Katy ISD eyes May bond as district grows

Thursday, December 17, 2020

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By: Laura Abei - Community Impact

In response to the school district’s continued growth, Katy ISD discussed at its most recent board meeting the creation of a community bond advisory committee to review funding needs in consideration of a May 2021 bond referendum. The item was discussed shortly after the KISD board of trustees received the district’s annual demographic update from Populations and Survey Analysts, which delved into the district’s growth, despite the pandemic.

In that presentation, PASA predicted the current KISD enrollment of 84,000 students would increase to more than 100,000 students by 2027. PASA predicted much of that growth would take place in the northwest quadrant. While many students have stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic, PASA said it will not be long-term. They predicted 90% of students would return to Katy ISD in 2021 and that an additional 5% would return between 2021 and 2022.

The KISD board of trustees said CBAC would assess the anticipated growth before approving capital projects for the school district’s bond package should the committee recommend a referendum. KISD said it expected a zero tax rate increase, which would mirror the district’s 2017 bond of $609,204,553 that provided funding for six new schools, a major comprehensive renovation at one campus and more.

“The CBAC’s planning and review of capital needs will include reviewing enrollment projections, the need for new schools and facilities to address capacity limitations while paying close attention to renovations and component replacements necessary at aging campuses and buildings,” KISD said in a press release after the meeting.

PASA, which predicted KISD would grow by approximately 2,400 new students per year for the next decade, also made the recommendation to build additional elementary, junior high and high schools, especially in the north and far west areas of the district. PASA predicted that more than 4,000 acres of open land in that area will be used for subdivision construction.

“Katy ISD is now the fifth-largest producer of homes out of 61 school districts in the Houston area,” PASA demographer Dr. Pat Guseman said. “The majority of the lots in the northwest quadrant of Katy ISD are building out rapidly. By the time Katy ISD is fully built-out, it should have approximately 115,500 students.”

After being provided in-depth background information associated with “long-range needs, demographics and finances” over the course of three in-person meetings, KISD said in the release, the CBAC will present a bond package to the KISD board of trustees at its Feb. 8 special meeting.

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