MIDLAND, Texas (BIG2/FOX24) – Midland residents can expect to see a new school bond on the November ballot. The $569 million bond will go towards building new high schools, grade reconfiguration and all around improvements to athletics, school safety, school security and technology.
Superintendent Orlando Riddick says the district currently has 2,200 kindergarteners, and with the district graduating its largest class of 1,300 seniors, the district’s reality is seeing 500 more students than they accounted for every year.
“When you think about a student who’s in a high school currently right now that is 60 years old, and you think about moving that student our of an analog age and into a digital age, it’s like turning the lights on,” said Riddick.
A team of 40 leaders from inside and outside the district put their heads together for 18 months, creating a fiscally and strategically responsible bond proposal.
“It speaks to adding a high school, and with that it talks about renovations on two other facilities and into our middle schools,” explained Riddick. “It would be a brand new high school building to move us to a third high school. And at that time, we’d do what we call grade reconfiguration.”
The district would group 9th through 12th graders to make comprehensive high school campuses. This would open up the current 9th grade campuses to create middle schools, and create more space for those starting kindergarten in elementary schools.
Along with the district’s efforts, a political action committee, “We Choose Our Future” has been created. Co-chair, Christine Foreman says the bond would be “an investment in something bigger than yourself.”
And in the past, I don’t think we’ve been very good at investing in our public schools. And I think that needs to change and that change is starting now,” said Foreman. “Campuses as a whole are over capacity, and it’s definitely needed.”
To put things into perspective, for an average home value of $300,000, homeowners can expect to pay $5.29 more per month. The distirct is projecting the bond to last for 10 years.
“Everybody is going to naturally want to get into the numbers, but if we take away that and think about our future and investing in our future, then it’s a no-brainer,” said Foreman.