you for all your comments and for caring enough about the issues to take time to engage in these dialogues.

|| Posted by Janet Thomason, September 20, 2014 08:17 AM ||

Rhymes With Right - POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing

|| Posted by lhxnlezleb, March 10, 2018 11:45 PM ||

Seattle was also the youngest team, according to USA Today.
Cheap NFL Jerseys China

|| Posted by Cheap NFL Jerseys China, March 11, 2018 11:55 AM ||

) with an almost uncontrollable energy.
Wholesale Jerseys

|| Posted by Wholesale Jerseys, March 11, 2018 03:02 PM ||

Knight finally written pledge to fulfill a military order!Owen Jefferson suspected the contradiction, huang zhan anger: don't win playoff team and the team retired showdown between the more and more intense, will the rockets in just eliminated the spurs tomorrow will come and warriors in the first fight
jordan retro

|| Posted by jordan retro, March 11, 2018 06:12 PM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?




Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Abortion (posts: 2)
Announcements (posts: 14)
Blogging (posts: 188)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 422)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 686)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1571)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 110)
Politics (posts: 5273)
Race & Racism (posts: 283)
Religion (posts: 820)
Terrorism (posts: 885)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)


December 2017
August 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure


About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site

Support This Site

Recent Entries

A Word Of Repentance
To Conservatives And Republicans Of Conscience
Reflecting On Charlottesville
On Fake News
Who Cares About The Emoluments Clause?
If It Doesn't Bother You, It Should
Bromance Turns America Into Russian Satellite State
Because Many Americans Would Findf The Biblical Plagues To Be Preferable
Because When A Minority Wins An Election, The Majority Must Shut Up
Hope For The Future


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs