Despite the hardships many have faced—and continue to face—because of the pandemic, local entities across the state still asked voters on Election Day to approve a bundle of bond propositions totaling approximately $12.8 billion. But just as many individuals and families were forced to trim their budgets, voters told Northwest ISD to do the same.
Northwest ISD sought the approval of a bond package nearing $1 billion as well as a separate measure to raise the tax rate. The bond package contained four separate proposals: facilities and improvements, recreational facilities, stadium renovations, and technology devices. Voters overwhelmingly rejected all five proposals.
Prior to 2019, voters were forced to decide on this type of package as a single-item bond proposition. But after state lawmakers passed a new law last session, school districts are required to break up their bonds by category of expense. This improvement not only gives voters more choices, but it also promotes a system of more informed voters.
Whether this rejection is a result of the new law or the ongoing pandemic, voters made their voices clear: now is not the right time to ask for more money. In fact, now is a good time to tighten the budget and practice better fiscal prudence.
The district will now be forced to reevaluate its spending while keeping both students and taxpayers in mind. This will also provide the district an opportunity to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, which will save money now and in the future.
Fiscal responsibility has become a priority for a majority of people. Voters in Northwest ISD just proved that school districts can no longer rely on voters to blindly say “yes” to their requests for money. Instead, they need to learn fiscal prudence and stop wasteful spending.