AP NEWS

Cleveland voters say no to $250 millon school bond

May 5, 2019

Residents within Cleveland ISD rejected the proposed $250 million school bond that would have raised taxes.

The voters rejected the bond on election day on May 4 at the Cleveland Civic Center with unoffical results saying 312 residents voted for the bond while 354 of the residents voted against the bond.

As the district grapples with building new facilities to deal with rapid population growth it may explore another bond package, the superintendent said. The district will begin planning its next steps this week.

“We’re just going to have to make sure that we move forward. It’s a new situation on (May 6), and we’ll plan on how to move forward. We’ll be strategic about it. We’re not just going to rush into something,” Cleveland ISD Superintendent Chris Trotter said.

Cleveland ISD is the second fastest growing school district in the state. The district planned to use $130 million in Phase 1 to renovate Northside Elementary, add a fifth elementary and a second junior high. The remaining funds would have been used to address fast growth in the district.

About 1,000 new students have enrolled in Cleveland ISD this year for a 17.3 percent growth rate this school year, leading to more than $3 million in costs for portable buildings.

The district will have to find creative solutions for overcrowding now, he said.

“We’re working on numbers, and we’ll look at it again,” Trotter said. “We’re going to provide a good education for every kid, every day. As far as teachers, we do have some more portables coming. Our teachers are going to take care of kids. We have programs and curriculum and we’ll start as a new day next week.”

The board of trustees must help find a new solution after the failed bond, board officials said.

“We are disappointed that the bond referendum was not approved, but, as a board and a district, we will continue to work to give our students the best education possible. In the upcoming months, we will determine if and when we will go back to voters with another bond proposition,” said School Board President Chris Wood.

The Board of Trustees will ratify election results its board meeting at 6 p.m. on May 13, 2019 at the Cleveland ISD Administration building.

“As the new Superintendent, I want our community to know that we will continue to provide our students an outstanding education, even though we are disappointed in the results. I will work to help the community better understand why we need additional funds to accommodate fast growth,” said Trotter.

New school board of trustee members

Willie Carter will be a new member to the school board of trustees after winning a 345 vote over Ronnie Lewis who had a total of 293 votes for Position 4.

Also, there will be a new member on the school board on Position 5.

Amanda Sandoval defeated incumbent Sharica Lewis to take a stand on the school board.

Brooks had 333 votes compared to Lewis’ 284 votes.

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com