Bond FAQs

What is a Bond?

A municipal bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing investors to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations, and equipment.

What is a bond election?

School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors in order to raise the capital dollars required to renovate existing buildings or build a new school. Essentially, it’s permission to take out a loan to build, renovate, and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.

Why do school districts sell bonds?

Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities. This bond would allow the district to finance additions and renovations without impacting the District’s regular budget items such as school programs, teachers, and staff.

How is the District’s tax rate configured?

A school district’s tax rate is comprised of two components: the Maintenance & Operations tax (M&O) and the Interest & Sinking tax (I&S). The M&O tax is used to operate the school district, including salaries, utilities, furniture, supplies, food, gas, etc. The I&S tax can only be used for the repayment of bonds. Bond sales only directly affect the I&S rate.

How can bond funds be used?

Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment, for new or existing buildings, and large-ticket items such as school buses. Bonds cannot be used for operating costs, such as salaries, utility bills, supplies, and insurance.

What appraised value is the proposed average tax increase of $22.60 based on?

The proposed average tax increase of $22.60 is based off of the 2024 average taxable homestead in Connally ISD - $174,983.00. A tax calculator will be available on the Connally ISD bond website. This tool will allow interested parties to enter their home value and see what the exact impact of passage of the bond would be on their monthly tax rate.

What is the current tax rate? What would the new tax rate be if voters pass the bond?

The current total school tax rate for Connally ISD is $0.9803. Should voters approve the passage of the proposed bond, the tax rate is projected to be $1.1353.

What is the long range (15-20 years plans) for the district? How does the district intend to use taxpayer funds for long range planning?

Should voters approve the passage of the proposed bond (and upon completion of relevant construction), Connally ISD is proposing to reallocate grade distributions across campuses.

Grade distributions are currently:

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten - Connally Early Childhood Center
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade - Connally Primary School
4th and 5th Grade - Connally Elementary School
6th, 7th, and 8th Grade - Connally Junior High School
9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade - Connally High School

Upon the completion of voter approved construction, Connally ISD grade distributions are proposed to be:

Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade - Connally Primary School
2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade - Connally Elementary School
6th, 7th, and 8th Grade - Connally Junior High School
9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade - Connally High School

Upon the completion of voter approved construction, the current Connally Elementary School site (located on I-35) is planned to be demolished.

Connally ISD has partnered with the Texas Association of School Boards to conduct facilities studies of all existing buildings in the district. The findings in these studies will be used as guidance for the development of a long term strategic facilities plan.

Could Connally ISD utilize gifts, grants, or other forms of funding outside of calling for a bond to help cover the cost of operations/large scale construction projects?

Connally ISD pursues and utilizes any and all outside funding sources as they are made available to the district. Absent of voter approved bond measures, the district currently completes all facility upgrades and maintenance utilizing funds generated by the M&O (Maintenance & Operations) local tax collections and the Foundation School Program provided through the Texas Education Agency. Some of these projects include: the construction of the Connally High School mechanics building, the construction of a four classroom annex building at Connally Junior High School, and the repavement of Cadet Way. These major construction projects were completed by the Connally ISD Maintenance Department in addition to their regular duties regarding the upkeep of all existing facilities.

While other districts throughout the state of Texas have been able to upgrade facilities utilizing funds generated from partnerships with a variety of energy facilities (such as solar farms, wind turbines, and nuclear power plants), no similar facilities have been constructed within Connally ISD boundaries.

What cost saving measures does the district currently employ? Are there other cost saving measures that the district could take (cutting administrative salaries/positions, adjusting the budget, etc.) in order to generate additional funding for projects or operations?

The district currently works to complete construction and maintenance projects utilizing the Connally ISD Maintenance Department. Additionally, the Business and Finance Department begins the process of developing the annual budget in the Spring, taking into account upcoming campus/departmental projects and needs in order to develop a proposed budget that addresses priorities that are identified district-wide.

Connally ISD’s budget for the 2023 - 2024 school year includes $20,576,776.00 dedicated for all employee salaries, pay for substitute employees, and overtime. The total proposed operating budget (approved by the Connally ISD Board of Trustees in September, 2023) is

How does Connally ISD’s ratio of administrators to teachers compare to other districts of similar size in our area?

According to the most recent Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) generated annually by the Texas Education Agency, the state-wide average for percentage of employees listed as either a campus or central office administrator is 4.5% of a school district’s staffing.

Connally ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 4.1% of the district’s total staffing.

La Vega ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 6% of the district’s total staffing.

China Spring ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 5.2% of the district’s total staffing.

Robinson ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 7.1% of the district’s total staffing.

Lorena ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 5.1% of the district’s total staffing.

Gatesville ISD’s administrative level positions make up approximately 4% of the district’s total staffing.

Can the district work to advocate against increasing appraisals and property taxes coming from other governmental agencies like the county or state?

With the current school funding methodology in the state of Texas, Connally ISD is one of many districts that is required to rely upon property taxes to fund operations.

Individual district employees (and the Connally ISD Board of Trustees) have the right to (and often do) advocate to lawmakers and professional organizations to encourage changes to the school funding methodology that lessens the burden on local citizens by creating less reliance on local tax collections and shifts that portion of funding onto the state legislature. However, appraised values are set by appraisal districts, and changes in tax law are enacted by the state legislature.

Why has Connally ISD opted to call for the bond election on a May election cycle as opposed to a November one?

After meeting throughout the Fall 2023 semester, the Cadet Improvement Committee made the recommendation to the Connally ISD administration and Board of Trustees to call for a bond for the construction of a new elementary school.

Should voters approve the passage of the bond, construction would be able to begin during the summer months when students will not be in school in the nearby buildings, lessening the impact to district operations. The District also considered a number of other factors, including the potential for construction inflation and whether sufficient construction labor would be available at the time of project construction.

For more information, contact 254-296-6460 or visit