AUSTIN (KXAN) — During a board meeting Thursday, the City of Austin discussed two Austin ISD November bond proposals. One of the proposals originally included affordable housing for teachers, but that aspect was removed. The district said the idea may not be completely off the table.
The board has to agree on one of the two bonds before passing the proposal to voters. Proposal B originally included the affordable housing item. Proposal A does not and has not included affordable housing.
In a draft for Proposal A, additional funding would be added toward safety and security, such as fencing, door hardware and locks, funding for special education spaces and phased elementary schools would become full modernizations.
Proposal A would affect 14 campuses in Austin, and there would be no tax rate increase. The cost would be $1.75 billion.
Proposal B included all of the projects and changes from proposal A, but added additional funding for special education spaces, upgrading Martin Middle School to phase one modernization. Removed from the proposal on Thursday were affordable housing for teachers and the Bear Creek addition.
Proposal B, with a cost of $2.25 billion, would affect 19 campuses in Austin. Chief of Communications and Community Engagement Jason Stanford told KXAN that it could be added back to the proposal, which is still in the works.
“We’re one of the biggest land owners in the city. We own the land which makes it remarkably affordable to own housing, and one of the hardest things for us to retain employees, mainly teachers, is the cost of housing in Austin,” Stanford explained. “So if we can control that cost, we figure we can retain more teachers.”
Once the board agrees on a proposal, it eventually could go to voters to decide on.