• The Top Inconvenient Truths about DSISD’s 2022 Bond Propositions

    With nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000,000.00) on the line this November, Dripping Springs ISD and their cronies, apologists, and vendors are resorting to desperate tactics including blatant deception and egregious lies!

    So we are setting the record straight, and below are our Top Inconvenient Truths about DSISD's 2022 Bond Propositions.

    And be sure to check back to our website soon.
    More updates are coming daily.

  • 1. Yes, nearly $1 BILLION is not a mistake! Despite DSISD advertising just over $481 million for this November's bond package, but that number doesn't account for the interest on that new debt!

    DSISD, under disclosures required by Texas law that DSISD IS NOT PUBLICIZING estimates that these bond propositions will cost our community nearly $948 million dollars ($947,497,529 exact), which is just short of $1 BILLION!

    • Proposition A, everything but high school #2 and technology, has debt principal at $199 million and total cost with interest at $387 million: https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20A%20English.pdf
    • Proposition B, high school #2, has debt principal at $275 million and total cost with interest at $553 million: https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20B%20English.pdf
    • Proposition C, technology, has debt principal at $6.5 million and total cost plus interest at $7.7 million.  Also note that DSISD will issuing these tech bonds at ten years for tech that will be obsolete in much less time than that: https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20C%20English.pdf

    2. While its true that I&S/Bond Debt/Debt Service expenditure are not subject to recapture, nearly one-half of taxes collected for our community for this new debt will be wasted in the form of interest paid on this new debt, and accordingly spent to enrich investors instead of reaching students and teachers.

    Of the $947,497,529.00 total tax collections DSISD projects necessary to service this new $481,135,000.00 in new debt principal (principal payments being the only expenditures that benefit local students and teachers), just over one-half of total tax collections—just 50.8%—will be spent in DSISD to benefit local education!
     

    That means $466,362,529 of our community's hard-earned tax dollars will go to interest for this new debt!

    Moreover, while it's true that recapture amounted to 16% of DSISD's 2022-2023 Total Budget, since 2019's House Bill 3, in which the State of Texas increase State funding for education by BILLIONS of Dollars and also changed the definition of recapture to "local revenue in excess of entitlement," all DSISD needs to do to reduce recapture is to reduce the tax rate and local property taxes collected. There is currently a HUGE gap between the state's minimum M&O tax rate and the tax rate assessed currently by DSISD!
    THAT MEANS IT'S MORE THAN THREE TIMES MORE WASTEFUL TO PAY INTEREST ON DEBT THAN PAY RECAPTURE!

    And don't forget, it has been mandates from the State of Texas, not any sort of fiscal responsibility from DSISD, that's been responsible for the reduction in the TAX RATE on the M&O/General Fund side of the budget since 2019, as a contingency of their increase state funding!
    And as we all know that reduction in TAX RATE has not been sufficient to reduce our TAX BILLS!

    Sources:
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20A%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20B%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20C%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/110/Final%20Adopted%20Budget%20with%20Tax%20Rate%20Calculations.pdf

    https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/government-relations-and-legal/government-relations/hb-3-faq-reduces-and-reforms-property-taxes
    https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/HB3-Video-Series-Recapture.pdf

    3. DSISD's 2022 Bond Propositions will MORE THAN TRIPLE (3x+) DSISD's Total Debt Obligations from $411 million to over $1.358 BILLION!

    • That amounts to a mind-blowing $159,110 in per-student debt!
    • And $39,068 in per-capita DSISD debt—that's just DSISD's debts and on the back of every child, student, adult, senior—using 2020 US Census data!
    • Even worse, that's $59,646 on the back of every WORKING AGE ADULT, again using 2020 US Census District population data and US Census's latest estimates of 65.5% of Hays County residents being aged 18-64!
    • And hold onto your seat!  The US Census estimates just 68.2% of Hays County residents aged 16-64 worked between 2016-2020!  That equates to a DSISD debt load of $87,458—again, that's just for DSISD—on the back of every working age adult actually in the workforce in Dripping Springs ISD!

    Sources:
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20A%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20B%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20C%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/110/Final%20Adopted%20Budget%20with%20Tax%20Rate%20Calculations.pdf
    https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/2020/demo/saipe/2020-school-districts.html
    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/hayscountytexas/LFE041220

    4. Despite DSISD's misleading advertising of "No Tax Rate Increase" and sole focus on TAX RATE, DSISD knows that this November's Bond Propositions will HUGELY increase our community's tax bills as you simply cannot more than TRIPLE our district's debt without increasing taxes FOR EVERYONE!

     

    Here's the truth Re: property tax increases—this November's bond propositions:

    • Have a 53% I&S/Bond Debt TAX HIKE baked-in/guaranteed for an average residence if voter-approved;
    • Will result in an over 60% I&S/Bond Debt TAX HIKE for an average residence IN JUST FIVE YEARS if voter-approved; and
    • Will DOUBLE I&S/Bond Debt Taxes IN JUST EIGHT YEARS if voter-approved.
    • And that's after a 42% TAX HIKE on an average residence since the 2018 Bond that also advertised "No Tax Rate Increase."

    Source: https://mailchi.mp/db57908f4ebb/2022bond_60pct_taxincrease_social

    5. DSISD's Bond Package will cause unnecessary pain and permanent harms to students and staff.

    Just for starters:

    Sources:

    https://youtu.be/gXnkHhEfViE
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/Page/2401
    https://www.excellenteducationdrippingsprings.com/path-2
    https://www.facebook.com/ExcellentEducationDrippingSprings/posts/pfbid0bo2P3irZfLwtvVQ1kh8VRePuTaHwoZnA2UD6YeH1t5eaTJqucYKFXjNikcZDK7PZl

    6. Despite the 2018 Bond's new long-term facility plan "Path 2" being known to be unworkable since March 2019's updated demographic report, the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee FAILED to develop a new long-term facility plan—it's primary purpose—over four years and 14 meetings, during which DSISD had five different superintendents who started/restarted the LRFPC three different times.

    That means this November's bond package is only a stop-gap and band-aid with no guarantee of long-term prudence or fiscal responsibility!

    And again, this bond package will result in split feeder patterns!

    Sources:

    https://www.dsisdtx.us/Page/2594
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/Page/2401

    https://www.excellenteducationdrippingsprings.com/path-2

    7. DSISD can call a bond election every six months, in both May and November!

     

    If this November's bond package is not passed, DSISD can develop a more prudent and fiscally responsible bond with little delay!

    According to DSISD's demographer's May 2022 presentation to the Board, the District's only immediate needs are 1) Middle School Capacity/Middle School #3 and 2) Elementary School Capacity/Elementary #6.

    Know that per DSISD's demographer High School #2 is not needed for FIVE YEARS (2027) and will not be filled to capacity for over a decade—until after 2032!

     

    And know that current elementary and middle school capacity issues could be relieved by rezoning. In fact, the DSISD School Board REJECTED their paid experts' (demographer and transportation staff's) advice on how to best utilize existing space and minimize travel times in Spring 2021 when drawing new attendance zones.

    And that's after also failing to keep 2018 Bond promises to voters to build Elementary #5 in/near Headwaters, which is also where their demographer told them Elementary #5 should be built, which is why SSES and CSES/Elementary #5 on the eastern end of the District are currently both below capacity, while both DSES and WSES are both currently at/above capacity.

    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/116/PASA%20Spring%202022%20Presentation.pdf

    https://www.facebook.com/ExcellentEducationDrippingSprings/posts/pfbid02qirKcsNRDcmy56oA6FkwDSY3DWosoQ3HgPqgZ4rojFomHaLzUMFmkB75PG1Ae2Cfl

    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/452/Dripping%20Springs%20ISD%202018%20Bond%20Referendum.pdf

    8. Governor Abbott, powerful Texas legislators, and Texas' most influential think tank are all calling for taxpayer-funded and parent-directed school choice to be a top priority of the 2023 Legislative Session.

    DSISD's capacity estimates do not account for coming school choice, and after DSISD's many COVID-19 betrayals of students and parents, student departure from DSISD Schools could be HUGE, and immediately relieve current capacity issues for years!

    Sources:

    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2022/08/11/gov-abbott-touts-school-choice-agenda-at-dallas-private-school/
    https://www.texaspolicy.com/empower-texas-families-with-school-choice/

    9. The Bond Steering Committee that crafted this November's bond propositions was run by the architecture firm and their political consultancy who is likely to receive the $10 million architecture contract to build the second high school, which appears to be why the WANT and egregious nearly $300 million cost of a second high school was prioritized over other greater and less costly NEEDS—especially when considering that this architecture firm and their political consultancy have been previously and credibly accused of public corruption regarding bond elections in another Texas school district!

     

    The Bond Steering Committee was also chaired by a taxpayer-funded lobbyist, who was hand-selected by DSISD officials and not the BSC members.

    And the Bond Steering Committee was never asked whether the District should spend these tax dollars, just to prioritize spending within the (predetermined?) framework presented by the architect and committee chair.

    The Bond Steering Committee's/this November's bond package is also largely in conflict with recommendations of the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee.

    Sources:
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/Page/3066

    https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/634?file=1fc65706-4d43-411f-9de5-dbf9bc61e278
    https://thegoldenhammer.net/tag/the-educated-vote/

    https://www.transparencyusa.org/tx/lobbying/lobbyist/jennifer-shelley-rodriguez-39096?cycle=2015-to-now
    https://www.facebook.com/ExcellentEducationDrippingSprings/posts/pfbid035oxgKzf5SYmdqQbAoEjAF6SKVHTvA2D3q82ppXCiY2XbYNkmiEt9m2hw8DVopyAjl

    10. As we are amidst the second recession in three years, DSISD's current property tax delinquencies are OVER FIVE TIMES 2017 and 2018's levels and FOUR AND ONE-HALF TIMES 2019's levels.

    Our community's hardworking taxpayers and small businesses are already struggling and voting for this nearly one billion in new bond debt and its tax increases will force many neighbors to sell their homes and move to lower tax areas.

     

    In fact, this bond package will result in our community having 7.8 times MORE DEBT, and tax burden to pay for it, than Texas statewide per-capita ISD debt average of $5,011, with a DSISD per-capita debt burden of $39,068.

    This bond will destroy our Dripping Springs community as we know it!

    Sources:

    https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/634?file=ef78be8b-abcd-4e15-b68c-7d03a6c2eaea
    https://www.facebook.com/ExcellentEducationDrippingSprings/posts/pfbid02PhZqpmHyK8iSi7jYc16GRxiBKLowGpzSAzgn4rnLhEAYeBatiBZYW16gccgeUfZwl

    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20A%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20B%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1177/Voter%20Information%20Document%20Prop%20C%20English.pdf
    https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/110/Final%20Adopted%20Budget%20with%20Tax%20Rate%20Calculations.pdf
    https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/2020/demo/saipe/2020-school-districts.html