As a school district that encompasses over 100 square miles, serves 13 municipalities, 2 counties, 40,000 children and employs 5,000 men and women, the Clear Creek School District points out that it makes every effort to earn the public’s trust through transparency, timely communication, and accurate information.
The Office of Communications says it has been notified about what it calls misinformation on an unaffiliated website regarding the 2013 CCISD bond election. To that end, the Office of Communications offers the following facts to clarify any public misunderstanding that may have been caused by erroneous facts and misinformation published online recently by third parties.
Proposed Second Stadium
The Citizens Facility Advisory Committee, a group of CCISD taxpayers, reviewed two options relating to stadiums on Nov. 10, 2012.
Option 1 involved bringing Veterans Memorial Stadium up to current building codes which would require additional parking, restrooms, and other upgrades. The cost is $15.7 million. Option 1 does not address five comprehensive high schools sharing one stadium, Thursday evening home games, Clear Creek High School or Clear Creek Intermediate events, or the growth and congestion around the “Five Corners” in League City.
Option 2 involved building a second stadium on property behind Burlington Coat Factory on West NASA Parkway. The District sought and received voter authorization in 2004 to purchase the land for a future stadium. Option 2, which is $39 million, would eliminate Thursday evening home games, defer the $15.7 million in updates to Veterans Memorial Stadium, and reduce the number of events occurring around the “Five Corners” of League City. Under Option 2, both the proposed stadium and Veterans Memorial Stadium would be used for student events.
The committee of taxpayers decided to include Option 2 in the 2013 bond proposal. The proposed second athletic facility would be used for other programs. Click hereto learn more. The $2 million proposed on the 2013 bond for Veterans Memorial Stadium is to repair bleachers, add guardrails,and replace turf and lighting that are at the end of their life-cycle. CCISD has been falsely accused of withholding Option 1 from the public. This is not true. The documents outlining Option 1 and Option 2 were discussed on November 10, 2012 with the committee. The information from this meeting and all meetings of the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee were publicized on the District’s website. The stadium options the committee reviewed have been publicly accessible since November 10, 2012(click on date for link) and discussed openly during the committee review process.The information was also part of the public presentation the citizen chairman of the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee gave to the CCISD Board of Trustees in open session January 14. The information has been part of the District’s bond website under Stadium Facts since February 27, 2013.
CCISD Voting Locations
The standard early voting locations remain the same at Clear Creek Intermediate, Clear Brook High School and the Clear Lake 9th Grade Center. These locations have been standard CCISD early voting locations for the past decade. Registered voters can vote at any one of these standard voting locations from April 29 thru May 7 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. There will be no voting on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
The District is also conducting what is commonly known as “branch voting”, where a set number of voting machines are brought into a neighborhood for voter convenience. Due to the limitation of available voting machines, the District has established set times and dates for each neighborhood. CCISD has held branch voting in the past. This information is on the website, available in handouts, and will be included in a mailed pamphlet to all CCISD residents. Click here for voting locations for the 2013 Bond Election.
Truth about Tablets
If approved by voters, the $17.5 million for tablet computers would be paid in five years, not 20 to 25 years as alleged on an unaffiliated website. The District made this statement in a press releaseand during all community presentations. The District spoke with its financial advisors to follow up on the claims of higher interest costs as a result of financing the tablet portion of the technology recommendation over five years. The financial advisors explained that the District would not see an increase in interest costs by financing the tablet portion of the technology proposal with short term bonds. If approved by voters, the District will sell bonds that mature each year of the financing program. Regardless if technology is included or not, the district would still have bonds maturing over the first five years at a rate of about $50 million. Additionally, the District would finance buildings, with a 40 to 50 year life span, with 25 year bonds, which will lead to savings in interest costs.
The tablet is not an iPad, but rather the Dell Latitude 10 tablet computer which operates on a Microsoft system. The Microsoft system is the standard software currently in use by teachers. The District received proposals from seven vendors through a Request for Proposal (RFP). After a transparent process, the District selected the Dell Latitude 10. If approved by voters, the Dell Latitude 10 would replace the 6-10 year old laptop computers that are currently in schools. If approved by voters, the tablets would also increase the availability of computers from one device for more than three students to one device per student in grades 4-12.
The CCISD Board action to award the tablet vendor contract to Dell Computers was not on the Consent Agenda. The discussion and vote was the 6th action item of the March 25, 2013school board agenda. The Board approved the vendor contract but did not spend any public funds for tablets. The purchase of Dell Latitude 10 tablets is contingent on voter authorization of the 2013 bond on May 11, 2013 and was so stated on all subsequent announcements.
The Clear Creek Independent School District believes education is a joint partnership with parents and the community. In September 2012, the Board of Trustees called for a special purpose committee of educators, parents, and community members to prioritize the district’s capital needs for the next three to five years. The committee started with a list of $600 million worth of needs assessments. The citizens committee utilized community input, facility assessment documents, tours and questionnaires to develop the final list of priority projects. The committee’s recommendation is to rebuild/improve school facilities that are 40 years or older; address student safety and enrollment growth; increase technology for 21st century learning; and construct or expand facilities to support growth in extra-curricular and co-curricular programs. The committee brought its preliminary recommendation to the public for a series of public meetings in January. The district also conducted a phone survey on the committee’s preliminary recommendations. Based on public input and feedback from the administration, the committee reduced its preliminary recommendation by $20 million. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Committee’s recommendation for a $367 million bond to be considered by registered voters on May 11, 2013.