Over the last several months, the Humble ISD Bond Committee has been meeting to put together a package that we will have an opportunity to vote on, starting later this month. Like many of you, I was curious as to the size, scope and cost of the bond and the various projects that will be completed if the bond passes. As a result, I went through the reports, looked at all the data, and have tried to summarize it to the best of my ability.

According to Humble ISD, the current enrollment within the school system stands at 48,235 students, of which 2,700 were added just in the last year. Over the last five years, the district has grown by more than 15%, and is expected to grow by another 5,000 students in the next five years, which qualifies it for Fast Growth status as defined by the Legislature. To put that into perspective, when I was elected to the school board back in 2006, the enrollment was just shy of 28,000 students. We have seen and continue to see explosive growth, and our current facilities cannot accommodate our population of students.

It is my understanding that the goal of the 2022 Bond is focused on “Renewal,” so that children who live in established neighborhoods, where schools were built years ago, have the opportunity to experience educational facilities that are comparable to the newer schools that have been required to be built to keep up with the growth. This includes a replacement for Fosters Elementary, which is over 50 years old; a replacement for Ross Sterling which is over 50 years old; additional classrooms at Summer Creek High School and Summerwood Elementary to keep up with the growth; new classroom at Humble High School; additions to all high school performance arts centers to allow for new growth; and for a new middle school campus on West Lake Houston Parkway to eliminate the overcrowding at the surrounding schools; and most important to me a new Mosaic School for Special Need young adults transitioning out of the school system. In addition, as many of the facilities are older in other parts of the district, significant capital expense is required to update chillers, roofs and broadband access. Finally, the bond will also update all playground equipment at elementary campuses to be ADA compliant; new equipment will be installed at the middle schools to support JROTC instruction; new gymnasiums at all middle schools; and turf will be added at the high schools to prevent injury to the student athletes.

If you look at the work the district has done to prepare for this bond, it became clear to me that the bond is needed and appropriate at this time. Because of the new commercial and residential properties that have been built over the last several years, and due to the fact that Humble ISD retires its debt annually, the district will not sell any bonds unless the current tax rate can satisfy the debt obligations. In addition, through the actions of the legislature of the last several years, Humble ISD has been able to reduce the M&O tax rate by nearly $.20, which has provided meaningful tax relief for all residents within the boundaries of Humble ISD.

In addition to this bond election, there are two other initiatives on the May 7 ballot. They include a statewide ballot proposition to allow for those with elderly or disabled homestead exemptions to have their tax ceiling reduced if the school tax rate is lowered, and to increase the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for everyone who claims the homestead exemption. Both of these measures were passed during the last legislative session, which if approved by the voters will provide additional tax relief to all homeowners within Humble ISD.

I believe that the district has been fiscally responsible over the last 15 years when we the voters have authorized the last three bonds. The board members and the bond committee have been thoughtful about their plans, and as our representatives, I applaud the work that they have done on our behalf. Therefore, I respectfully request that you vote for the 2022 Humble ISD Bond, both Proposition A&B, and approve the statewide ballot initiatives.

Respectfully,

Dan Huberty

State Representative, District 127

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