• DSISD’s $386 Million May 2023 Bond Is an Even Bigger Dumpster Fire than Last November's Rejected and Defeated Package!

    Vote Against Dripping Springs ISD’s Proposition A!

    DSISD's insulting, shameless, and shameful $336 million May 2023 Bond Proposition is an even more expensive repeat of the Bond Package our community rejected and defeated last November!


    And it meaningfully addresses none of the top complaints and criticisms that led to our community rejecting ALL THREE of last November's bond propositions.

    Over 10,000 of our community's voters made it absolutely clear last November in voting AGAINST ALL THREE Propositions—we want, deserve, and continue to demand a better bond!


    Yet DSISD, in doubling-down on a nearly identical retread of last November's rejected and defeated package, has FAILED to deliver a better bond or even one that has any substantive difference—instead, DSISD has chosen the petty and disappointing path of political gamesmanship, brinkmanship, and politics-of-division at our children and our community's expense. That's unacceptable, and backwards and broken bad government in action!


    So by Voting AGAINST DSISD's Proposition A This May, YOU Are:

    ✔️ Rejecting This Bad Behavior of DSISD and Its Cronies, Apologists, & Vendors,

    ✔️ Stopping the Destructive and Unsustainable Fiscal Irresponsiblity of DSISD, And

    ✔️ Demanding That DSISD Provide the Tax Relief Our Community Needs and Deserves NOW, More than Ever.



    Don't forget to vote—YOUR VOTE never matters more than in local elections!

    Early voting runs through Tuesday, May 2nd, and Election Day is Saturday, May 6th.


    CLICK HERE for Hays County Voting Locations and Times.

    CLICK HERE for Travis County Voting Locations and Times.


    And be sure to check back to our website soon.

    More updates are coming daily.

    You can also Follow our Facebook page, by CLICKING HERE.

    And Sign Up for our email list, by CLICKING HERE.

  • Top Inconvient Truths About DSISD's May 2023 Bond

    1. Yes, DSISD's May 2023 Bond Is $17.6 Million and 8.4% More Expensive Than Last November's Package On a Project Basis!

    That's RIght! An Over EIGHT PERCENT (8%) PRICE HIKE in Just SIX (6) MONTHS Time!


    And Don't Be Fooled By the Removal of High School #2's CONSTRUCTION Costs from this ALL-OR-NOTHING Bond PackageDSISD is including High School #2's DESIGN Costs, so if this Bond is voter-approved, then that high-priced and harmful High School #2 our community rejected just last November will be inevitable.


    Additionally, DSISD, in their bond planning public School Board meetings as well as the May 2023 Bond Presentation, also shamelessly detailed how nearly all of the items they removed from this May's Bond Package are now being paid for with other DSISD funds or acquired , such as using fund balances (our hard-earned tax dollars that they've been unnecessarily hoarding) or using leases instead of outright purchases, despite our community telling them we were unwilling pay for these items last November!


    CLICK HERE to see this May 2023 Bond's projects and their price increase/difference relative to last November's Bond Package.






    2. Despite DSISD's misleading advertising of "No Tax Rate Increase" and sole focus on TAX RATE, DSISD knows that this May's Bond Proposition will HUGELY increase our community's tax bills as you simply cannot NEARLY DOUBLE DSISD's debt without INCREASING TAXES FOR EVERYONE.


    Here's the truth Re: DSISD's property tax increases and this May 2023 Bond:

    • Has 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 an average residence's 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."

    Additionally and despite our community demanding tax relief last November in defeating ALL THREE Bond Propositions, DSISD's May 2023 Bond Advertising continues to reaffirm that they believe themselves entitled to tax continued tax hikes, with no tax relief in sight!



    3. Instead of providing the tax relief our community demanded last November, DSISD is instead continuing to hoard our hard-earned I&S/Bond Debt property tax dollars and hold them hostage!


    According to DSISD's "Official 2022-2023 Budget", they began this current fiscal year with OVER ONE YEAR of fund balance, beginning with $22.4 million fund balance versus $19.7 million debt service expenditures required to pay for existing debt.

    And they are projected to end this current fiscal year with a OVER ONE YEAR AND NINE MONTHS and $35 million in I&S/Bond Debt fund balance!


    So with the I&S/Bond Debt Taxes being 27% of your DSISD Tax Bill, THAT MEANS DSISD CAN AFFORD TO GIVE EVERY TAXPAYER AT LEAST A 30% TAX CUT THIS YEAR, while still maintaining an adequate fund I&S/Bond Debt fund balance—but only if we vote AGAINST this May's Bond Proposition!


    And entitled DSISD is holding our tax dollars hostageand claiming they'll continue to increase our taxes/tax us at the same rate regardless of the outcome of this May's Bond Proposition.


    From DSISD's May 2023 Bond Presentation: "Whether the bond passes or fails, the I&S tax rate is expected to remain the same."


    That's unacceptable—DSISD's job is to represent as public servants, not rule like digital pirates or ransomware hackers!




    4. Despite DSISD advertising $223.7 million for this May's bond package, that number doesn't account for 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 over $336 million ($336,059,400.00 exact), which is an over 50% increase in total cost.

    Source: https://www.dsisdtx.us/cms/lib/TX02204855/Centricity/Domain/1013/Voter%20Information_English.pdf

    5. DSISD's May 2023 Bond Proposition will NEARLY DOUBLE (2x) DSISD's Total Debt Obligations from $386 million to nearly $722 million!

    • That amounts to an outrageous $85,806 in per-student debt.
    • And $17,977 in per-capita DSISD debt—that's just DSISD's debts and on the back of every child, student, adult, senior—using DSISD's 2021-2022 Debt Transparency Report's population estimates from the Municipal Advisory Council of Texas.
    • Even worse, that's $27,446 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 $40,243—again, that's just for DSISD—on the back of every working age adult actually in the workforce in Dripping Springs ISD!




    6. New Texas Comptroller ISD Debt Data reveals that DSISD will have more per-student debt than over 98.3% of ALL 1,028 Texas School Districts, if this May Bond is voter-approved! 


    And even worse, this Comptroller data and DSISD's Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' latest ISD Debt Data and Dripping Springs ISD's 2023 Bond materials reveal that should this May Bond be voter-approved, then DSISD will have:

    - the HIGHEST—yes, #1/top/most/greatest—Bond Debt Principal of all 78 Texas School Districts with student enrollment between 5,000 and 11,000 students (roughly, +/- 3k DSISD's current enrollment) at over $479 million (not including interest) and Manor ISD trailing in second at $462 million, and

    - the SECOND HIGHEST—yes, the second most—Per-Student Bond Debt Principal at $56,935 of ALL Texas School Districts with 5k to 11k students enrolled and is following #1 Barbers Hill ISD at $62,667 with #3 Manor ISD trailing at $48,145!


    And remember this Comptroller data is just for Bond Debt PRINCIPAL—once adding in known and estimated Interest on that Debt, DSISD will have OVER EIGHTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($85k+) in TOTAL BOND DEBT (Principal + Interest) PER-STUDENT at $85,805.97 exact, should this May's Bond be voter-approved!





    7. TEA Ranks DSISD's “Financial Accountability” in the Bottom 4% of Texas School Districts—for Mismanaging $7.5 MILLION in Bond Funds, Our Hard-Earned Property Tax Dollars!


    Alarmingly, DSISD appears to have engaged in political gamesmanship and delaying tactics in order to suppress this damning confirmation of their financial failings and prevent it from coming to light before last November's Bond Election, when they were seeking to more than TRIPLE (3x+) the District's Debt Burden—and accordingly more than double our Debt Service Tax Bills! Because DSISD's FIRST Report Public Hearing usually occurs in October, but it didn't occur until the December Board Meeting last year.


    Disappointingly, the TEA ranking DSISD in the BOTTOM 4% of Texas School District's for "Financial Accountability" is not a mistake—and the more we dig into Dripping Springs ISD's latest Texas Education Agency Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas ("FIRST") Report and recent state-mandated financial audits, the worse it gets!


    Because while the TEA rates DSISD in the bottom 4.1% (42 in number) of all 1,019 Texas school districts when it comes to "financial accountability", just 0.6% (and 6 in number) of Texas school districts actually performed worse!

    And DSISD's multi-million dollar accounting failures identified in this latest FIRST Report were the SECOND (2nd) YEAR IN A ROW where DSISD's auditors found financial failings!


    DSISD's latest audit, now the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW of significant finacial failings identified by DSISD's auditors, revealed that DSISD officials this year were responsible for over TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS in UNLAWFUL APPROPRIATIONS affecting both General and Bond Debt funds!

    $12 million was OVER TEN PERCENT (10%) of DSISD's 2021-2022 Official Budget of $97.6 million, as originally adopted!


    That's why we cannot trust DSISD with more of our hard-earned tax dollars until AFTER they've demonstrated a return to financial competency and lawful appropriations, if not also fiscal SANITY!

    Source: https://mailchi.mp/f329ad6dfb4c/first_financialaccountability-11613424

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

    Just for starters:



    9. 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 May'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!




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


    If this May'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 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.




    11. The Bond Steering Committee that crafted this May's bond propositions was run by the architecture firm and their political consultancy who is likely to receive the $10.5 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 May's bond package is also largely in conflict with recommendations of the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee.




    12. DSISD's Exorbitant Property Taxes (i.e., Excessive Carrying/Holding Costs) Are DEPRESSING, Rather Than ENHANCING, Our Community’s Property Values:

    • DSISD's Effective Property Tax Rate Is Nearly 30% Higher than Lake Travis ISD's for Residence Homesteads, Due to LTISD's 7% LOWER TAX RATE and Their 20% Local Option Homestead Exemption (LOHE);
    • An Average DSISD Residence Pays a Higher ISD Property Tax Bill Than an Average LTISD Residence;
    • But that Average LTISD Residence Has a Nearly $280k and 40% Higher Market Value than an Average DSISD One, with LTISD at $1,028,482 and DSISD at $749,286!



    13. 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 over THREE AND ONE-HALF TIMES (3.5) times MORE PER-CAPITA DEBT, and the according 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!