ARE WE NEEDING TO BE $1,000,000,000 IN DEBT?
The Board of Trustees seems to think so…so now it will be up to the voters.
Find analysis of what’s in the Bond Propositions here.
Proposition A Details
Proposition A has the much needed High School. Unfortunately, the total $ considered in this bond include so much more that the High School is only part of the consideration and there is a question of whether the “gym” is really a “gym” or if it is an athletic facility that voters should be able to approve through a separate proposition.Learn More
Proposition B Details
Proposition B is for the Technology Spend. Unfortunately, the total $ considered in this bond also has key issues that need to be considered.Learn More (TBD)
Proposition C Details
Proposition C is for additional Athletic spend that the voters will need to consider.Learn More
Let’s Talk TAXES!
The District is proud of the $.018 tax rate decrease. Let’s take a closer look to see what your tax bill could look like.
Non-Capital Project Expenditures are Troubling
Uniforms and curriculum were part of the 2018 bond, and now again in 2022. Read the law excerpt in the link below to see what you think – should they really be including these expenditures in the bonds??Learn More
Safety and Security Details
The District has publicly claimed over $97M in Safety and Security Projects. Let’s take a look at this claim in more detail.Learn More
Wants not Needs
The Long Range Facilities Planning Committee approved EVERY ITEM that was asked for by the District. You only have to look at the items that were notated to be Priority 2 and Priority 3 – $30 Million Worth – to understand that this bond package is based on Wants not on real Needs for the education of our kids. This is not even considering that the $44 Million Competition Arena was designated as a Priority 1 and included in Proposition A with the High School – taking the CHOICE of whether to approve the High School and not an elitist Arena out of the hands of the voters. We need a better bond! Click the button below to see the Priority 2 and 3 items that were not cut.Learn More
Operating Expenses Unknown
The District is touting that the tax rate will stay the same. They vote on it every single year. And through a query and a response from the District, it has been confirmed that the M&O (Maintenance and Operating Expenses) for the new High School, $44M Competition Arena, the $25M Maintenance Building, the $900,000 Concession Stand, and more, have not been estimated and won’t be until AFTER the bond passes. The 2 new Elementary Schools have had start-up costs for additional staff and non-payroll operations in in 2024-25 and 2025-26. So actual tax implications for these new facilities are not known, but we do know that taxes will be needed to cover them.
Committee Member Makeup Recap
50 Committee Members – 9 were employees, 3 were family members of employees. So 12 out 50 or 24% with direct District affiliation. Of the 12, only 3 own property in LTISD. Most of the 38 parent members are property owners – all but about 6 or 7. In addition, there were 6 LTISD “table facilitators”. Of the 6, only 1 owns property in LTISD.
UNKNOWN IMPACT TO OPERATING EXPENSE
At the July 2022 Board of Trustees Meeting, the Board approved a FY 2022-23 budget with a $2.22M deficit. The new bond has approximately 8 new buildings and 8 renovations. Impact to staffing costs, insurance, utilities, and other operating expenses has not been disclosed. These operating dollars (called M&O) will increase our taxes. In addition, any extension of debt, while perhaps not increasing the levy rate, is a tax increase. Full stop.Video on Tax Increase
BUDGET SET ON DEBT CAPACITY
Bond debt capacity was determined to be $720M by a 3rd party financial consultant. Budget of $703M which included every line item proposed by Administration (no cuts made). Maintenance & Operating (M&O) impact was not reviewed and details behind financial estimates prepared by consultants was not considered in the process.
$55M TECHNOLOGY ESTIMATES WAVED THROUGH
The consultant report which was used to develop the $55M technology spend was not reviewed by the Long Range Planning Committee or the Trustees, according to the Trustees and information published on the website. Questions such as why is $2.5M needed for a new Middle School? Did we have faulty technology in the initial build? A FOIA request has been submitted to get a copy of the Consultant deliverables but has not been received yet. UPDATE: FOIA response was received, but apparently the final deliverable was only the financial estimates. The FOIA request had asked for any report(s) or presentation(s), including cover letter and appendices or attachments, prepared by the consulting organization to fulfill the deliverable commitment(s) of the vendor proposal. The title of the RPF was “Lake Travis ISD Audit and Program Review”. A new FOIA request has been submitted for the RFP, the Proposal, and the Contract to better understand what the Audit and Program Review were intended to do…just provide cost estimates with no explanation as to WHY the costs needed to be incurred? Update will be provided here. 8/10/22
COMMITTEE DID NOT REVIEW ESTIMATE DETAILS
The Long Range Facilities Planning Committee took a bus tour of the facilities, and were provided a bullet point list of needs with a per-campus estimate. Assessment Reports with the details were not provided to the Committee, the Trustees or to the public for this $39M in spend. A FOIA request has been submitted to get a copy of the Consultant deliverables but has not been received yet.
Further, there are additional estimates for items such as $500K in “door hardware as needed” and $5M in millwork, begging the question as to why the door hardware and millwork was not included in the Facilities Conditions Assessment analysis and report.
LACK OF COMMUNITY BUY-IN ON VISION
Tax dollars are being asked to build a $44M competition arena, another barn for $3M, spend $1.2M for golf bays and putting greens, $16M for stadium uplifts, $900,000 for a baseball concession stand (not a typo) and more. With the need to build a High School, Science classrooms and 2 more elementary schools, as well as struggle through hard economic times, the decision to tack on $94M in athletic related spending needs to be questioned.
NON-CAPITAL ITEMS ARE INCLUDED
Athletic and Fine Arts uniforms, and curriculum and instructional materials are included in the bond items. These are atypical for school bond requests as these are disposable, short-term assets, and should not be subjected to long-term interest. Other school districts are more disciplined about preserving the financial integrity of their bonds through maintaining a capital project mindset.See what Texas Law Says
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Middle School #3 was originally budgeted for $76M and is at least $1.4M over budget. The school opened in August 2019 and the project is showing as Completed on the website. As of July, 2022 financial records, Administration is still charging expenses to the project and it is showing that an estimated $2.4M is left to spend. Is it complete or not? What have we learned from the overrun in order to prevent future overruns? Why is $2.5M in additional technology spend being estimated in the 2022 bond propositions? We need better transparency and accountability for our funding of capital projects.
LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO VOTERS
2018 bond monies were reallocated in the Board Meetings – to non-capital items such as uniforms and training for the newly in-sourced Police Force, an LTMS Wastewater Management System and Contingency. Further, clear traceability for these Change Control items are not disclosed on the website.