- Bond 2023 Home
- Early Voting Locations in Katy ISD
- Election Day Voting Locations in Katy ISD
- Tax Rate Illustration
- Tax Rate Projection for 2023 Bond
- Projects by Campus- Bond 2023
- Projects by Feeder Pattern – Bond 2023
- Projects by Location- Bond 2023
- Project Costs by Proposition- Bond 2023
- Northwest Capacity Challenges
- Demographic Study - Nov 2022
- Community Bond Advisory Committee
- Informational Videos
- Bond Overview Video
- Bond History
- Bond 2014
- Bond 2017
- Bond 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
For the new campuses planned in years 2023 through 2026, how and when will the attendance zones be determined?
The attendance boundary modification (ABM) process takes place approximately one year prior to the opening of a new campus.
Bond Committee & Advocacy
Can members of the Community Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) advocate for the bond at district facilities and/or events?
No, Committee members’ work is not advocacy - it is fact-finding and input sharing. During their meetings, in any publications they produce, or any other activities they take on in their respective roles as Committee members, they should not advocate for or against a proposition.
However, on their own time, separate and, apart from the Committee, they are free to express opinions as long as they do not represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the district or the bond committee.
Building Component Replacements
What are building component replacements?
Building component replacements include floors, exterior lighting, interior lighting, chillers, building management control systems, boilers, roofs, skylights, windows, fire alarms, P/A systems, emergency generators, track surfaces, fire-retardant stage curtains, athletic field lighting and gym bleachers, to name a few. The component replacements list included in the Bond 2023 proposal was developed from a much more comprehensive list that Katy ISD's Maintenance and Operations Department maintains for all campuses and facilities. The components in the proposed Bond 2023 building components list represent our campuses and facilities' most critical replacement needs for the next three years.
What are building component life cycles?
All building components have recommended life cycles, or life spans. Manufacturers, builders, and contractor associations as well measure, test and determine the life cycles of different building components. Extending a building component's life cycle beyond its intended lifespan often leads to increased costs associated with maintaining that equipment. Replacing building components at their lifecycle end lowers total maintenance and repair costs over time.
Capacity & Growth
How are future growth and enrollment trends for Katy ISD campuses determined?
The district has worked with Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) for more than two and a half decades. PASA works closely with district officials to develop attendance boundary modifications as new schools are built.
What is design capacity?
Design capacity is the maximum number of students that would be able to occupy all regular classrooms. Design capacity for an elementary school is 1,030; junior high is 1,400; high school is 3,000. Some older schools have smaller design capacities.
What is functional capacity?
Functional capacity is based on current classroom and common area utilization. For example, a classroom designed for 25 students that is repurposed for a special education classroom may only hold a class of 15 students due to the materials and/or equipment used in that classroom. This scenario applies to libraries, cafeterias, gyms, computer labs, and fieldhouses as well. Currently, design capacity is used in standard reports, but does not reflect the functional use of a building. Functional capacity is generally 10% less than design capacity which allows for the best functional use of a campus while ensuring a positive learning environment.
What is the methodology for determining functional capacity?
Our equation is: "3,000 students X 90% = 2,700 students." This is functional capacity.
What do high school enrollment projections in the northwest quadrant look if a bond is not passed in 2023?
What do junior high enrollment projections in the northwest quadrant look like if a bond is not passed in 2023?
What do elementary school enrollment projections in the northwest quadrant look like if a bond is not passed in 2023?
If growth predictions are accurate, why are schools opened at above 100% capacity?
In general, new schools are not opened at 100% capacity, but at times, high growth areas do rapidly exceed capacity prior to the opening of a new school being constructed to provide relief.
Are the newer schools over capacity?
Newly constructed schools in high growth areas soon exceed design capacity. Portables are utilized as a planning tool to enable the school enrollment to grow and to support the construction of a school that will provide enrollment relief.
What are geo-coded students?
The term “geo-coded students” refers to the process of assigning geographic coordinates to a student address. Geo-coded students are tagged to their residence (street address). The number of geo-coded students in each land use zone is utilized in planning for enrollment and attendance boundary modifications.
Is it possible to apply the programmed space of the new prototype schools to older schools to determine a standardized functional capacity for each school?
No. Functional capacity varies from school to school based upon a variety of factors including grade grouping, special programs, etc.
Since new schools will be needed, will there be an emphasis on making each school different, requiring new blueprints and costs, or will layouts be duplicated to save expense?
Existing prototypes are utilized for future schools in a refined, repeated manner, gaining constructive input from the previous school occupants. This process allows the district to utilize a reduced fee for architectural services.
How does each campus contribute to the district’s Long-Range Facilities Plan?
Each campus completes a Long-Range Facility Plan (LRFP) questionnaire. In addition to dialogue and analysis with department leaders, review is undertaken by technical personnel both inside and outside of the district. Campuses have two resources for projects. For smaller projects, campuses can request funds through Maintenance and Operations. Larger projects would need to be considered as part of a bond program.
What is the average time to construct a new high school, junior high or elementary school?
The average Katy ISD high school takes three years to build, a junior high 28 months and an elementary 18 months.
Why doesn't Katy ISD design the schools to accommodate all known programs?
At the onset of the design process, we prioritize designing with the needed programs for that particular school in mind. However, it would be expensive to provide space for all programs that may not be needed at a particular school.
How have the sizes of traditional classrooms changed over time for a given number of students per room?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) determines the class size requirement. For grades four and under, the 22:1 ratio is the state standard. There is no student ratio requirement at the fifth grade or secondary level. TEA also establishes a minimum square footage for classroom/instructional spaces.
From a facility standpoint, how does Katy ISD currently quantify and determine wants versus real needs?
For the 2023 bond, several professional evaluations were conducted by outside organizations to determine needs at each campus. These facility needs were discussed and evaluated by district and campus personnel prior to being assigned to the 2023 bond, with many projects being eliminated prior to being presented to the bond committee.
Many of the campuses have portables. Is the use of portables a sign of poor planning?
Judicious use of temporary buildings is part of Katy ISD's overall facility planning strategy and will continue to be as long as the district is growing rapidly. Placing temporary buildings at campuses on an interim basis allows the district to assess growth carefully before constructing new campuses and to open new buildings with enrollments that are large enough to make them cost-effective to operate. Portable buildings also allow the district to manage expansion and contraction of special programs.
Does Katy ISD get bids from architects, which would ensure the lowest cost and best value for design services?
State law prohibits school districts from soliciting competitive bids for professional services of any licensed or registered certified public accountant, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor, physician, optometrist, professional engineer, state-certified or state-licensed real estate appraiser, or registered nurse. Contracts for these professional services are extended on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications to perform the services and for a fair and reasonable price.
Does Katy ISD use competitive bids for construction projects? How are contractors and subcontractors selected and vetted? Are they bonded and insured? Does the district require any credentials?
Katy ISD typically utilizes competitive sealed proposals to select general contractors. Other contracting methods, construction manager at-risk and job order contracts are also used by the district based upon the requirements of the project.
Competitive sealed proposals do not allow pre-qualifying potential offers but may include contractor qualifications as a portion of the selection criteria for selecting the firm that offers the best value to the district. Katy ISD generally requests that the contractors complete and submit an AIA G305, Contractor's Qualification Statement, along with their proposal. This includes a copy of the contractor's financial statement, in addition to a list of proposed key project personnel and major subcontractors, and a Felony Conviction Notification and Affidavit of Non-Collusion forms.
All construction work is bid out in accordance with the Texas Government Code 2269. The method is selected based upon the nature of the project, for example, a new school versus a renovation.
The district typically utilizes two methods, either competitive sealed proposal, (CSP) or construction manager at risk, (CM at risk or CMAR). CSP is used when the construction documents are fully complete. CM at Risk is used when the district would like to involve the contractor early with the design team to address project complexities such as phased work in a renovation project.
Why doesn't Katy ISD go with a standard school design that will keep costs down? Most of Katy ISD elementary, junior high and high schools are modified/refined repeats with reduced fees for the architectural designs. The projects are repeats, but each has unique site conditions that must have new civil designs, and each require construction administration services by architect and consultants. Other minor changes and code changes are also reviewed prior to finalizing the construction documents.
The modified repeat designs also typically cost less in dollars per square foot.
What is driving the 15-20% construction inflation and what is done with any realized surplus at the end of a project?
The rapid growth in many sectors of construction within the Houston metroplex has resulted in a rapid increase in the construction market. The market is also attempting to correct for the losses during the economic downturn. If project savings become available, these funds can be appropriated by the Board for other capital projects.
Does Katy ISD include contingency costs in project costs for each project?
Yes. Contingency is included within the project cost.
What happens if the bond is delayed and is not passed in 2023?
The district would be subject to upward inflationary pressure, interest rate risks, and many campuses would be exposed to districtwide rezoning. However, rezoning the district now would not eliminate the existing and future growth, nor the overcrowding many of our schools are experiencing. The district is not completely built out. Rezoning the district now would only result in another districtwide rezoning three to four years from now. This would be followed by an additional districtwide rezoning three to four years after that. Demographers project Katy ISD will soon reach a 100,000-student enrollment. The majority of future growth and development will occur in the northwest quadrant of the district. We do not believe it is in the best interest of our students and families to move districtwide attendance boundaries every three to four years. It takes away from our neighborhood schools concept and would result in some schools exceeding maximum design capacity.
Demographics & Enrollment
What is Katy ISD's enrollment?
Enrollment numbers are fluid and change daily. Current (2023) district enrollment is about 94,000 students.
The district has worked with Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) for more than two and a half decades. PASA demographers project Katy ISD will reach over 100,000 in student enrollment in the next three years (2027). The majority of future growth and development is occurring in the northwest quadrant of the district.
What schools or areas are multi-family units likely to impact? (Response provided by PASA)
We are currently expecting some additional multi-family development in all four quadrants of the district in the next four years. Multi-family development can continue to happen for years after the first waves of development have impacted an area. There are numerous complexes planned along the major arterials in Katy ISD, including the area south of IH-10 and west of Grand Parkway, along the Westpark Tollway, along Grand Parkway in the south, in the northwest quadrant, and scattered throughout the remainder of the district.
Do suburban school districts get too big? If so, do they ever split? (Response provided by PASA.)
Too big is really impossible to define. There are currently four districts in the state of Texas with more than 100,000 students. Katy ranks 5th in terms of total student population in the state of Texas. We've never seen a school district split into pieces. We have seen districts absorbed into other districts and/or several districts consolidated into a larger, single district.
What is the difference between a maintenance expense and an operating expense?
Capital expenditures are the cost of purchasing and/or constructing assets that have a useful life that extends one year or longer. Bond proceeds are used to fund capital expenditures such as the construction, acquisition and equipping of facilities, the purchase of land and buses, and bond issuance costs. Operational expenditures are daily operating costs such as payroll, services and supplies to operate the district.
How are school districts funded?
Texas school districts, like Katy ISD, are funded by two primary revenue sources— local revenue and state revenue.
School District Revenue: Local Property Taxes
Local revenue comes from property taxes paid by residential and commercial taxpayers within the boundaries of a school district. There are two tax rates stated in a property tax bill that make up a total rate. These two rates fund two different portions of a school district's budget. These rates are the Maintenance and Operation or M&O Tax Rate, and the Interest and Sinking, or I&S Tax Rate.
The M&O Tax Rate funds the day-to-day maintenance and operations of the school district. This is also known as a school district's General Operating Fund. The General Operating Fund is the larger of the two tax rates. The Interest and Sinking Tax Rate or I&S Tax Rate can only be used to pay off debt incurred by issuing voter-approved bonds. School districts are required to set the I&S Tax Rate at the level necessary to make the annual debt payments on all outstanding voter-approved bonds.
Katy ISD's M&O Tax Rate is currently 91 cents, while the I&S Tax Rate is 39 cents, for a total of 130 cents or $1.3048 per $100 of taxable value. The M&O Tax Rate is anticipated to drop to 73 cents while the I&S Tax Rate is anticipated to remain at 39 cents when the board adopts the tax rate in September for the 2023-24 school year.
Over the past 16 years, the M&O Tax Rate has come down from a high of $1.63 in 2005-2006 to the current $0.91 level. Changes in the M&O Tax Rate are largely due to changes in school finance laws over this same period of time.
The I&S Tax Rate has been fairly steady for many years. Katy ISD has been able to maintain and sometimes even lower the I&S tax rate due to consistent property tax base growth. The district was in the position to drop the I&S Tax Rate by a penny after the 2014 bond authorization. And, in 2019 and 2020, due, in large part to the passing of House Bill 3, Katy ISD was able to keep the I&S at 39 cents, while dropping the M&O Tax Rate, or the General Operating Fund, by 21 cents. The M&O Tax Rate is expected to decline another 18.5 cents in 2023 – 2024 for a total drop of 41.7 cents over the past five school years (since 2018-2019). The proposed 2023-2024 tax rate is $1.12. The I&S Tax Rate is collected and set aside in its own account and used to pay back bonds.
School District Revenue: State Funding
State revenue represents about 55% of Katy ISD's budget, while a very small portion of revenue, 2%, comes from the federal government.
How is funding allocated to school districts?
School districts are allocated funds based on the number of students they have. A basic allotment of $6,160 per student is currently calculated for each school district, which is funded by local property taxes, sometimes known as the district's local share, plus state provided revenue sometimes referred to as the state's share. With a larger number of students comes increased expenditures for additional teachers and related staff to serve those students.
If local property values increase, the state share of the basic allotment of $6,160 will be less. However, if property values decrease, the state share of $6,160 will be higher. The less wealthy a school district's property tax base is the more state funds the school district will receive. Conversely, if a community can raise more money locally through taxes, the district receives less state funds. Districts with property wealth that generates more than $6,160 per student are required to send excess local tax revenue to the state where it will be redistributed to less wealthy school districts. This is often summarized in school finance in one word – "Robinhood."
2023-24 Budget (GOF/M&O)
Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Katy ISD's M&O budget is currently salary and benefits for teachers, nurses, counselors, maintenance crews, bus drivers and other supporting faculty. The second most significant expense supported by Katy ISD's budget is utilities. Utilities for a district the size of Katy ISD are about $20 million dollars per year.
Software and teacher supplies also represent significant parts of the budget.
The vast majority of what we do as a school district is in the classroom, that is represented by the blue expenditure bar. Sixty-six percent of what we do is put into instruction, and 90% of our expenditures are spent on students for instructional purposes and support, counseling, co-curricular activities, transportation, and other personnel support.
Katy ISD uses bonds to fund the capital needs of the district. Capital needs may include new schools, renovations, or updated technology and safety and security.
The district's bond cycle is based on a Long-Range Facilities Plan that accounts for the life cycles of aging building components, technology and safety needs, as well as projected enrollment growth and community feedback.
Over the past 30 years, taxpayer's approval has funded growth by building new schools and addressing aging facility needs through eight Katy ISD bond referendums.
Approximately every three years, based on the district's Long-Range Facilities Plan and demographic data, the school board may consider the formation of a Community Bond Advisory Committee to review capital needs and determine whether a district's bond is warranted. The Committee hears from various internal administrators, as well as external experts, to get a comprehensive overview of the district's needs. Based on their independent review of the Long-Range Facilities Plan, demographic data and capital needs, if the Committee agrees a bond is needed, they will recommend a bond package and election for the school board to consider and approve.
What is a bond election?
When a school board calls for a bond election, they are asking their local voters to decide if they agree to authorize the district to issue bonds for the identified capital needs.
When a community's taxpayers approve a schools bond, by election, the school district then uses the I&S Tax Rate to repay the debt to investors. In some communities they must raise the I&S Tax Rate to pay the debt to the investors. In Katy ISD's case, because of the managed growth and many years of successful fiscal management in our bond program, we have not had to raise that tax rate to make required bonded debt payments.
What does Katy ISD buy with bond funds?
Once a community has approved a bond program, the district then goes through a bid process that, ultimately, puts contracts in place to begin construction on the various projects. Now, it is time to start paying those contracts, so the district sells bonds. Bonds are sold as cash is needed to fund projects such as the construction of new schools or the purchase of new technologies.
Cash from bond sales is used to pay contracted vendor payments every month. Bonds are sold to meet cash requirements for vendor payments. To minimize the amount of interest paid on the district's bond sales, Katy ISD sells bonds as needed, in incremental amounts, rather than selling the entire authorization amount all at once.
The district's consistent and projected tax base growth has allowed Katy ISD to maintain a steady I&S Tax Rate despite the need to sell more bonds due to student growth.
Unlike a homeowner, a school district does not pay for one project/asset with a 30-year mortgage that has equal level payments every year. When we sell bonds, we are likely funding multiple projects with the funds received, so we structure the repayment of the bonds to match the useful lives of those different projects. For example, the useful life cycles of technologies and even building components like rooftops are shorter than the life cycle of a brand new building; therefore, we make certain that we repay the principal amounts associated with those shorter life projects prior to the end of their useful lives. While a bond sale may have a 30-year term, the annual payments are structured to match the useful lives of the projects being financed with that bond sale.
What is the bond market?
There are many different types of bonds. The most common types of bonds are US Treasury bonds, corporate bonds and municipal bonds. School districts utilize municipal bonds. From an investor's perspective, a major benefit of municipal bonds is that interest earnings are typically tax exempt, meaning the investor does not have to pay federal income taxes on the interest they receive from owning these tax-exempt bonds.
There are many uses of public debt funded by bonds. In 2019, the most recent data available, across the country, 23.4% of all the bonds that were issued were for education purposes, while 26.5% were for general purposes.
What is a bond?
A bond is a contract between an issuer, like Katy ISD, and investors, where the issuer promises to repay money borrowed from the investors over time at a negotiated, agreed-upon tax-exempt interest rate.
How does Katy ISD repay its debt?
Bonds are secured by a pledge of the issuer's full faith and credit and taxing power. Full faith and credit implies that all sources of revenue, unless specifically excluded, will be available to pay back the debt service on the bonds. And in Katy ISD's case, our 39 cent I&S Tax Rate has been and is projected to continue to be sufficient to make the payments on our existing bond debt and projected future bond debt.
Uses for Bond Proceeds: Two Types
Texas school districts issue bonds for two purposes: 1) to pay for the construction, renovation, acquisition and/or equipping of school buildings; and 2) to refinance a portion of the district's outstanding debt in order to achieve a present value savings to the district and its taxpayers. A refunding bond issue is like refinancing a home mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates. Whenever Katy ISD is presented with an opportunity to refund its bonds, and the bonds are at a position to be refunded, we refund those at a lower interest rate to save interest, which also creates capacity for future new borrowings, which is important in a fast growth district. The goal is always to save money for Katy ISD taxpayers, but also to ensure capacity for the future, should the district need to issue additional bonds to build more schools or renovate campuses.
Who participates in a bond issue/bond sale?
Katy ISD's auditor annually audits the district's financial books and issues an opinion indicating that our financial records are properly reported and presented so that investors feel confident about the financial condition of the district. Others involved in a bond sale include our municipal advisors, the Texas Attorney General, the district's bond counsel, and rating agencies.
Katy ISD's Municipal Advisor- Hilltop Securities
Katy ISD's municipal advisor is Hilltop Securities. They advise us on all matters associated with a bond sale. Their role is to protect the welfare of the district/issuer in financing. They review proposed bond structure terms, interest rates, and so forth, as well as provide historical knowledge of transactions. They know what is going on in the market and how institutions may be able to better structure transactions to get the best pricing available. In short, they formulate a financial plan, they evaluate our financing structure, and they identify financial opportunities for us that are in the best interest of the district – allowing us to continue to successfully manage our debt portfolio.
Katy ISD's Bond Counsel
Jackson Walker is Katy ISD's bond counsel. Bond counsel makes sure that the district's bonds are issued while legally protecting both the district and the investor. Counsel is retained to give a legal opinion on the assured compliance. They prepare, review and advise the district on all necessary bond documents and ultimately ensure that the bond issue is approved by the State Attorney General of Texas.
Rating agencies rate the debt of public and private entities. Rating agencies provide the primary analysis of our ability to pay back the funds that Katy ISD borrows. Rating agencies provide a rating to the district, like when someone goes to the bank for a loan and that bank verifies their credit rating. The highest credit quality for a personal credit score is above 800. That would be comparable to an Aaa/AAA bond rating. Moody's ratings include Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, and Aa3; while Standard & Poor's ratings include AAA, AA+, AA, AA1 and A1. Katy ISD is rated Aa1 with Moody's, and AAA with Standard and Poor's. Katy ISD's rating is considered very strong, and, while we do not currently have the highest possible rating, we are one of only 34 districts out of over 1,000 in the state that has a Moody's rating of Aa1 or better. Also, it is important to understand that Katy ISD's biggest rating challenge is our continuous need to issue new bonds to keep up with our fast growth, which is a challenge for all Texas fast growth districts. Also, like most school districts in Texas, Katy ISD's bonds are backed by the AAA rated Permanent School Fund. The combination of Katy ISD's strong stand-alone ratings plus the AAA Permanent School Fund Guarantee rating ensures that we will obtain the lowest, most competitive interest rates available when we sell bonds.
Katy ISD's Auditors
Katy ISD's auditors are WhitleyPenn. They provide an audit of our financial statements; they authenticate that the district's current financial condition and our historic performance are correctly presented in our audit and test the effectiveness of the district's internal control systems.
When Katy ISD is in the position to go to market for a bond sale, the district forms a financing team. The financing team is led by the district's municipal advisor. Together, we will establish a structure for the financing. We prepare a Preliminary Official Statement to provide to the rating agencies and investors, and we work with potential buyers of our bonds, prior to the sale. We pre-price in an effort to get as many orders as possible for Katy ISD bonds. The bonds are finalized on the pricing date, and close roughly a month later which is when Katy ISD receives the bond proceeds and bond projects.
Types of School Bonds Investors
There are different types of investors that buy school bonds. They include retail investors, mutual funds that serve as a strong portion of retail investors' portfolios, investment advisors, banks, and insurance companies.
If the district overestimates future costs and there are funds leftover from the bond, where does the extra money go?
Funds available from project savings have historically been repurposed for other bond order authorized spending. Project savings have occurred in past authorizations due primarily to favorable pricing on construction projects. This created the opportunity to utilize these funds to construct projects including additional schools, property purchases, infrastructure, etc.
What is a general obligation debt?
The specific definition from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is: GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND OR GO BOND typically refers to a bond issued by a state or local government that is payable from general funds of the issuer, although the precise source and priority of payment for general obligation bonds may vary considerably from issuer to issuer depending on applicable state or local law. Most general obligation bonds are said to entail the full faith and credit (and in many cases the taxing power) of the issuer, depending on applicable state or local law. General obligation bonds issued by local units of government often are payable from (and in some cases solely from) the issuer's ad valorem taxes, while general obligation bonds issued by states often are payable from appropriations made by the state legislature.
Is a strong credit rating combined with Texas guarantee important to consider for obtaining a bond?
Strong credit ratings are important with regard to selling our bonds in a marketplace where they compete for investor dollars. Similar to a personal credit rating, strong credit ratings help the district because bonds we issue are more attractive to investors which results in lower borrowing costs.
Is there a recommended target percentage for a reserve account balance or rule of thumb metric?
Rating agencies generally expect a district to have a Maintenance and Operating fund balance of at least 90 days of expenses. Thirty days or less would be considered a worst practice by the rating agencies. Texas Education Agency (TEA) recommends that districts have at least 75 days of cash in reserves.
Legal & Ballot Language
Why are there multiple propositions in school bond elections?
Texas legislation requires school districts to have separate propositions for bonds that will fund construction or improvements for athletic facilities with 1,000 or more seats, natatoriums, performing arts facilities, recreational facilities, teacher housing, or technology improvements.
Can non-citizens vote on a Katy ISD bond?
No. Only registered voters residing in the district are allowed to vote in a bond election.
When can school bond elections be held?
Bond elections can be held on the second Saturday in May or the first Tuesday in November.
How many bond referendums are allowed on the same ballot?
There is no numerical limit to the number of propositions that can be placed on the ballot.
How much discretion does the Board of Trustees have with bond funds beyond what it was allocated for?
The district estimates the cost of each project named in the proposition. If, for any reason, a project named in the proposition comes in under budget, the district will work with Bond counsel (attorneys) to ensure that the funds are used in a manner that is consistent with the Bond proposition.
Why will the verbiage on the ballot say “This is a property tax increase” when Katy ISD is saying that this is a “zero tax rate increase bond” and that the school tax rate is actually decreasing?
State law requires all bond ballots to include the language “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE,” even when the district is not changing the tax rate. But rest assured, Bond 2023 will result in a tax rate and tax bill DECREASE for three reasons: 1) Bond 2023 is a zero tax rate increase bond; 2) the school tax rate will decrease by 18 cents with the passage of the state’s tax relief bill and the school board’s approval of the 2023-2024 tax rate; 3) the increase in the state’s homestead exemption will also further decrease tax bills.
Prop B: Technology
Why must technology be listed on a separate proposition?
Texas legislation requires school districts to have separate propositions for bonds that will fund construction or improvements for technology, natatoriums, athletic facilities and performing arts facilities.
How are devices used in Katy ISD classrooms?
Our teachers leverage classroom technology to teach foundational to complex concepts. Instructional laptops are used by our teachers to be mobile and flexible within and outside the classroom, as well as to support collaboration with their colleagues in online workspaces that support them in creating and designing lessons and activities. Our teachers also use instructional laptops to grade students work by giving audio and video feedback as well as typing out responses to students. This is how grading most often occurs in modern classrooms. SMART Boards or interactive panels are used each day to teach. Interactive panels allow students to actively participate in lesson delivery with a variety of ways to respond. SMART Board and interactive panels engage students with tools such as widgets that allow students to respond to actions and questions, and dynamic math tools to show changes to the formula when the graph, slope, or angle changes.
Texas Education Agency and Online STAAR Testing
The Texas Education Agency has transitioned to online testing. Students now need devices in order to take the state online tests. The benefit is that these same devices will also be used in our classrooms each day for active learning.
Encyclopedias, informational databases, video content, electronic books, and textbooks are all accessible via a computer device. Without classroom devices, students would not have the devices to access these needed online resources. Our students not only need exposure to these technologies but require technologies to create and be active learners.
What is technology infrastructure?
Infrastructure includes network switches, Wi-Fi, servers, storage, cybersecurity systems and some fiber optic cabling.
What do infrastructure systems provide?
Infrastructure systems provide connectivity for everything from physical security such as access control, security cameras, and burglar alarms, to building automation like air conditioning and lighting controls. These systems all rely on technological infrastructure.
But most importantly, the infrastructure supports the unparalleled learning in Katy ISD by providing reliable access to online resources such as Canvas, textbooks, and other research materials. As the use of technology increases in our everyday lives, it has also increased in education. Currently, Texas requires some students to take online assessments and in the near future will require all students to take online assessments. The infrastructure will be critical in connecting all the devices necessary to accommodate the online testing.
What happens to the old devices, i.e., can they be sold in a used market?
Katy ISD technology that has reached its end-of-life cycle, or is non-repairable, is recycled by an outside recycling center. The center provides the district with an inventory report that includes a description of the asset, its tag number, serial number as well as a certificate of erasure. Katy ISD is reimbursed with a profit share for any equipment that is refurbished or recycled for parts.
Prop C: Natatorium Component Replacements
What is a natatorium?
A natatorium is a practice and competition swimming pool area located in all Katy ISD high schools.
Why are natatorium component replacements listed on a separate proposition?
Texas legislation requires school districts to have separate propositions for bonds that will fund construction or improvements for technology, natatoriums, athletic facilities and performing arts facilities.
Do all Katy ISD high schools have a natatorium?
All Katy ISD high schools have a natatorium that is located on the campus. High school swimming pools are used for both practice and competitions. They are also available to community organizations for community use by reservation.
Prop D: Districtwide Campus Athletic Facilities & Rhodes Stadium Repairs
What are building component replacements?
Building component replacements include floors, exterior lighting, interior lighting, chillers, building management cooling systems, boilers, roofs, skylights, windows, fire alarms, P/A systems, emergency generators, kitchen equipment, track surfaces, athletic field lighting and gym bleachers, to name a few.
Why must component replacements for athletic facilities be listed on a separate proposition?
Texas legislation requires school districts to have separate propositions for bonds that will fund construction or improvements for Technology, Natatoriums, Athletic Facilities and Performing Arts Facilities.
What types of items are considered athletic building component replacements?
Roofing replacements, track resurfacing, field lighting replacements, and gym bleacher replacements are considered to be athletic building component replacements. Roof replacements are critical to preventing water leakage and structural damage on Katy ISD campuses. Track surfaces are replaced when they have reached the end of their life cycle. Gym bleachers are replaced when frames show significant wear and tear and require extensive maintenance each year to remain operational. New bleachers would meet current code requirements, as well as incorporate Americans with Disabilities Act compliant seating.
What is the "stadium" reference in Proposition D?
The district's 42-year-old Rhodes Stadium concrete walkways, restrooms and entryways would receive repairs and improve safety measures in the venue. There are no other stadium related items included in Prop D. The other athletic facility component replacements in Prop D pertain to junior high and high school track and field repairs, outdoor lighting replacements on campus baseball, softball and football fields and tennis courts, and school gym bleacher replacements.
What is the current (2022-2023) school district tax rate?
What is the proposed (2023-2024) school district tax rate with a successful bond?
What is the proposed (2023-2024) school district tax rate with a failed bond election?
Explain tax rate versus tax increase due to the increase of property values, especially new families.
The amount of taxes levied by Katy ISD are calculated by multiplying the tax rate set by the district by the taxable value of the property within the district. The taxable values are set by the county appraisal districts. Property values will increase as new businesses move in and new homes are built for incoming families. These increased values will generate more tax revenue, even if the tax rate remains unchanged.
How does multi-family growth impact taxes?
Multi-family apartment complexes impact tax collections and other revenues in several ways. The value of the facility itself will generate local tax revenue, and the students within the multi-family facility will generate state funding. The property tax generated per student may be more or less than that generated by a single-family residential home dependent upon the value of the multi-family facility and the number of students housed within the facility.
With new property growth coming into the district, have we taken into account the tax revenue dollars we will receive?
Yes, an assumption has been made that taxable property values will increase year over year.
What was the percent change in tax base for residential versus commercial/industry over the past three years?
The percentage change for real residential, single-family from 2020 to 2023 is 62%. The percentage change for real, commercial and industrial from 2020 to 2023 is 24%. Forecasts are dependent on future assessed values from county appraisal districts - Harris, Fort Bend and Waller.
How do bond sales effect tax rates and what happens if interest rates rise in the future?
Bond sales are structured to cover cash needs for a twelve-month period and to repay principal at a rate to match the useful lives of the assets included in the sale. The larger the cash need, the larger the sale and the interest expense incurred. Likewise, if interest rates rise, interest expense will also increase. Either of these will increase pressure on the tax rate. Current projections incorporate interest rates increasing.
I have been told that the ballot for the Katy ISD bond will indicate a tax increase, is this accurate?
There will be no increase to the Katy ISD school tax rate for a 2023 Bond. The rapid growth of the Katy ISD community has expanded our overall tax base, which increases revenue and eliminates the need for any type of tax rate increase. However, recent changes to state law now require all bond ballots to include the language “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE,” even when the district is not changing the tax rate. But rest assured, Bond 2023 will result in a tax rate and tax bill DECREASE for three reasons: 1) Bond 2023 is a zero tax rate increase bond; 2) the school tax rate will decrease by 18 cents with the passage of the state’s tax relief bill and the school board’s approval of the 2023-2024 tax rate; 3) the increase in the state’s homestead exemption will also further decrease tax bills.
The proposed 2023-2024 school district tax rate is $1.12, with or without a bond.