Good news for taxpayers who live in the Beeville and Skidmore-Tynan school districts.
The state of Texas will pay off 40 percent of the bonds issued by each school district this year for improvements.
BISD Superintendent Dr. John Hardwick Jr. shared the good news with trustees during a board meeting last week.
He said the school district was notified on Tuesday, Aug. 22, that the Texas Education Agency would pay about $5 million of the $12 million bond issue approved by voters last May.
The TEA’s Instructional Facility Allotment program also will pick up 40 percent of the $3.9 million bond issue approved by Skidmore-Tynan voters last spring.
“This is really exciting news for BISD and for BISD taxpayers,” Hardwick said. “IFA will pick up $4 out of every $10 worth of bonds issued.”
The remaining bonds will be repaid with tax dollars.
The Instructional Facilities Allotment funds cannot be spent on non-instructional improvements or projects, such as the track resurfacing or new school buses, Hardwick said.
BISD trustees agreed last month to dip into the reserve fund and spend $1 million on resurfacing the high school track and to make other repairs. Those repairs are supposed to be paid for with bond proceeds but the bonds have yet to be sold. When the bonds are sold, the school district will be reimbursed the $1 million.
The $12 million bond issue will finance improvements at all elementary school, middle school and high school campuses.
It will also pay for 10 new school buses that will cost about $900,000 and $550,000 to resurface the high school track.
Hardwick said the costs of the track and buses could be partially funded under the state’s Existing Debt Allotment. The school district has yet to find out if it will receive funding under the EDA, Hardwick said.
Dr. Brett Belmarez, superintendent of Skidmore-Tynan schools, was equally excited to share the good news with his trustees last week.
“This grant award provides payment assistance to the District for the life of the bond issue,” Belmarez explained. “This is really big, really good news for S-T. The door has now been opened for future master planning and the consideration of future facility needs for students in the District.”Skidmore-Tynan ISD voters approved a $3.9 million bond issue in May 2007, which financed numerous districtwide improvements. The bonds would finance improvements that included new parking lots, new science classroom and lab, new career and technology center, new roofs and ceilings, new interior lighting, new physical education pavilion, new flooring, new restrooms, and walkways districtwide.
The grant, he said, means that the state will reimburse the district $202,379 for their $436,000 debt payment this year.
This reimbursement means trustees will be able to lower their approved 25 cent debt services tax rate by about eight cents.
The total proposed tax rate, based on these most recent numbers, will be $1.27 per $100 value.