CCISD Board of Trustees Votes Unanimously to Call November Elections
On August 21, the Clear Creek Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to include a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) and a Bond Election on the November 7 ballot. Registered voters residing within Clear Creek ISD attendance zone will be asked to consider three propositions that would generate additional funding to support educational programs, staff salaries, facility repairs and equipment replacements, and technology.
“We look forward to bringing these important items before the voters for consideration. The three propositions have been developed through a comprehensive process involving stakeholders across Clear Creek ISD. It is how we best make decisions regarding the education of our community’s children, and I encourage everyone to learn more about these propositions and then vote this November,” said Arturo Sanchez, CCISD Board President. “I would like to thank the committee chairs and my fellow school board members for their commitment to our school district.”
A CCISD Facility Advisory Committee and a CCISD Strategic Budget Team met separately throughout the spring and the summer to analyze the facility and budgetary needs across the district.
The Facility Advisory Committee initially recommended a $614 million bond program, recognizing it has been six years since a school bond election was held. The Board of Trustees accepted its recommendation and sought public input on the timing of the bond recommendation during a series of community meetings as well as a phone survey.
The Board agreed to bring a $302 million bond which would address priority repairs, equipment replacements, life safety systems, security, and instructional and infrastructure technology. The proposed $302 million bond would be funded through the current Interest and Sinking Tax Rate of $0.27.
The CCISD Strategic Budget Team was formed in late May when it became clear the Legislature was not going to increase what is known as the Basic Allotment. This is the per-student funding school districts receive from the State to fund salaries, transportation, school safety, student programs, insurance, and other day-to-day costs. The $6,160 per-student allocation has not increased since 2019 yet the costs of day-to-day operations have gone up due to inflation. To account for the increased cost of operations, the Legislature would have to increase the allotment by $1,000. It adjourned in May without any increase.
“What are we doing about it? What we always do when faced with a challenge. We lock arms, turn to our community for guidance, and keep our eyes looking forward and upward. We do not sit idle and hope for best,” said Karen Engle, Superintendent of Schools. “We pulled together a group of parents, business leaders, school board members, and educators to guide our decision making.”
The CCISD Strategic Budget Team recommended the District seek voter approval for three pennies on the Maintenance and Operations Tax Rate to balance the budget. This is the first time Clear Creek ISD is seeking a VATRE.
Taxpayers will see an 18-cent tax rate reduction under the Legislature’s historic property tax relief bill passed this summer. The VATRE is for three of those cents to generate $17.5 million in additional revenue to pay for the increased cost of education in Clear Creek ISD. Under the current funding system, the State matches up to 80% in state dollars. All those funds stay local and are not subject to recapture or what is commonly referred to as ‘Robin Hood’.
Clear Creek ISD has the fourth lowest maintenance and operations tax rate in Texas and the third lowest in the Greater Houston region.
The school district is hosting a series of meetings through October to share information about the November 7 Election. Visit www.ccisd.net/electioncentral for more details.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, and early voting begins Monday, October 23. The last date to register to vote is October 10.