Hereford ISD turn to its voters for input on rejected school bond

Hereford ISD turn to its voters for input on rejected school bond

Hereford, TX - Hereford voters recently rejected a $43.4 million school bond in the May election, but the district isn't giving up on their plan.

Educators are hoping input from the community will point them in the right direction. 
"I felt a little frustrated or defeated with the vote that night," said Superintendent Kelli Moulton. 

Although Moulton was upset the school bond failed, she decided to reach out to the community for the reason why.

"We went ahead and put a survey together. It allowed us to determine what main areas the voters voted for or against," said Moulton.

The post bond survey went out to all voters who assessed the community's needs based on the outlined projects. The district says the bond was needed to upgrade all eleven of its campuses, including the 94-year-old Stanton Learning Center and their athletic facilities.

Survey results show voters were concerned about taxes increasing dramatically for home and business owners. The proposed bond originally came with a 18 cent tax increase per $100 of property value. For the average Hereford property owner that would mean paying $9.50 extra each month.

Other survey results showed the concern over the amount for the bond being too high, and financing the bond for 30 years was too long.

"They are fiscally conservative and we knew that about the constituents in Hereford and it's really important for us to honor that because the schools belong to them," said Moulton.

Now that the district understands the community's concerns, they're looking into revising the bond's outlined projects to make sure it passes in the future.

Moulton says she along with the school board think the need for the renovations have not gone away and they don't want to go too long without making as change.

"I think that's the most important thing that we've done after the bond failed is to really honor the voters and to listen to them. They have great things to say and we want to make sure they have a voice in that," said Moulton.

The soonest the district can do another school bond election is in November, but would have to call it in August. Education officials say the August deadline is too soon to revise the school bond and say the district will likely revisit the bond in another May election.