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Some Parents Want To Add Onto AISD's Bond Proposal
A new study reveals the number of six-figure salaries at the Austin Independent School District has jumped more than 60 percent in the past five years. This report comes as school board members are asking taxpayers to consider a nearly $1 billion bond package.
But at a public hearing about the bond proposal Wednesday night, the issue of administrative pay was never brought up. In fact, people were asking to add projects onto the bond proposal.
Taxpayers in Austin could be forking over $880 million for school upgrades, if the current bond proposal passes in a special election in May.
Included in the proposal is approximately:
$131 million for technology
$264 million on safety and security
$350 million on infrastructure
$145 million on fine arts and athletics
But those figures still aren't enough for some AISD parents.
"The dance program and the dance team was not included for the bond," said mother of four Rae Ann Hill. She wants the board to add a new dance studio at her child's school.
"As a parent, I'm very thankful that this bond exists. We just would like to see some of it go show to kids who are showing a particular interest in this particular program for fine arts."
Father Paul Riojas also wants more upgrades for athletics at his son's school.
"I think we really need them. The players, the students, need to feel appreciated," he said about improved fields and locker rooms.
As for the growing price tag, parents at the school board meeting say it's money well spent.
"I know $900 million is a lot of money, but when you times it with all the schools in Austin that's just a drop in the bucket of what needs to be improved in all these schools," said Riojas.
Outside of the meeting, comments on Facebook are less enthusiastic about the idea of spending $900 million on schools.
Comments include: "Belly up to the trough." "That's Ca-RAZY." And "AISD is killing me!! Pare down the overpaid administration."
Also on Facebook, a viewer asked us to "break it down" and explain exactly how much taxpayers would be paying for this bond proposal.
According to AISD, they expect your property tax bill to go up about $70 a year, or $5.8 a month, for a $200,000 home.
The bond will likely go before voters in a special election in May.
By Karen Kiley